In vivo Tumor Growth and Spontaneous Metastasis Assays Using A549 Lung Cancer Cells

Lei Qi, Teresa Knifley, Dava W. Piecoro, Piotr Rychahou, Jianrong Wu, Kathleen L. O’Connor, Min Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)


Metastasis accounts for the majority of cancer related deaths. The genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models and cell line-based subcutaneous and orthotopic mouse xenografts have been developed to study the metastatic process. By using lung cancer cell line A549 as an example, we present a modified protocol to establish the cell line-based xenograft. Our protocol ensures sufficient establishment of the mouse xenografts and allows us to monitor tumor growth and spontaneous metastasis. This protocol could be adapted to other types of established cancer cell lines or primary cancer cells to study the mechanism of metastatic process as well as to test the effect of the potential anti-cancer agents on tumor growth and metastatic capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3579
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 5 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant IRG-85-001-25 (MC); the Kentucky Lung Cancer Research program (MC); the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences National Institutes of Health UL1TR000117 (MC); the University of Kentucky Center for Cancer and Metabolism [P20GM121327] for providing services through the Imaging Core and for the pilot funding [no grant number, to MC]); and the National Institutes of Health R01 CA109136 (KLO). The Markey Cancer Center Biospecimen Procurement and Translational Pathology, the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics and Cancer Research Informatics Shared Resource Facilities are supported by National Institutes of Health [P30 CA177558]. This protocol was briefly described and originally published in Liu et al., 2019.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 The Authors; exclusive licensee Bio-protocol LLC.


  • Cell line xenograft
  • Implantation
  • Metastasis rate
  • Mouse
  • Patient-derived xenograft
  • Tumor growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology (all)
  • Plant Science


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