Biology & Physiology Research
Research using rabbit models has provided insights on the biological aspects of a number of different tumor types. The VX2 carcinoma system, which is a cell culture established using a papilloma virus, can be used to instigate tumors in rabbits for further study. Research on liver cancer, squamous cell carcinomas, pleural cancer, pancreatic cancer, gastric cancer, and more. Features of other rabbit models and the technology are under active investigation as well. A model of leukemia is also available to explore in rabbits.
Studies on angiogenesis in tumors, and on metastasis, have been performed on rabbits to learn more about the tumors and their environments in a larger animal. This larger size also has advantages for imaging investigations, surgical studies, and drug delivery strategies as well.
Hamster models have been established to study an array of cancers. Particularly well-studied is the oral cancer model in the hamster cheek pouch. Pancreatic cancers are explored in the hamster system, and have shown great similarity to human cancers. The mechanics of this cancer development have been followed in hamsters. It is also amenable to the study of metastatic pancreatic cancer. Another type of cancer investigated in hamsters is hormone-induced tumorigenesis, and important features of the biological foundations of this process are being pursued. The mechanisms of viral instigation of tumors can be studied. Melanoma is also well-studied in this animal.
Establishing a presence in the field of cancer biology, zebrafish is proving to be a useful model for understanding basic biological mechanisms of cancer development, and of metastasis. Various types of cancers are being modeled in the fish. The features of pathways potentially involved in the onset of cancer are being investigated. Aspects of vascularization can be explored in zebrafish.
As the visibility into zebrafish is a tremendous advantage, transplantation studies and cell migration assessments are particularly suited to zebrafish investigation. The opportunity for high-throughput studies to understand the biology of cancer will yield intriguing leads on many fronts.