Perfecting Mice Models to Better Understand Prostate Cancer

Dr. Jim Xuan (1999, 2000 and 2002 Research Grants)

Mice are an important part of medical research because they are physiologically very similar to humans and have the same cancer incidence (30 per cent).

By creating genetically modified mice that mimic genetic alterations and human disease progression, scientists can test theories of causes and treatment of prostate cancer. The more closely a mouse model mimics human cancer, the faster it will lead to new treatments.

Dr. Jim Xuan has been awarded three Foundation grants for his work with mice models. In addition to developing new mouse models for prostate cancer, they have created a blood biomarker that helps monitor the initiation and progress of cancer in mice. They have also developed new three-dimensional technology that allows researchers to see what is happening inside the mice. Previously, the only way to evaluate effectiveness of therapy was during autopsy. Now researchers can see the effects of their interventions while mouse models are alive.

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