Animal Models

Many drugs, treatments and cures for human diseases have been developed with the use of animal models. The use of animal models allows researchers to investigate disease in ways which would be inaccessible in a human patient. Animal models that imply a level of harm would not be considered ethical to inflict on a human being.

Rat Models Count

Rat models can determine what chemicals are potentially harmful, and with this information allows the community to make a decision. There remains a debate among investigators and policy makers on when to take "action".

The outcome of animal model studies, contribute to our understanding of gene environment interaction and in many cases parallels human data. Some scientists still believe that no regulatory action should be taken without significant human data. Most of the advocate community supports the precautionary approach and encourages taking preliminary action if a chemical or chemicals in a product show a risk of harm.

  • In order to simulate a real world experience when using personal care products, exposure regimens in animal models will include an individual chemical as well as a combination of chemical doses at biologically relevant levels.
  • The animals will be exposed to the chemicals at different developmental end points,Windows of Susceptibility (WOS): prenatal, neonatal, pre-pubertal, pubertal, parous, and nulliparous.
  • In both women diagnosed with breast cancer and the animals in the experimental models, any changes in mammary tissue will be assessed to determine if cell abnormalities occurred.

These studies will enable us to identify modifiable breast cancer risk factors and make public health recommendations that can be easily implemented.

Of Mice of Women

The "Of Mice and Women" video was developed by the Bay Area Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Center (BABCERC) Community Outreach and Translation Core with Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at New York University Langone School of Medicine. In the video Mary Helen Dr. Barcellos-Hoff, Ph.D. discusses why different types of rat models are used to study aspects of breast cancer biology.The goal of the video and scientific glossary is to serve as an educational tool for breast cancer advocates and community members to facilitate a greater understanding of why rat models are used in breast cancer prevention research.