• The nude mouse model was explored as a means of predicting the behavior of human cutaneous malignant melanoma. Subcutaneous implants from 20 patients were observed for external growth, microscopic appearance, and autoradiographic analyses following tritiated thymidine labeling. Normal epithelial and dermal components were maintained in the six low-risk primary implants, but none had any external growth or tumor cell preservation. Four of the five metastatic implants grew throughout the observation periods, with 30% of the counted tumor cells taking up the radioisotope. There was a slower growth rate in four of nine high-risk primary implants, with tumor cell preservation in eight. Only 6% of the counted tumor cells incorporated tritiated thymidine. This model appears to be capable of discriminating among the behavior of various forms of human malignant melanoma.
(Arch Surg 114:221-224, 1979)