Implementation of the Chick Chorioallantoic Membrane (CAM) Model in Radiation Biology and Experimental Radiation Oncology Research.
Radiotherapy (RT) is part of standard cancer treatment. Innovations in treatment planning and increased precision in dose delivery have significantly improved the therapeutic gain of radiotherapy but are reaching their limits due to biologic constraints. Thus, a better understanding of the complex local and systemic responses to RT and of the biological mechanisms causing treatment success or failure is required if we aim to define novel targets for biological therapy optimization. Moreover, optimal treatment schedules and prognostic biomarkers have to be defined for assigning patients to the best treatment option. The complexity of the tumor environment and of the radiation response requires extensive in vivo experiments for the validation of such treatments. So far in vivo investigations have mostly been performed in time- and cost-intensive murine models. Here we propose the implementation of the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model as a fast, cost-efficient model for semi high-throughput preclinical in vivo screening of the modulation of the radiation effects by molecularly targeted drugs. This review provides a comprehensive overview on the application spectrum, advantages and limitations of the CAM assay and summarizes current knowledge of its applicability for cancer research with special focus on research in radiation biology and experimental radiation oncology.