Genetically engineered murine models--contribution to our understanding of the genetics, molecular pathology and therapeutic targeting of neuroblastoma

Semin Cancer Biol. 2011 Oct;21(4):245-55. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2011.09.011. Epub 2011 Sep 21.


Genetically engineered mouse models (GEMM) have made major contributions to a molecular understanding of several adult cancers and these results are increasingly being translated into the pre-clinical setting where GEMM will very likely make a major impact on the development of targeted therapeutics in the near future. The relationship of pediatric cancers to altered developmental programs, and their genetic simplicity relative to adult cancers provides unique opportunities for the application of new advances in GEMM technology. In neuroblastoma the well-characterized TH-MYCN GEMM is increasingly used for a variety of molecular-genetic, developmental and pre-clinical therapeutics applications. We discuss: the present and historical application of GEMM to neuroblastoma research, future opportunities, and relevant targets suitable for new GEMM strategies in neuroblastoma. We review the potential of these models to contribute both to an understanding of the developmental nature of neuroblastoma and to improved therapy for this disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Child
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Genetic Engineering / methods
  • Genetic Engineering / trends
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neuroblastoma / genetics*
  • Neuroblastoma / pathology
  • Neuroblastoma / therapy
  • Pathology, Molecular / methods
  • Pathology, Molecular / trends