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Phenotyping Hamster Cancer Models

Hamsters have been used for decades as a model for oral cancers, and strategies to use and assess this model system have been developed and described.  Tools have been generated to study and evaluate virus-induced lymphomas.  Characterization of estrogen-induced tumors in hamster model systems has been reported. Pancreatic cancer models employing hamsters may have utility, and the phenotype of the tumors has been informative.  For animal models that do not have the benefit of the larger-scale projects like mice and rats, exploring the literature for research in the field using this model system will provide specific guidance on normal and abnormal phenotypes. 

Some general information and standards may be found in texts such as Laboratory Hamsters, and from veterinary sources.  Pathology texts will help with the characterization of tissues and tumors. Toxicology resources may also offer useful information on hamsters, as found in Animal Models in Toxicology.

Many of the techniques for characterization of models at the molecular level may also be available for hamsters, such as tools for cytogenetic analysis.  Microarray and sequencing strategies will likely become more and more available for molecular phenotyping of hamsters as well.