Naturally-Occurring Canine Mammary Tumors as a Translational Model for Human Breast Cancer

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Abstract

Despite extensive research over many decades, human breast cancer remains a major worldwide health concern. Advances in pre-clinical and clinical research has led to significant improvements in recent years in how we manage breast cancer patients. Although survival rates of patients suffering from localised disease has improved significantly, the prognosis for patients diagnosed with metastatic disease remains poor with 5-year survival rates at only 25%. In vitro studies using immortalised cell lines and in vivo mouse models, typically using xenografted cell lines or patient derived material, are commonly used to study breast cancer. Although these techniques have undoubtedly increased our molecular understanding of breast cancer, these research models have significant limitations and have contributed to the high attrition rates seen in cancer drug discovery. It is estimated that only 3–6% of drugs that show promise in these pre-clinical models will reach clinical use. Models that can reproduce human breast cancer more accurately are needed if significant advances are to be achieved in improving cancer drug research, treatment outcomes and prognosis. Canine mammary tumours are a naturally-occurring heterogenous group of cancers that have several features in common with human breast cancer. These similarities include aetiology, signalling pathway activation and histological classification. In this review article we discuss the use of naturally-occurring canine mammary tumours as a translational animal model for human breast cancer research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Early online date28 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Canine mammary cancer
  • Comparative oncology
  • Human breast cancer
  • In vivo models
  • Translational models

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