Spontaneous and Induced Animal Models for Cancer Research

Anca Onaciu, Raluca Munteanu, Vlad Cristian Munteanu, Diana Gulei, Lajos Raduly, Richard Ionut Feder, Radu Pirlog, Atanas G. Atanasov, Schuyler S. Korban, Alexandru Irimie, Ioana Berindan-Neagoe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Considering the complexity of the current framework in oncology, the relevance of animal models in biomedical research is critical in light of the capacity to produce valuable data with clinical translation. The laboratory mouse is the most common animal model used in cancer research due to its high adaptation to different environments, genetic variability, and physiological similarities with humans. Beginning with spontaneous mutations arising in mice colonies that allow for pursuing studies of specific pathological conditions, this area of in vivo research has significantly evolved, now capable of generating humanized mice models encompassing the human immune system in biological correlation with human tumor xenografts. Moreover, the era of genetic engineering, especially of the hijacking CRISPR/Cas9 technique, offers powerful tools in designing and developing various mouse strains. Within this article, we will cover the principal mouse models used in oncology research, beginning with behavioral science of animals vs. humans, and continuing on with genetically engineered mice, microsurgical-induced cancer models, and avatar mouse models for personalized cancer therapy. Moreover, the area of spontaneous large animal models for cancer research will be briefly presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number660
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 31 2020


  • Avatar mice
  • Biomedical research
  • Cancer
  • Genetically modified
  • Models of disease
  • Preclinical studies
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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