International Association Against Painful Experiments on Animals

Human Tissue - Alternative to Animal Testing Experiments

2: Medical Research

Click to Enlarge: Medical Research One area where there is certainly no shortage of human tissue for study is cancer research. The differences between artificially induced cancers in laboratory animals and the naturally arising disorder in people are widely recognized and have led British cancer researchers Dendy and Meldrum to suggest that investigation of tumor cell properties "must concentrate more on the diverse nature of human tumor cells recently removed from patients and less on animal model systems."(1) A specific example reported by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm describes how isolated tissue from human pituitary tumors continues to produce hormones just as it does in the living person. The tissue also responds in the same way when stimulated by chemicals found in the body.(2)

Even the spread of tumor cells (metastasis) can be studied without using animals: researchers at the US Food & Drug Administration have used human muscle tissue, normally discarded after routine surgery, as a test bed for studying the growth and spread of human cancers. The system successfully mimics the situation in the body where tumor cells proliferate, spread and invade the surrounding tissues, and also provides a means of testing new anticancer treatments. (3)

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