Over the last several decades, progress in the treatment of bronchogenic lung cancer has been disappointing. Lung cancer remains the number one cancer killer in the United States. Lung cancer kills more US citizens than colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer combined.1
Although most cases of lung cancer could be prevented, the treatment of lung cancer is often disappointing.
New modalities, new drugs, and new methods with which to test the utility of new approaches are needed. In the study of infection, laboratory and animal models have proven invaluable. In the study of human cancer, the efficacy of new treatment ideas in various cell lines can be investigated. This provides preliminary useful information, but it does not provide information on the effectiveness of the agent or agents in the prevention of death or metastasis. Such methods also do not provide us with data about toxicity or tissue penetration. These issues can be studied in human subjects, but such studies are expensive, time consuming, and of potential risk to subjects. An animal model of human lung cancer may accelerate the investigation of new treatment ideas. This approach allows a new agent or idea to be used alone or in combination with various other agents, in rapid succession and in a relatively inexpensive manner.