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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2012 Feb;22(1):21-7. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2012.01.004. Epub 2012 Feb 8.

Using genetically engineered mouse models to validate candidate cancer genes and test new therapeutic approaches.

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Division of Molecular Biology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) have contributed greatly to the field of cancer research. In contrast to tumor cell transplantation models, GEMMs have the potential to capture both the cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic factors that drive de novo formation of autochthonous tumors and their progression toward metastatic disease. In addition, GEMMs provide experimentally tractable in vivo platforms for validating candidate cancer genes, determining therapy efficacy, and defining mechanisms of drug resistance. Studies in GEMMs of human cancer provide new insight in the molecular biology of cancer and contribute to development of novel therapeutic strategies that may ultimately lead to more cures rather than temporal remissions.

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