Mouse models of human cancer play an important role in understanding the mechanisms of carcinogenesis and have accelerated the search for finding new molecular targets for cancer therapy. However, genetically engineered mouse models for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) have only recently overcome major technical obstacles and begun to be explored. Here we review the current progress in the development of mouse models for human HNSCC, with emphasis on conditional transgenic and knockout mouse models. These new models faithfully recapitulate human HNSCC at both the pathologic and molecular levels. These animal models will not only be useful to define the roles of specific genes in HNSCC development and progression but will also provide a unique tool for developing and testing new therapeutic approaches.
(c) 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.