Radiation therapy is a key weapon in the modern arsenal of cancer treatment. However, this effective treatment comes with risks of its own, and the sheer number of patients that undergo radiation as a part of their therapy regimen is only increasing. As this number increases, so does the incidence of secondary, radiation-induced neoplasias, creating a need for therapeutic agents targeted specifically towards reduction in the incidence of and treatment of these cancers. Development and efficacy testing of these agents requires not only extensive in vitro testing, but also a set of reliable animal models to accurately recreate the complex situations of radiation-induced carcinogenesis. The laboratory mouse, Mus musculus remains the most relevant animal model in cancer research due to the molecular and physiological similarities it shares with man, its small size and high rate of breeding in captivity, and its fully sequenced genome. In this work, we review relevant M. musculus inbred and F1 hybrid animal models, as well as methods of induction of radiation-induced breast cancers. Associated molecular pathologies are also included.
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