Optical Imaging of Ovarian Carcinogenesis in a Rat Menopause Model

Project: Research project

Grant Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality of all gynecologic cancers, and 70% of women with ovarian cancer die of their disease within 5 years. Survival is high with early stage disease, yet ovarian cancer is not usually detected earlier than Stage III or IV because its presentation is vague, the ovary is difficult to access, and little is known about preinvasive lesions. Efforts to understand ovarian cancer etiology and to develop effective detection and treatments for this disease have been hampered by lack of appropriate and wellcharacterized animal models. Recently, models that directly expose the rodent ovary to low doses of the carcinogen 7,12--Dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) have been reported to develop human-like (pre)neoplastic lesions. We are improving upon this carcinogen model by combining it with a follicle-deplete, ovary-intact rat model of menopause. This improved model will be useful for determining the differential susceptibility of post-menopausal women to ovarian cancer. The overall goal of this research is to develop 2 capabilities critically needed in the fight against ovarian cancer: 1) a rat model of ovarian cancer that closely resembles the human disease, and 2) minimally-invasive imaging modalities sensitive to early neoplastic changes. We expect our research aid in identification of early neoplastic changes that predict cancer. This proposal has 4 specific aims: 1. Develop a peri-and post-menopausal rat ovarian cancer model. Optimum dosing, administration and timing will be determined for the creation of a novel ovary-intact rat model of menopause using 4-Vinylcyclohexene Diepoxide (VCD) and DMBA. Anatomical and biochemical changes will be evaluated. 2. Develop optical imaging technologies to permit high resolution ex vivo and time-serial in vivo imaging of rat ovary. Miniaturized optical coherence tomography (OCT), laser induced fluorescence (LIF), and high resolution optical coherence microscopy (OCM) will be developed to enable minimally invasive imaging in our improved animal model. 3. Determine mechanisms of contrast in normal, follicle deplete, and cancerous ovarian tissues. We will undertake a comprehensive ex vivo study to elucidate mechanisms of contrast in the 3 imaging modalities developed.in specific aim 2. 4. Perform in vivo, serial imaging studies of ovarian carcinogenesis. We will perform minimallyinvasive, time-serial imaging order to follow carcinogenesis in our rat models. The goal of this study is to determine early anatomical or biochemical changes visible on OCT, OCM, or LIF that predict future development of neoplasms, and to determine if the time sequence of lesions is different for cycling and follicle-deplete animals.
Effective start/end date12/11/0611/30/12


  • National Institutes of Health: $282,610.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $282,735.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $274,008.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $273,285.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $315,523.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $282,857.00


  • Medicine(all)


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