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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Dec 21;96(26):15032-7.

A subset of skin tumor modifier loci determines survival time of tumor-bearing mice.

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  • 1University of California San Francisco Cancer Center, Cancer Research Institute, University of California, 2340 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA.


Studies of mouse models of human cancer have established the existence of multiple tumor modifiers that influence parameters of cancer susceptibility such as tumor multiplicity, tumor size, or the probability of malignant progression. We have carried out an analysis of skin tumor susceptibility in interspecific Mus musculus/Mus spretus hybrid mice and have identified another seven loci showing either significant (six loci) or suggestive (one locus) linkage to tumor susceptibility or resistance. A specific search was carried out for skin tumor modifier loci associated with time of survival after development of a malignant tumor. A combination of resistance alleles at three markers [D6Mit15 (Skts12), D7Mit12 (Skts2), and D17Mit7 (Skts10)], all of which are close to or the same as loci associated with carcinoma incidence and/or papilloma multiplicity, is significantly associated with increased survival of mice with carcinomas, whereas the reverse combination of susceptibility alleles is significantly linked to early mortality caused by rapid carcinoma growth (chi(2) = 25.22; P = 5.1 x 10(-8)). These data indicate that host genetic factors may be used to predict carcinoma growth rate and/or survival of individual backcross mice exposed to the same carcinogenic stimulus and suggest that mouse models may provide an approach to the identification of genetic modifiers of cancer survival in humans.

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