Generating Animal Models
Cancer researchers use a wide variety of techniques to generate models that are suitable for many kinds of investigations and applications. Some of the techniques, such as inbreeding, have been used for a century. Others, such as expressing foreign genes in an animal or altering animal germlines, are more recent and are constantly being refined in very sophisticated ways to reflect the increasing knowledge about the human cancers that the models represent.
For some species, the techniques have advanced to provide remarkable precision around the genomic locations that can be modified for investigation. Turning genes on or off in specific tissues, or at specific times, or with specific induction strategies, is possible. In other species, similar tools continue to be developed for the researcher’s toolbox. For some species researchers continue to rely on the natural occurrence of cancer, but then use many of the methods and interventions developed elsewhere to study and treat the tumors.
To explore the strategies associated with generating or employing animal models to study cancer, explore the navigation on the left. You may also want to explore the availability of existing animal models in the Acquiring Models area as well.