Development of a VX2 Pancreatic Cancer Model in Rabbits: A Pilot Study

Aaron C. Eifler, Robert J. Lewandowski, Sumeet Virmani, Johnathan C. Chung, Dingxin Wang, Richard L. Tang, Barbara Szolc-Kowalska, Gayle E. Woloschak, Guang Yu Yang, Robert K. Ryu, Riad Salem, Andrew C. Larson, Eric Cheon, Matthew Strouch, David J. Bentrem, Reed A. Omary*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: An animal model of pancreatic cancer that is large enough to permit imaging and catheterization would be desirable for interventional radiologists to develop novel therapies for pancreatic cancer. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that the VX2 rabbit model of pancreatic cancer could be developed as a suitable platform to test future interventional therapies. Materials and Methods: The authors implanted and grew three pancreatic VX2 tumors per rabbit in six rabbits. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was performed at 2 weeks to confirm tumor growth. At 3 weeks, the authors selectively catheterized the gastroduodenal artery under guidance of x-ray digital subtraction angiography (DSA). T2-weighted anatomic imaging, diffusion-weighted MR imaging, and transcatheter intraarterial perfusion (TRIP) MR imaging were then performed. After imaging, tumors were confirmed at necropsy and histopathologically. Tumor sizes at 2 and 3 weeks were compared with a paired t test (P = .05). Results: VX2 pancreatic tumors were grown in all six rabbits. The difference between tumor sizes at 2 and 3 weeks (1.29 cm ± 0.39 vs 1.91 cm ± 0.50, respectively) was significant (P < .001). All tumors were confirmed to be located within pancreatic tissue via histopathologic analysis. DSA and TRIP MR imaging were successful in five rabbits. Diffusion-weighted and anatomic MR imaging were successful in all six rabbits. Conclusions: The VX2 rabbit model of pancreatic cancer is feasible, as verified by imaging and pathologic correlation, and may be a suitable platform to test future interventional therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1075-1082
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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