From genetic abnormality to metastases: murine models of breast cancer and their use in the development of anticancer therapies



Numerous mouse models of mammary cancer have been developed that mimic selective aspects of human disease. The use of these models has enabled preclinical chemotherapeutic, chemoprevention, and genetic therapy studies in vivo, the testing of gene delivery systems, and the identification of tumour and metastasis suppressor and inducer genes. This review has discussed the most abundantly used murine models of mammary cancer including: spontaneous tumours, chemically induced tumours, orthotopic and syngeneic tumour transplantation, injected tumours, and genetically engineered mice with a predisposition to neoplasia. Each model has been discussed with regards to its merits and limitations for investigating the genetic and phenotypic alterations involved in the human disease as well as its potential usefulness for the development of new treatment strategies. To date no single mouse model is available with the ability to replicate the entire disease process, however, existing models continue to provide invaluable insights into breast cancer induction and progression that would be impossible to obtain using in vitro models alone.


breast cancer in vivo models metastases 



a disintegrin-like and metalloprotease with thrombospondin motifs


cell culture infective doses


epidermal growth factor receptor


estrogen receptor


loss of heterozygosity


matrix metalloproteinases


mouse mammary tumour virus


mouse mammary tumour virus longterminal repeat




Neu differentiation factor


nonobese diabetic


selective estrogen receptor modulator


transforming growth factor-beta


tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase


Whey acidic protein


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Academic Unit of Clinical Oncology, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences University of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  2. 2.Academic Unit of Clinical Oncology, Division of Genomic Medicine, School of Medicine and Biomedical SciencesUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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