The use of genetically engineered mouse models of prostate cancer for nutrition and cancer chemoprevention research

Mutat Res. 2005 Aug 25;576(1-2):111-9. doi: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2005.02.012.


The ability to modify the expression of specific genes in the mouse through genetic engineering technologies allows for the generation of previously unavailable models for prostate cancer prevention research. Although animal models have existed for some time for the study of prostate cancer prevention (primarily in the rat), it is uncertain if the mechanisms that drive prostate carcinogenesis in these models are relevant to those in human prostate cancer. Cell culture studies are of limited usefulness because the conditions are inherently artificial. Factors such as relevant physiologic concentrations and metabolism of putative chemoprevention compounds are difficult to model in an in vitro system. These studies also preclude the types of interactions known to occur between multiple cell types in vivo. In addition, all prostate cancer cell lines are already highly progressed and are not representative of the type of cells to which most preventive strategies would be targeted. Due to the advent of genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models, we now have models of prostate cancer that are dependent on molecular mechanisms already implicated in human prostate carcinogenesis. With these models we can perform a variety of experiments that could previously only be done in cell culture or in prostate cancer cell line xenografts. The currently available GEM models of prostate cancer have been extensively reviewed therefore, this review will focus on the types of models available and their usefulness for various types of preclinical studies relevant to prostate cancer prevention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemoprevention*
  • Diet*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Energy Intake
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / etiology
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Research*