Mouse models of prostate cancer: picking the best model for the question
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- Grabowska, M.M., DeGraff, D.J., Yu, X. et al. Cancer Metastasis Rev (2014) 33: 377. doi:10.1007/s10555-013-9487-8
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When the National Institutes of Health Mouse Models of Human Cancer Consortium initiated the Prostate Steering Committee 15 years ago, there were no genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models of prostate cancer (PCa). Today, a PubMed search for “prostate cancer mouse model” yields 3,200 publications and this list continues to grow. The first generation of GEM utilized the newly discovered and characterized probasin promoter driving viral oncogenes such as Simian virus 40 large T antigen to yield the LADY and TRAMP models. As the PCa research field has matured, the second generation of models has incorporated the single and multiple molecular changes observed in human disease, such as loss of PTEN and overexpression of Myc. Application of these models has revealed that mice are particularly resistant to developing invasive PCa, and once they achieve invasive disease, the PCa rarely resembles human disease. Nevertheless, these models and their application have provided vital information on human PCa progression. The aim of this review is to provide a brief primer on mouse and human prostate histology and pathology, provide descriptions of mouse models, as well as attempt to answer the age old question: Which GEM model of PCa is the best for my research question?