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Cancer, What Helps Against It?

Knowledge about the causes of cancer, and interventions to prevent and manage the disease is extensive. Cancer can be reduced and controlled by implementing evidence-based strategies for cancer prevention, early detection of cancer and management of patients with cancer. Many cancers have a high chance of cure if detected early and treated adequately. Nevertheless research can contribute significantly to help cancer patients to fight the disease.

Scientists have been pioneering new methods and technologies for cancer research and employing mouse models for decades.  They provide a framework for employing animal models as one component of the translation of discovery to the clinic. Murine models of cancer help researchers to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their research in particular with tumorbiology, as each single tumor affects many different tissues, including blood vessels, immune system and stromal tissue which is impossible to mimic in the lab. The LBI-CR aims to establish novel insights into the causes of cancer using animal models, which are then translated into diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

Mice expressing the fusion protein NPM-ALK in T cells develop lymphomas, very similar to patients which suffer from the aberrant fusion of the npm and alk genes. The figure displays a murine lymphoma with cell nuclei (blue), FSP-1 (red) and PDGFRB (brown) which shares striking similarity with the human condition. The identification of PDGFRB expression in murine tumors lead to the identification of a new treatment strategy based on inhibiting this molecule with the compound imatinib (Novartis).