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Using body temperature, food and water consumption as biomarkers of disease progression in mice with Eμ-myc lymphoma

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jill Hunter, Dr Jacqueline Butterworth, Professor Neil PerkinsORCiD, Professor Melissa BatesonORCiD, Dr Claire Richardson



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).


Background: Non-invasive biomarkers of disease progression in mice with cancer are lacking making it challenging to implement appropriate humane endpoints. We investigated whether body temperature could be used to predict tumour burden. Methods: Thirty-six male, wild-type C57Bl/6 mice were implanted with subcutaneous RFID temperature sensors and inoculated with Eμ-myc tumours that infiltrate lymphoid tissue. Results: Decrease in body temperature over the course of the study positively predicted post-mortem lymph node tumour burden (Β= -0.32, t(21)= -6.7, P< 0.001, R2 = 0.68, F(1,22)= 44.8, P< 0.001). At experimental and humane endpoints all mice that had a mean decrease in body temperature of 0.7°C or greater had lymph nodes heavier than 0.5 grams (100% sensitivity) whereas a mean decrease in body temperature less than 0.7°C always predicted lymph nodes lighter than 0.5 grams (100% specificity). A marked decrease in food/water consumption preceding weight loss and decrease in body temperature was also noted in mice implanted with aggressive primary tumours. Conclusion: Temperature, food and water consumption were useful biomarkers of disease progression in mice with lymphoma and could potentially be used more widely to monitor mice with other forms of cancer.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hunter JE, Butterworth J, Perkins ND, Bateson M, Richardson CA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Cancer

Year: 2014

Volume: 110

Pages: 928-934

Print publication date: 18/02/2014

Online publication date: 09/01/2014

Acceptance date: 09/12/2013

Date deposited: 18/03/2014

ISSN (print): 0007-0920

ISSN (electronic): 1532-1827

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/bjc.2013.818


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Funder referenceFunder name
NC/K500513/1National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research David Sainsbury Fellowship
094409Wellcome Trust
11022Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research
C1443/A12750Cancer Research UK programme grant