Successful treatment of cancer requires a multidisciplinary approach in which different strategies such as surgery, radiation, cytotoxic therapy, and immunotherapy are combined. To design such combinations, it is essential to raise our understanding of the intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms underlying tumor development, metastasis, and therapy responsiveness. To find the most effective treatment for different cancer types, we heavily rely on preclinical studies in animal models. Recent technological developments have led to fast-track generation of sophisticated mouse models that better mimic human cancer in terms of genetic composition, interactions of cancer cells with their tumor microenvironment, drug response, and drug resistance. These genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) are of great importance to improve our insight into the complex mechanisms of cancer biology, and are expected to improve the translation of new therapeutic strategies into the clinic and ultimately leading to increased survival rate of cancer patients.
Regarding the role of GEMMs as preclinical tools for drug development, one of their main advantages is that tumorigenic transformation take place in the target tissue and, consequently, transformed cells interact with the regular microenvironment during tumor formation. GEMMs can also play a key role in elucidating the mechanisms of therapeutic response and innate resistance to both chemotherapy and targeted agents. Finally, the use of GEMMs may enable researchers to explore both the feasibility and validity of a personalized medicine method.
The Creative Bioarray team has extensive experience in generating and maintaining GEMMs and is available to assist investigators who want to start using mouse models to complement and strengthen their in vitro studies.