Genetically modified mouse models of cancer
Modelling cancer in mice provides important insights about tumor physiology in complicated and dynamic biological systems. Previous efforts to model cancer in the mouse have rend fundamental information on cancer, including the action of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, the biology of tumor-host cell interactions, biomarkers for the responsiveness to chemotherapeutic agents, and its use as drug discovery tools. Moving forward, it seems likely that genetically engineered mice will become more elegant and powerful tools for studying the complex biology of cancer, particularly aspects that can only be examined in the context of an in vivo microenvironment. Furthermore, genetically engineered mice will likely take an even more prominent role in cancer gene identification and validation after the human genome is sequenced. Finally, these models will become increasingly important for identifying and validating new drug targets, and as advanced preclinical test systems for new drugs or drug combinations to combat cancer. However, mice still have significant limitations in modelling human cancer, including species-specific differences and the full recapitulation of de novo human tumor development. Future challenges in mouse modeling include the generation of clinically relevant mouse models that recapitulate the molecular, cellular, and genomic events of human cancers and clinical response as well as the development of technologies that allow for efficient in vivo imaging and high-throughput screening in mice.
Topics will include but be not limited to: (i) the application of genetic and genomic approaches in mice for understanding cancer susceptibility, development, and maintenance; (ii) the use of mouse models to explore cancer biology in the context of a tissue microenvironment, including the role of inflammation on cancer initiation and progression, as well as factors influencing tumor angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis; (iii) stem cell biology in the context of the cell of origin or particular malignancies and the cancer stem cell hypothesis; (iv) general lessons obtained from mouse models of particular organ sites; and (v) new technologies and models for studying cancer in the mouse.
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International Journal of Pure and Applied Zoology