Philosophy of AR > Animal Testing - Index
New human model for cancer research unveiled

New human model for cancer research unveiled -- providing a viable replacement for animal testing'

The Lord Dowding Fund (LDF), which awards grants for non-animal scientific and medical research has teamed up with researchers at the University of Leeds to work on a ground breaking, novel, all human model of breast cancer.

The primary aim of the project is to validate two in vitro models - a 3D cell culture model and a tissue slice model.

The 3D cell culture breast cancer model will be the first to contain the 3 major epithelial (lining) and stromal (connective and supporting) components of the breast. The tissue slice model will allow the validation of the 3D culture model, ensuring that it retains characteristics representative of the original tumour.

Data produced so far by the team at Leeds has been encouraging, and confirms that the 3D model is a good representation of living breast tissue. The team has also obtained samples of both normal and tumour containing breast tissue, and successfully cultured the samples for up to 7 days. These in turn have been treated with different doses of two common breast cancer drugs.

Dr Valerie Speirs, who heads up the team at the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine (LIMM), part of the University's School of Medicine, said: said: "We are very grateful for the grant of 60,752.00-pounds from the LDF which has enabled us to carry out this important work.

"Breast cancer is a complex disease with several different molecular alterations involved in its development and progression, so we therefore need to adopt a comprehensive approach and look to ultimately improve the efficacy of target-based therapy in breast cancer. We are excited about this project, which cannot easily or accurately be replicated in animal models, and are very happy to support the ethos of the LDF."

Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of the LDF said: "These models will be validated against published data, to show that they are viable replacements for animals. Moving medical research towards these advanced methods is good for people, and animals.

"For almost thirty years, the LDF has supported and promoted the replacement of the use of animals in research, and we need to raise further funds throughout 2012 to continue this important work."

For further information regarding the Lord Dowding Fund and the important work that it does please go to: . To read the latest version of the LDF's publication 'New Science' please go to:


The Lord Dowding Fund

The Lord Dowding Fund for Humane Research - Founded in 1973, the name of the Fund is in honour of the Battle of Britain's Air Chief Marshal the Lord Dowding, a President of the National Anti-Vivisection Society. To date, the Fund has awarded grants approaching 2 million pounds to researchers working on a wide range of fields including microsurgery, toxicity testing of dental fillings, breast and lung cancer, product safety testing, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, cot deaths, cataracts, kidney research, cell culture, computer-aided drug design, biotechnology, brain damage, computer teaching packages which replace the use of animals in education of students at school and university level. 

The National Anti-Vivisection Society

Founded in 1875, the National Anti-Vivisection Society is the world's premier anti-vivisection group, leading the way on introduction of advanced alternatives to replace the use of animals. Millions of animals suffer and die in cruel, unscientific, and futile experiments. The NAVS advocates the total prohibition of all animal experiments, and, pending the achievement of this aim, may support partial measures which would provide steps towards reform.

Through its Lord Dowding Fund for Humane Research, the NAVS funds non-animal scientific and medical research, including projects looking at cancer, and neuroscience.

Animal Defenders International
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London SW1P 4QP, UK.
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Fax. +44 (0)20 7828 2179

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