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J Cell Mol Med. 2012 Jul;16(7):1377-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2011.01518.x.

Rhabdomyosarcomas: an overview on the experimental animal models.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Interuniversity Institute of Myology (IIM), University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.


Rhabdomyosarcomas (RMS) are aggressive childhood soft-tissue malignancies deriving from mesenchymal progenitors that are committed to muscle-specific lineages. Despite the histopathological signatures associated with three main histological variants, termed embryonal, alveolar and pleomorphic, a plethora of genetic and molecular changes are recognized in RMS. Over the years, exposure to carcinogens or ionizing radiations and gene-targeting approaches in vivo have greatly contributed to disclose some of the mechanisms underlying RMS onset. In this review, we describe the principal distinct features associated with RMS variants and focus on the current available experimental animal models to point out the molecular determinants cooperating with RMS development and progression.

© 2012 The Authors Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine © 2012 Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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