An orthotopic mouse model of remetastasis of human colon cancer liver metastasis

Babak Rashidi, Reza Gamagami, Aaron Sasson, Fang Xian Sun, Jack Geller, A. R. Moossa, Robert M. Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Whether liver metastases from colon cancer are capable of metastasizing to other sites is an important question in surgical oncology. To answer this question, we have developed a highly metastatic orthotopic transplant model of a liver metastasis from a human colon cancer patient in nude mice that targets the liver and lymph nodes. The metastatic human tumor was transplanted in athymic nude mice by surgical orthotopic implantation (SOI) of a liver metastasis from a colon cancer patient. The human colon tumor was then subsequently implanted in the colon by SOI or, in an additional series of nude mice, in the liver by surgical hepatic implantation (SHI). The mice were then explored over time for lymph node involvement beginning 10 days after implantation. After SOI, 100% of the animals had liver metastasis within 10 days, and subsequently, 19 days after SOI, all lymph nodes draining the liver were involved with metastasis without any retroperitoneal or lung tissue involvement. After SHI, all sites of lymphatic drainage of the liver, including portal, celiac, and mediastinal lymph nodes, were massively involved by metastasis in 100% of the animals as early as 10 days after tumor implantation on the liver. The results of this study demonstrate that liver metastases from colon cancer are capable of remetastasizing to other sites. This study thus suggests that in colon cancer patients with liver metastasis, mediastinal, celiac, and portal lymph node metastases originate from the liver metastasis and not, as previously thought, from primary colon cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2556-2561
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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