Studies on liver metastasis of human colon cancer are limited because of a lack of suitable animal models. In this study, the usefulness of mice with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), which congenitally lack functional T and B lymphocytes, was evaluated in comparison with currently available nude mice. Three human colon cancer xenografts transplantable into nude mice were disaggregated enzymatically to obtain tumor cell suspensions, and implanted intrasplenically into SCID and nude mice. The incidence of splenic tumorigenesis and of liver metastases were significantly greater in SCID mice for all xenografts, in comparison with nude mice. In total, 33 of 36 SCID mice and 17 of 43 nude mice developed liver metastases. On the basis of this result, we conclude that SCID mice would be a more suitable model than nude mice for studying liver metastasis of human colon cancer. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
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