- This research is most relevant for patients with melanoma.
- This is a study of how melanoma metastasizes in mice. It was not done in human patients.
- Researchers transplanted a small number of human melanoma tumor samples into mice that had no immune systems, so the results are not yet relevant to young breast cancer survivors.
Scientific Strength: Medium
- This study was done in mice that did not have functioning immune systems, allowing researchers to inject and study human tumor cells in a mouse model.
- Though the researchers used melanoma cells from human patients, observing what happens when they were transplanted into mice does not correlate to what happens in human cancer patients with functional immune systems.
- In addition, the number of different patient samples used in this study was relatively low, which means that there is a possibility that the results the researchers see are unique to those tumors.
- Researchers did note that melanoma metastasis in the study mice is predictive of clinical outcomes—in other words, the cancer cells that metastasized in human patients also metastasized in the mice. While this may be true, it does not mean that the mechanism that the cells use to metastasize is exactly the same in mice and humans, or that a functional immune system may affect the process.
Research Timeline: Animal Research