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Cancer: Porcine Models
The pig may be legally defined as food according to the US Food and Drug Administration, but it’s no stranger to biomedical research. Pigs have long been valued by researchers and clinicians for their anatomical and physiological similarity to humans. Surgeons will often train with the animals, companies will test drugs and devices, and researchers hope that organs grown in pigs might one day be used for xenotransplantation into waiting human patients.
With advances in genetic engineering, pigs are also becoming valuable models for diseases, like cancer. As cancer drugs, treatments, and diagnostics move from bench to bedside, the pig is an emerging large animal option to test those developments in an organism that more closely resembles a human than rodents.
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