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Open AccessReview

Experimental Models as Refined Translational Tools for Breast Cancer Research

1
Experimental Pathology Service, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Azinhaga de Santa Comba, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
2
Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Care Laboratory, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Coimbra, Azinhaga de Santa Comba, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
3
Vasco da Gama Research Group (CIVG), Vasco da Gama University School (EUVG), Av. José R. Sousa Fernandes, Campus Universitário—Bloco B, 3020-210 Coimbra, Portugal
4
iMed.ULisboa—Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Prof. Gama Pinto, 1649-003 Lisboa, Portugal
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Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Prof. Gama Pinto, 1649-003 Lisboa, Portugal
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University of Coimbra-Institute for Clinical and Biomedical Research (iCBR), Faculty of Medicine, Azinhaga de Santa Comba, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
7
IBEB, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
These authors share senior authorship.
Sci. Pharm. 2020, 88(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/scipharm88030032
Received: 27 June 2020 / Revised: 20 July 2020 / Accepted: 28 July 2020 / Published: 31 July 2020
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide, which makes it a very impactful malignancy in the society. Breast cancers can be classified through different systems based on the main tumor features and gene, protein, and cell receptors expression, which will determine the most advisable therapeutic course and expected outcomes. Multiple therapeutic options have already been proposed and implemented for breast cancer treatment. Nonetheless, their use and efficacy still greatly depend on the tumor classification, and treatments are commonly associated with invasiveness, pain, discomfort, severe side effects, and poor specificity. This has demanded an investment in the research of the mechanisms behind the disease progression, evolution, and associated risk factors, and on novel diagnostic and therapeutic techniques. However, advances in the understanding and assessment of breast cancer are dependent on the ability to mimic the properties and microenvironment of tumors in vivo, which can be achieved through experimentation on animal models. This review covers an overview of the main animal models used in breast cancer research, namely in vitro models, in vivo models, in silico models, and other models. For each model, the main characteristics, advantages, and challenges associated to their use are highlighted. View Full-Text
Keywords: oncology; breast cancer; experimental models; animal models; in vitro; in silico; pharmacological testing; strategies of drug development oncology; breast cancer; experimental models; animal models; in vitro; in silico; pharmacological testing; strategies of drug development
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Costa, E.; Ferreira-Gonçalves, T.; Chasqueira, G.; Cabrita, A.S.; Figueiredo, I.V.; Reis, C.P. Experimental Models as Refined Translational Tools for Breast Cancer Research. Sci. Pharm. 2020, 88, 32.

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