Representing an enormous health care and socioeconomic challenge, breast cancer is the second most common cancer in the world and the second most common cause of cancer-related death. Although many of the challenges associated with preventing, treating, and ultimately curing breast cancer are addressable in the laboratory, successful translation of groundbreaking research to clinical populations remains an important barrier. Particularly when compared with research on other types of solid tumors, breast cancer research is hampered by a lack of tractable in vivo model systems that accurately recapitulate the relevant clinical features of the disease. A primary objective of this article was to provide a generalizable overview of the types of in vivo model systems, with an emphasis primarily on murine models, that are widely deployed in preclinical breast cancer research. Major opportunities to advance precision cancer medicine facilitated by molecular imaging of preclinical breast cancer models are discussed.
© 2016 by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Inc.