Animal models of human colorectal cancer: Current status, uses and limitations

Vijay K. Mittal, Jasneet Singh Bhullar, Jayant Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


AIM: To make orthotopic colon cancer murine models a more clearly understood subject. The orthotopic tumor models have been found to be more relevant in replicating the human disease process as compared to heterotopic models, many techniques for making orthotopic colorectal murine models have been reported. METHODS: We evaluated the current literature for various reported orthotopic colon cancer models to understand their techniques, advantages and limitations. An extensive literature review was performed by searching the National Library of Medicine Database (PubMed) using MeSH terms animal model; colon cancer; orthotopic model; murine model. Twenty studies related to colon cancer orthotopic xenograft model were evaluated in detail and discussed here. RESULTS: The detailed analysis of all relevant reports on orthotopic model showed tumor take rate between 42%-100%. While models using the enema technique and minimally invasive technique have reported development of tumor from mucosa with tumor take rate between 87%-100% with metastasis in 76%-90%. CONCLUSION: Over the years, the increased understanding of the murine models of human colon cancer has resulted in the development of various models. Each reported model has some limitations. These latest models have opened up new doors for continuing cancer research for not only understanding the colon cancer pathogenesis but also aid in the development of newer chemotherapeutic drugs as they mimic the human disease closely.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11854-11861
Number of pages8
JournalWorld journal of gastroenterology
Issue number41
StatePublished - Nov 7 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Animal model
  • Cancer model
  • Colon cancer
  • Colon cancer animal model
  • Colon cancer murine model
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Colorectal cancer animal model
  • Murine model
  • Orthotopic model


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