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Animal Replacement

Petri dish

Animal Replacement Centre

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Animal Replacement

Professor Philpot and Dr. Biddle approximate that thousands of mice are experimented on every year in modelling skin cancer, tens of thousands in developing general human skin models and hundreds of thousands in general cancer stem cell research. Dr. Biddle explains that,

tumour research in mice is achieved by either putting a human tumour into a mouse or changing the genes of the mouse to induce a mouse tumour.

Professor Philpot is suspicious that many of these mice models used are not a good representation of cancer in humans. The team at the Animal Replacement Centre are therefore making a big impact by showing that it is possible to replace the use of many thousands of mice through developing lab-grown and more human-relevant tumour models.

Skin cancer model should replace mice 

Stephanie Lunt slicing human tissue samples

Summer Student Stephanie Lunt slicing human tissue samples

The team has already successfully made human models of basel cell carcinoma (the most common skin cancer). When they tried to treat their human model with some of the standard drugs currently used on patients, they found that the drugs did not reverse some of the cancer genes that should have been switched back to normal.

A lot of patients also do not respond to the treatments, which indicates that there are many other cell changes caused by the cancer that are not being treated by the drugs that have been tested on mice. Therefore it is important to develop these drugs using a human model to ensure that the other pathways involved in the cancer are not missed during development and the best possible treatments can be found.

With your help, we can fund intelligent and innovative cancer research that uses human skin left over after cosmetic surgery.



Page last modified on November 8, 2022 4:52 pm