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Jan 22, 2019

Discovering and validating novel therapeutic targets to add to the immuno-oncology arsenal will require refined preclinical models that meet the needs for suitability, scalability and clinical relevancy throughout the various phases of target discovery and drug validation.

The use of animal models in oncology has undergone a revolution with the advent of cancer immunotherapy, and has become a powerful tool in understanding the fundamental biology of tumour-immune cell interactions and identifying therapeutic targets.

Immuno-oncology has led to a major shift in the way that researchers approach cancer. For decades, the emphasis was on cytotoxic agents that directly targeted tumour cells.

From this perspective, where the focus was solely on the tumour, drug development relied on in vitro screens or cells engrafted into an immunodeficient animal. In the latter, the host animal might be considered merely a vessel for growing tumours, with little regard for how they interacted.

Original article by Dr Philip Dubé

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