New model of subconjunctival tumor development in rabbits
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Conjunctival squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is an uncommon disease. However, SCC has recently become an important clinical problem due the identification of a significantly high incidence of SCC among a group of black African patients with AIDS. However, basic research concerning SCC, including both intraepithelial and invasive squamous neoplasia, is limited due to the lack of an ocular tumor animal model. Specifically, current ocular imaging and treatment modalities are insufficient for investigating currently available small animal models, because the conjunctival space is not comparable to that of humans. We describe the development of a reproducible model of subconjunctival squamous carcinoma in moderate-sized immunocompetent rabbits. Under optical coherence tomography guidance, 1×10⁷ VX2 carcinoma cells are inoculated into the subconjunctival space of 3 to 4-kg New Zealand white rabbits. Malignant tumor involvement developed on the subconjunctival space after an average of 1 to 2 weeks. This subconjunctival tumor model induction method will likely facilitate a broad range of investigation of subconjunctival cancer diagnostics and therapeutics.
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