Skip to main content

Table 1 Simplified overview of frequently used systems of animal models in translational cancer research

From: Correlation of in vivo imaging to morphomolecular pathology in translational research: challenge accepted

Type Comment Main application
Cell line- based Xenograft (CDX) Subcutaneous or orthotopic Also as patient-derived xenograft (PDX) Cell biology, therapy
Humanized preclinical models Immunological research
Syngraft (CDS) Subcutaneous or orthotopic Derived from spontaneously grown, toxically induced or genetically generated endogenous tumors Cell biology, therapy
Complex, biologically/genetically engineered Metabolically/toxically induced Systemic Mostly based on genetic alterations (targeted induction of a promotor for carcinogen), often organ-specific Toxicology
Mutagenesis- screen Chemical or transposon-mutagenesis Forward-genetic approaches Basic cancer research (identification of gene functions)
Genetically Engineered Models (GEM) Systemic Knock-in/knock-out Translational research (reverse-genetic approaches)
Organ-specific Transgenic animals with organ-/cell type-specific promotor
Conditional/inducible Transgenic animals with localized or time-limited genetic alterations
Targeted genetically modified animals by genome editing  
Complex humanized preclinical models