Lymphocytic leukemia with a non-invasive approach
Lymphocytic leukemia (LL) is the most prevalent leukemia among adults. Despite its indolent nature, CLL remains an incurable disease.
Herein we aimed to monitor Lymphocytic leukemia disease engraftment and, progression/regression in a xenograft CLL mouse model using ultra-small superparamagnetic iron oxide-magnetic resonance imaging (USPIO-MRI).
Spleen contrast enhancement, quantified as percentage change in signal intensity upon USPIO administration, demonstrated a difference due to a reduced USPIO uptake, in the spleens of mice injected with CLL cells (NSG-CLL, n = 71) compared to controls (NSG-CTR, n = 17).
These differences were statistically significant both after 2 and 4 weeks from LL cells injection.
In addition comparison of mice treated with rituximab with untreated controls for changes in spleen iron uptake confirmed that it is possible to monitor treatment efficacy in this mouse model of LL using USPIO-enhanced MRI.
Further applications could include the preclinical in vivo monitoring of new therapies and the clinical evaluation of LL patients.