Renal adenocarcinoma in the rat. A new tumor model

Ralph W deVere White, C. A. Olsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This year renal cancer will cause the death of seven thousand Americans (1). This figure fails to diminish yearly because of the lack of a successful adjunctive therapy that can be employed in the management initially developed from the observation that an experimentally induced renal adenocarcinoma in the Syrian golden hamster could successfully be treated with progestational agents and androgens (3-6). Indeed, human studies rapidly followed in which a 25 per cent response to endocrine therapy was reported (7,8). However, with the passage of time, enthusiasm has dwindled as have the results. In series reported since 1971, for example, only 2 per cent of patients are reported to respond to endocrine therapy (2). Nonhormonal chemotherapy has been attempted in the treatment of renal cell carcinoma; the initial studies were usually conducted in relatively small patient populations with near uniformity of poor results regardless of whether the agents were used singularly, in combination, or in conjunction with hormone therapy. Untreated Stage D renal cell cancer has a 70 per cent one-year mortality and, except for a very few select cases, the five-year survival is close to 0 (15-17). For this reason, physicians are reluctant to place patients on unproven and, in many cases, disproven toxic chemotherapy protocols that may not substantially increase the length of survival but will decrease the quality of their patients' lives. Although extrapolation of results from animals to humans is always fraught with danger with any tumor in which the response to clinical chemotherapeutic intervention is so poor, it would be preferable to test different treatment protocols in an animal model before conducting human studies. In the case of renal cancer, an ideal tumor model should (i) arise spontaneously, (ii) be pure adenocarcinoma histologically (iii) have a predictable growth rate, (iv) have the capacity to metastasize, and (v) have the ability to grow and metastasize without hormonal dependence (as is the case in the majority of human renal cancers). A few years ago we discovered a spontaneously-arising renal adenocarcinoma in the male Wistar-Lewis rat which seemed to possess all of these characteristics. Therefore, we thought this tumor might serve as a suitable model for testing chemotherapeutic agents in a murine system before we conducted human trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-412
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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