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Research Uses for Mice

The most common application of mice in cancer research is to test in an in vivo setting the hypotheses about cancer biology and physiology that investigators generate in cell culture studies or from clinical observations.  More recently, cancer researchers employ mouse models and inbred strains to explore their applicability to projects that identify novel potential targets for therapy or prevention, to test new clinical agents, and to understand the genes and environmental factors that contribute to cancer susceptibility.

Aspects of basic biology and physiology of both normal functions and malfunctions in mice yield important clues that translate to human biology.  Examples of many types of mouse models that deliver data on genes and pathways to provide insights and research directions are available.

Testing experimental therapeutics in pre-clinical or co-clinical settings is crucial for many reasons.  Efficacy of potential treatments can be explored quickly in mouse screens. Safety or toxicity can be examined.  Better mouse models can be developed as we learn about which features of a treatment are most parallel to situations observed in human treatments.

Prevention research that could offer guidance on ways to postpone or eliminate cancer would have tremendous value for public health.  Insights into the genetics of susceptibility and risk factors, paired with prevention strategies, will benefit us on many fronts.

To learn more about the uses of these animals in these pursuits, explore the navigation links at the left. These examples do not endorse any specific approaches, compounds, or conclusions from the research.  They are provided as samples of the types of research that have been undertaken using a given model system.