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Pancreatology. 2001;1(4):363-8.

TGF alpha transgenic mice. A model of pancreatic cancer development.

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Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Ulm, Robert-Koch-Strasse 8, D-89081 Ulm, Germany.


Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease with a fatal prognosis due to late diagnosis and resistance to radiation and chemotherapy. The average survival after diagnosis is still 3 to 8 months. In the last few years genetic alterations in cancer-causing genes have been identified in tumors and putative premalignant lesions using microdissection techniques. However, the functional consequence of these genetic alterations for pancreatic growth and differentiation is unknown. TGF alpha overexpressed in the pancreas causes the development of tubular structures and fibrosis. Mice older than one year develop ductal pancreatic cancer. Crossbreeding these mice with p53 knockout mice dramatically accelerated tumor development. Moreover, tumors developing in these mice show frequently biallelic deletion of the Ink4a locus or LOH of SMAD4. These mice represent the first model of pancreatic adenocarcinomas with genetic alterations as well as growth characteristics similar to the human disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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