Experimental models of gene-environment interaction for cancer chemoprevention studies

Curr Opin Oncol. 1997 Sep;9(5):487-91. doi: 10.1097/00001622-199709050-00015.


The recent development of mouse strains with cancer-related genes overexpressed or inactivated has provided investigators with new models for testing chemoprevention strategies to offset specific genetic susceptibilities to cancer. This review focuses on the three genetically altered mouse models that have been the most widely used in chemoprevention studies: Min mice, which carry a mutation in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene; APC-knockout mice; and p53-knockout mice. Studies with the Min and APC-knockout mice provide the strongest evidence to date that the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 plays a major role in colon carcinogenesis, and that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that target cyclooxygenase-2 have great potential as colon cancer chemopreventive agents. In addition, chemoprevention studies in mice deficient of the p53 tumor-suppressor gene, the most commonly altered gene in human cancer, suggest that the increased susceptibility to cancer resulting from the loss of p53 function may be offset by preventive approaches. Other recently developed transgenic and knockout models of potential interest for chemoprevention studies will also be discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemoprevention*
  • Environment*
  • Genes, p53
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / etiology
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Oncogenes*