Chick Chorioallantoic Membrane (CAM) assay
The chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay is an attractive alternative in vivo model with reduced costs. CAM assays have been widely used to study angiogenesis and tumor invasion, and can be used for the in vivo assessment of potential new therapeutic targets.
The CAM model has many advantages, such as (a) the highly vascularized nature of the CAM greatly promotes the efficiency of tumor cell grafting; (b) high reproducibility; (c) simplicity and cost effectiveness, and finally (d) as the CAM assay is a closed system, the half-life of many experimental molecules such as small peptides tends to be much longer in comparison to animal models, allowing experimental study of potential anti-metastatic compounds that are only available in small quantities.
The chick embryo is surrounded by the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM), a highly vascularized extra-embryonic membrane that can be used to graft human cells. When grafted on CAM, tumor cells are capable of stimulating formation of new blood vessels, gaining their blood supply. The chick embryo is naturally immunoincompetent, thus easily allowing mammal cell xenografts. The procedures are relatively simple, involving short experimental times and low costs. The use of this alternative animal model fits in the "3Rs policy".
several CRIG labs have experience with CAM assays:
- Lab for Experimental Cancer Research (UZ Gent campus): contact prof. Olivier De Wever (prof. em. Marc Bracke introduced the assay).
See for example publication by G. Sys et al in Cancer Letters, 2012 - link to the article
- Angiogenesis lab at the Department of Morphology (Fac. Vet. Medicine; Salisburylaan 133, ingang 78, 9820 Merelbeke): contact. prof. Ward De Spiegelaere