A novel large animal cancer model for translational applications  

David Meyerholz, DVM, PhD

David Meyerholz, DVM, PhD

Cancer is a leading cause of mortality in the United States with about one in four deaths attributed to it. Early detection remains an important goal to combat most forms of cancer and to increase efficacy of surgical and medical therapies. Rodent models have been useful for cancer research, but the lack of a large-animal cancer model has been a major barrier to the advancement of effective diagnostic tools along with surgical and therapeutic interventions for clinical translation. Recently, David K. Meyerholz DVM, PhD (Associate Professor, Pathology) was co-lead author of a paper showing the development and translational imaging of a novel porcine cancer model with mutated TP53. The porcine model developed lymphoid, renal and osteogenic tumors as expected for mice and humans with orthologous mutations. Furthermore, the model proved to be a useful foundation for future use in early cancer detection using clinically translatable imaging modalities and techniques. The study was co-authored by a multidisciplinary team of faculty from the University of Iowa including: Jessica Sieren1,2 Dawn Quelle2,3,5 John Newell1 and Benjamin Darbro2,4 in collaboration with Exemplar Genetics and it was published in the September 2014 issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Development and translational imaging of a TP53 porcine tumorigenesis model

Osteogenic tumor from a calvarial mass in the TP53-mutated pig model
Figure 1. Osteogenic tumor from a calvarial mass in the TP53-mutated pig model.

1 Radiology and Biomedical Engineering
2 Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center
3 Pathology
4 Pediatrics
5 Pharmacology