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1 cruk.org

2 WHAT WE DO Our vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. Thousands of people are alive today thanks to research. Animal studies have played an important part in this progress. Nic Jones, Cancer Research UK Chief Scientist Thanks to our supporters, our scientists are making cutting-edge discoveries every day, finding better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Our world-class research which includes the study of animals has helped double survival rates over the last 40 years. But with cancer set to affect more than one in three of us in the future, there s still much more to do if we re to beat it sooner. 1in3 More than one in three people will be affected by cancer in the 1 future. The number Only research of people will set lead to be to affected breakthroughs by cancer that in the will future, save millions if we don t of lives. help beat it now! 2

3 WHY DO WE NEED ANIMAL RESEARCH? We understand that not everyone agrees with animal research. But it is essential for us to save lives. Most cancer treatments used today wouldn t exist without this type of work. OUR SCIENCE HOLDS THE SOLUTION Studying animals helps us to understand more about cancer so we can find better ways to detect and treat it. This includes discovering the faulty genes that cause cancer, investigating how the disease grows and spreads, and exploring how our own body can help fight tumours. We also need animal research to improve treatment by developing and testing new drugs, radiotherapy and surgical techniques. Did you know? Our research helps pets beat cancer too. Animals benefit from a wide range of cancer treatments developed for people, including drugs such as carboplatin and temozolomide. 3 4

4 ANIMAL RESEARCH IMPROVES CANCER TREATMENT Animal research has made a real difference for people with cancer. Science involving animals has been vital for the discovery of drugs like tamoxifen for breast cancer, which has saved thousands of women s lives. And scientists first spotted the potential of Glivec in research involving mice a drug that cures people with chronic myeloid leukaemia. The development of antibody therapies has also relied on animal studies, leading to important treatments such as Herceptin and rituximab. Animal research has been crucial for improving radiotherapy and surgery. For example keyhole surgery was first tested in animals. And developing ways to prevent cancer, such as the cervical cancer vaccine, rely on animal research. Thanks to the doctors giving me tamoxifen, I m still alive and spending time with my family. more tomorrows Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in UK men, claiming thousands of lives each year. Treatment often involves a combination of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. But, sadly, for some men their cancer returns. Thanks to our research there is hope. In the 1980s scientists discovered that an anti-fungal drug could stop cells making testosterone the male hormone that drives prostate cancer growth. But this drug had to be taken several times a day and it had serious side effects. Men needed a better alternative. Our researchers stepped in with the development of a new drug called abiraterone. Animal research was needed to find out if it would be more effective and have fewer side effects. Our scientists discovered that mice given abiraterone just once a day, over a period of two weeks, had virtually no testosterone in their blood. This proved the drug turned off production of the hormone. The mice also experienced fewer side effects. Thanks to this vital research, doctors had sound evidence to take abiraterone into clinical trials. This drug is now available to men with advanced prostate cancer, giving them more time with their loved ones. Did you know? By law all new drugs have to be tested in animals before they can go into clinical trials for patients. Sarah from London 5 6

5 HOW WE CARE FOR RESEARCH ANIMALS Animal research is crucial to beating cancer, so it s important we take every step to protect their welfare. My dedicated team are on hand 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to make sure each animal has the very best care. Gary, Head Animal Technologist Highly trained and qualified staff, including specialist vets, look after research animals. The work is governed by strict laws and must be carried out at licensed premises. These are regularly checked without notice by government inspectors. And all animal research has to be approved by an ethics panel that includes non-scientific members of the public. They must agree that the work is necessary, that the animals are being cared for correctly and that the potential benefits are worthwhile. Our researchers follow the 3Rs : 3 Refinement Introducing ways to reduce any pain or distress experienced by the animals. 1 Replacement Looking for new approaches that don t involve animals. 2 Reduction Reducing the number of animals used. 7 8

6 THE FUTURE Animals are only part of the story. We study cells grown in the lab, examine samples of human tumours, and use computers to model cancer cells virtually. And while studying animals is still necessary, our scientists are developing techniques to replace or reduce the number of animals needed. Here are some examples: Researchers are reducing the number of animals needed for each study by using modern imaging techniques to track cancer as it develops and spreads. Scientists are designing tests that could predict side effects of new cancer treatments that boost our immune system. Using small samples of human blood might mean fewer animals are needed to check a drug s safety. Researchers are devloping the first artificial tumour grown in the lab. This will help them uncover how tumour cells communicate with the healthy cells around them a process key to the growth and spread of cancer. Their work could replace the need to use animals to study these relationships. Completely replacing all animals in research is not yet possible. For now we will continue funding the highest quality research including animal studies to help beat cancer sooner. Cancer patients and their families are at the heart of everything we do. We believe that all our research is vital if we are to save the lives of more people in the future. 9 10

7 RESEARCH beats CANCER cruk.org For general enquiries: or Download a copy at cruk.org/leaflets Photo credits: Cover image: Esther Arwert at t he CRI Page 6: Will Howat at the CRI. Cancer Research UK is a Registered Charity in England and Wales ( ), Scotland (SC041666) and the Isle of Man (1103). ARL001: October 2013

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