A study by U.S. cancer scientists at Ohio State University shows a new strain of mice offers the first real animal model for an incurable chronic leukemia.
The mouse, called the TCL-1 transgenic mouse, develops a malignancy that closely mimics chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL. The lack of such an animal model has previously hampered the development of treatments for CLL, as well as research into its causes and the changes that drive drug resistance.
"This mouse strain shares many of the molecular and genetic features of human CLL, responds to drugs typically used to treat the disease and develops drug resistance that renders treatment ineffective, as often happens in CLL patients," said principal investigator John Byrd, a professor of internal medicine.
Byrd is a specialist in CLL at Ohio State University's Arthur James Cancer Hospital and Richard Solove Research Institute.
"The strain should be extremely valuable for the development and testing of both conventional drugs and those aimed at molecular targets for CLL," he said.
The findings are published in the Aug. 15 issue of the journal Blood.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International