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Eur J Cancer. 2004 Sep;40(13):1974-80.

Forty years of cancer modelling in the mouse.

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UCSF Cancer Research Institute, 2340 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA.


Mouse models of human cancer have played an important role in formulating modern concepts of multistage carcinogenesis, and are providing us with a new armoury of tools for the testing of novel therapeutic approaches to cancer treatment. The development of inducible and conditional technologies provide us with greater opportunity to generate mouse models which faithfully recapitulate human tumorigenesis, in terms of both the biology and the genetics of this disease. It is now feasible to control, in time and space, the development of tumours in almost any mouse tissue, such that we now have available mouse models of all major human cancers. Moreover, novel non-invasive approaches to tumour imaging will enable us to follow tumour development and metastasis in vivo, as well as the effects of candidate therapeutic drugs. Such new generation tumour models, which accurately emulate the disease state in situ, should provide a useful platform with which to experimentally test drugs targeted to specific gene products, or combinations of genes that control rate-limiting steps of tumour development.

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