Cancer susceptibility in the mouse: genetics, biology and implications for human cancer

Nat Rev Genet. 2003 Sep;4(9):721-34. doi: 10.1038/nrg1157.


Growing evidence that a large proportion of apparently non-hereditary sporadic cancers occur in genetically predisposed individuals has emphasized the need to identify the underlying susceptibility genes. Increasingly, it seems that the best approach to define the numerous genes that have small but cumulative effects is to first identify and map them in mice, and subsequently to study the role of their homologues in humans. Development of new gene-mapping resources and strategies in mice has, for the first time, allowed some of these genes to be identified. In future, this unique approach is likely to provide important insights into the pathways of tumour development and might ultimately lead to more effective individually targeted cancer-prevention strategies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Epidemiologic Factors
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Congenic
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / genetics*
  • Oncogenes*
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Species Specificity