Open Access Research

Lung tumour growth kinetics in SPC-c-Raf-1-BB transgenic mice assessed by longitudinal in-vivo micro-CT quantification

Thomas Rodt1*, Christian von Falck1, Sabine Dettmer1, Katja Hueper1, Roman Halter2, Ludwig Hoy3, Matthias Luepke4, Juergen Borlak5 and Frank Wacker1

Author Affiliations

1 Dept. of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, 30625 Hannover, Germany

2 Dept. of Pharmaceutical Research und Medical Biotechnology, Fraunhofer-Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine, Nikolai-Fuchs-Str. 1, 30625 Hannover, Germany

3 Institute of Biometry, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, 30625 Hannover, Germany

4 General Radiology and Medical Physics, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Bischofsholer Damm 15, 30173 Hannover, Germany

5 Institute for Pharmaco- and Toxicogenomics, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, 30625 Hannover, Germany

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Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2012, 31:15  doi:10.1186/1756-9966-31-15

Published: 20 February 2012



SPC-c-Raf-1-BxB transgenic mice develop genetically induced disseminated lung adenocarcinoma allowing examination of carcinogenesis and evaluation of novel treatment strategies. We report on assessment of lung tumour growth kinetics using a semiautomated region growing segmentation algorithm.


156 non contrast-enhanced respiratory gated micro-CT of the lungs were obtained in 12 SPC-raf transgenic (n = 9) and normal (n = 3) mice at different time points. Region-growing segmentation of the aerated lung areas was obtained as an inverse surrogate for tumour burden. Time course of segmentation volumes was assessed to demonstrate the potential of the method for follow-up studies.


Micro-CT allowed assessment of tumour growth kinetics and semiautomated region growing enabled quantitative analysis. Significant changes of the segmented lung volumes over time could be shown (p = 0.009). Significant group differences could be detected between transgenic and normal animals for time points 8 to 13 months (p = 0.043), when marked tumour progression occurred.


The presented region-growing segmentation algorithm allows in-vivo quantification of multifocal lung adenocarcinoma in SPC-raf transgenic mice. This enables the assessment of tumour load and progress for the study of carcinogenesis and the evaluation of novel treatment strategies.

Micro-CT; lung tumour; transgenic mouse model; growth kinetics