Xenogen imaging systems to help with pancreatic cancer research

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Xenogen Corp. announced this week that researchers have successfully imaged the spontaneous development of bioluminescent tumors in the pancreas and bladder of mice using the company’s proprietary optical imaging technologies. Xenogen presented these findings at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 97th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
    
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. It is extremely difficult to treat and, therefore, has a very poor prognosis. Only 24 percent of patients with cancer of the exocrine pancreas will live one year past their diagnosis, and only 5 percent will live five years after diagnosis.
    
In past pre-clinical drug development studies, these types of transgenic pancreatic tumor models have been difficult to work with since the exact timing for tumor progression was estimated based on the age of the animal. Consequently, researchers have had difficulty knowing when to initiate treatment, how to best schedule treatment, or if the treatment was having an effect prior to the conclusion of the study.  
    
Aided by Xenogen’s IVIS imaging systems, researchers can use these transgenic mice to non-invasively assess the spread and growth of the tumors in the pancreas in real-time. This provides researchers with additional insight into the how the tumors spread and grow. It also can tell them how effective a potential drug or treatment may be and what potential side effects are associated with specific targets.
    
Xenogen scientists as well as other researchers previously have demonstrated the value of non-invasive in vivo bioluminescence imaging for drug development, using a wide variety of other tumor model systems. As demonstrated in data presented at the AACR meeting, researchers have successfully imaged the spontaneous development of tumors in the pancreas and bladder of mice using Xenogen’s animal models and IVIS imaging system.