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Open Access Review of Colorectal Cancer and Its Metastases in Rodent Models: Comparative Aspects with Those in Humans

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Background and Purpose: Colorectal cancer (CRC) remains one of the most common cancer forms developing in industrialized countries, and its incidence appears to be rising. Studies of human population groups provide insufficient information about carcinogenesis, pathogenesis, and treatment of CRC. To study these phenomena in detail, a number of animal models of human CRC have been developed. The hypothetical ideal animal model should mimic the human disease in terms of morphology, biochemical alterations, and biological behavior. No existing model replicates the disease as an entity, but available models approximate many of the characteristics of human colonic carcinogenesis and metastasis. So far few comparative evaluations of the various animal models of CRC have been made.

Conclusion: Animal studies cannot replace human clinical trials, but they can be used as a pre-screening tool, so that human trials become more directed, with greater chances of success. The orthotopic transplantation of colon cancer cells into the cecum of syngeneic animals or intraportal inoculation appears to resemble the human metastatic disease most closely, providing a model for study of the treatment of metastases. Which model(s) to choose depends on the goal(s) of the experiment(s). The review published here can provide help in selecting the most optimal CRC model(s) for a certain purpose and in preventing unnecessary duplication of animal experimentation.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Biomedical Laboratory, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark: Odense University, Winsløwparken 23, DK-5000 Odense C, Denmark 2: Institute of Food Safety and Toxicology, Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, Morkhoj Bygade 19, DK-2860 Soborg, Denmark 3: Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark: Odense University, Winsløwparken 15, DK-5000 Odense C, Denmark

Publication date: 2000-02-01

More about this publication?
  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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