Engineered swine models of cancer

Adrienne L. Watson, Daniel F. Carlson, David A. Largaespada, Perry B. Hackett, Scott C. Fahrenkrug

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Over the past decade, the technology to engineer genetically modified swine has seen many advancements, and because their physiology is remarkably similar to that of humans, swine models of cancer may be extremely valuable for preclinical safety studies as well as toxicity testing of pharmaceuticals prior to the start of human clinical trials. Hence, the benefits of using swine as a large animal model in cancer research and the potential applications and future opportunities of utilizing pigs in cancer modeling are immense. In this review, we discuss how pigs have been and can be used as a biomedical models for cancer research, with an emphasis on current technologies. We have focused on applications of precision genetics that can provide models that mimic human cancer predisposition syndromes. In particular, we describe the advantages of targeted gene-editing using custom endonucleases, specifically TALENs and CRISPRs, and transposon systems, to make novel pig models of cancer with broad preclinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number78
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
Issue numberMAY
StatePublished - May 9 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Watson, Carlson, Largaespada, Hackett and Fahrenkrug.


  • Cancer genetics
  • Genetically engineered swine
  • Genome engineering
  • Preclinical cancer models
  • Swine models


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