An orthotopic floor-of-mouth model for locoregional growth and spread of human squamous cell carcinoma


NJ D’Silva, 1011 North University Avenue, Room 5217, Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine, University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109-1078, USA. Tel: +1 734 764 1543,
Fax: +1 734 764 2469, E-mail:


The molecular investigation of head and neck cancer targets requires the utilization and optimization of established animal models to characterize the effects of gene transcription and protein expression on invasion and metastasis. Floor-of-the-mouth murine models have been developed to study tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis of murine squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cells in immunocompetent mice and invasion and metastasis of human SCC cells in nude mice. However, there are tumor cell lines that do not produce tumors in mice, using standard techniques, thus reducing the utility of the model to study specific genetic or treatment conditions. Furthermore, these techniques require large tumor volumes raising the possibility of airway compromise. In this report, we detail significant modifications to the orthotopic floor-of-mouth murine model for human SCC to facilitate predictable growth of a large panel of University of Michigan SCC cell lines. Furthermore, we describe the use of bioluminescence and micro-computed tomography to monitor tumor growth and bony invasion.