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Making a fully humanized mouse model of advanced prostate cancer

  • Researcher: Professor Dietmar W Hutmacher
  • Institution: Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
  • Award Amount: £125,732 for 2 years from 1st June 2015
  • Cancer Type: Prostate Cancer
Making a fully humanized mouse model of advanced prostate cancer
“Early detection of prostate cancer is challenging, and once it has advanced and spread, the disease is virtually incurable.” Professor Dietmar W Hutmacher tell us. “This highlights the urgent need to develop new approaches for the clinical management of the prostate cancer. Unfortunately, efforts towards this have been hampered by the lack of suitable animal models that accurately mimic the spread of prostate cancer cells into the bone, as happens in humans.”In traditional models, researchers inject human cancer cells into the animal and then they analyse the interactions between human cancer cells and mouse cells.  However, it is well-known that there are incompatibilities in these interactions and human cancer cells behave differently when grown in a human compared to in mice. Conclusions drawn from observations of human cancer cells grown in a mouse can therefore not directly be transferred and applied to patients. He continues “To address this challenge, our group aims to use innovative tissue engineering strategies to develop a humanised mouse model of prostate cancer bone metastasis, where human cancer cells grow in humanised prostate tissue and spread to humanised bone. This humanised model of prostate cancer bone metastasis will recapitulate the conditions seen in patients to a much greater extent than traditional animal models.”
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