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Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2009 Jul;15(4):343-52. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0b013e32832af07c.

Animal models of malignant pleural effusion.

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  • 1Department of Critical Care & Pulmonary Services, General Hospital Evangelismos, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece.



Malignant pleural effusion (MPE) poses a common and significant clinical problem. Its pathogenesis is poorly understood and therapeutic options are limited. Herein are summarized animal models of MPE and their contributions in unveiling new aspects of the pathobiology of the condition.


In recent years, different groups have developed novel models of MPE, including a genetic mouse model of spontaneous mesothelioma development, a model of adenocarcinoma-induced MPE in immunocompetent mice, as well as models of human cancer-induced MPE in immunocompromised animals, all relevant to the human condition to a different extent. Work using these models has yielded novel insights into the pathogenesis of mesothelioma as well as into the mechanisms of intrapleural malignant effusion accumulation and tumor dissemination. The data produced underline the significance of tumor-associated inflammation, angiogenesis, and vascular hyperpermeability in the pathogenesis of MPE.


In the past few years, novel approaches to induce experimental MPE have yielded new insights into its pathogenesis and have identified possible therapeutic targets to block pleural fluid exudation induced by primary and metastatic cancer cells in the pleural space.

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