Widespread screening mammography programmes mean that ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a pre-invasive breast lesion, is now more frequently diagnosed. However, not all diagnosed DCIS lesions progress to invasive breast cancer, which presents a dilemma for clinicians. As such, there is much interest in studying DCIS in the laboratory, in order to help understand more about its biology and determine the characteristics of those that progress to invasion. Greater knowledge would lead to targeted and better DCIS treatment. Here, we outline some of the models available to study DCIS, with a particular focus on animal-free systems.
A Normal and Biotransforming Model of the Human Bronchial Epithelium for the Toxicity Testing of Aerosols and Solubilised Substances
Zoë C. Prytherch and Kelly A. BéruBé
In this article, we provide an overview of the experimental workflow by the Lung and Particle Research Group at Cardiff University, that led to the development of the two in vitro lung models — the normal human bronchial epithelium (NHBE) model and the lung–liver model, Metabo-Lung™. This work was jointly awarded the 2013 Lush Science Prize. The NHBE model is a three-dimensional, in vitro, human tissue-based model of the normal human bronchial epithelium, and Metabo-Lung involves the co-culture of the NHBE model with primary human hepatocytes, thus permitting the biotransformation of inhaled toxicants in an in vivo-like manner. Both models can be used as alternative test systems that could replace the use of animals in research and development for safety and toxicity testing in a variety of industries (e.g. the pharmaceutical, environmental, cosmetics, and food industries). Metabo-Lung itself is a unique tool for the in vitro detection of toxins produced by reactive metabolites. This 21st century animal replacement model could yield representative in vitro predictions for in vivo toxicity. This advancement in in vitro toxicology relies on filter-well technology that will enable a wide-spectrum of researchers to create viable and economic alternatives for respiratory safety assessment and disease-focused research.
Vanessa C. Bones, Heloísa C. Clemente, Daniel M. Weary and Carla F.M. Molento
The use of laboratory animals is still common practice, but some uses can be replaced by alternative methods, such as Virus Isolation in Cell Culture (VICC) instead of the Mouse Inoculation Test (MIT) for rabies diagnosis. The objective of this work was to describe current rabies diagnosis methods in Brazil and other countries, and the constraints associated with replacing this use of mice with alternative methods. Nine out of 12 Brazilian and 14 out of 43 non-Brazilian respondents reported that they currently used the MIT. Respondents in countries other than Brazil, male respondents, and those already employing in vitro methods for rabies diagnosis, expressed higher levels of support for the use of alternatives. The most frequently reported constraints associated with the use of alternatives were lack of laboratory facilities, equipment and materials (cited 17 times by respondents), and lack of financial resources (cited 15 times). The results indicate that many laboratories continue to use mice for rabies diagnosis. The proportion of laboratories that use mice appears to be especially high in Brazil, despite animal protection laws and technical guidelines that favour the use of alternatives. The barriers to the adoption of alternative methods identified in the current study provide a basis for facilitating changes in Brazil and elsewhere.