Female MMTV/c-MYC transgenic mice expressed the c-MYC proto-oncogene or a more stable point mutation variant (T58A) of the gene under the control of the hormone-responsive MMTV long terminal repeat (LTR) in an FVB/NJ background (Jackson Laboratories, Bar Harbor, ME). The hormones released during pregnancy and lactation have been shown to enhance expression of the oncogene. Thus, the mice were maintained in a continuous breeding program. Mice were monitored twice weekly for tumor development by palpation and tumors were measured twice weekly. Once the tumors reached 3cm3 the animals were sacrificed and tissue was obtained to confirm the tumors by histological analysis. As a control, female mice of the same age and background strain were maintained in the same facility and under the same breeding conditions as their transgenic counterparts.
Blood (50-250 µL, based on weight of the mouse) was collected from MMTV/c-MYC female mice and controls at regular intervals (approximately once per month) and again prior to euthanization (average age 431 days).