In order to study both the anti-tumor effects and early vascular events in photodynamic therapy, a useful animal model has been developed. A window chamber is surgically placed on the dorsum of the Fischer-344 rat, and 500-μm fragments of the rat mammary adenocarcinoma 13672 are placed under direct vision into the subcutaneous tissue. Implantation of the chamber has been successfully completed in more than 50 rats. The operative procedure is straightforward and is accomplished in less than 1 hour. Using tumor fragments, tumor viability has been 60%. We have demonstrated obvious and reproducible neovascularization occurring as soon as 1 day after implantation. The application of this system to an experimental protocol comparing the photosensitizers dihematoporphyrin ether (DHE) and chloroaluminum sulfonated phthalocyanine (CASP) has yielded important information on early vascular events resulting from photodynamic therapy.
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