Mouse models of cancer

Annu Rev Pathol. 2011;6:95-119. doi: 10.1146/annurev.pathol.3.121806.154244.


Genetically engineered mouse models have significantly contributed to our understanding of cancer biology. They have proven to be useful in validating gene functions, identifying novel cancer genes and tumor biomarkers, gaining insight into the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying tumor initiation and multistage processes of tumorigenesis, and providing better clinical models in which to test novel therapeutic strategies. However, mice still have significant limitations in modeling human cancer, including species-specific differences and inaccurate recapitulation of de novo human tumor development. Future challenges in mouse modeling include the generation of clinically relevant mouse models that recapitulate the molecular, cellular, and genomic events of human cancers and clinical response as well as the development of technologies that allow for efficient in vivo imaging and high-throughput screening in mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic*
  • Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Neoplasms* / physiopathology
  • Neoplasms* / therapy