Tumour and normal tissue radiobiology in mouse models: how close are mice to mini-humans?

Journal Article (Review)

Animal modelling is essential to the study of radiobiology and the advancement of clinical radiation oncology by providing preclinical data. Mouse models in particular have been highly utilized in the study of both tumour and normal tissue radiobiology because of their cost effectiveness and versatility. Technology has significantly advanced in preclinical radiation techniques to allow highly conformal image-guided irradiation of small animals in an effort to mimic human treatment capabilities. However, the biological and physical limitations of animal modelling should be recognized and considered when interpreting preclinical radiotherapy (RT) studies. Murine tumour and normal tissue radioresponse has been shown to vary from human cellular and molecular pathways. Small animal irradiation techniques utilize different anatomical boundaries and may have different physical properties than human RT. This review addresses the difference between the human condition and mouse models and discusses possible strategies for future refinement of murine models of cancer and radiation for the benefit of both basic radiobiology and clinical translation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Koontz, BF; Verhaegen, F; De Ruysscher, D

Published Date

  • January 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 90 / 1069

Start / End Page

  • 20160441 -

PubMed ID

  • 27612010

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1748-880X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0007-1285

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1259/bjr.20160441


  • eng