Cambridge, MA-based Aveo Pharmaceuticals says it's developed a better mouse model for cancer tumors that will give it a big advantage in the race to develop new cancer therapies. But Aveo says this is one advance that they intend to keep in-house for use solely with their own discovery programs.
The work involves taking mouse stem cells and providing genetic directions so that they develop specific cancer types. The tumors begin to develop with the introduction of an agent in their water that activates a genetic switch. The cells are programmed to produce an enzyme that is the same that makes fireflies glow. That enables Aveo scientists to monitor the growth or shrinkage of the tumors without having to cut the animals open.
- see Aveo's diagram on the new mouse model
- read the article from The Boston Globe