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Role of animal models in oncology drug discovery

Tumor xenografts have been used for over three decades in oncology drug development with little predictive value. A case has been made for use of orthotopic xenograft models as well as transgenic tumor models as a better reflection of tumor biology. However, their use in drug development has been limited, thus far, due to technical challenges of monitoring tumor growth. Recent advances in small animal imaging are addressing some of those challenges; however, the predictive ability of these models with regards to clinical response is still questionable. This presentation will focus on the utility of animal models in oncology drug development and a paradigm shift in their value as tools to evaluate biological effects of new agents as well as understanding the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationship to aid in better clinical development.

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Kumar, R. Role of animal models in oncology drug discovery. Breast Cancer Res 5 (Suppl 1), 15 (2003).

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