by Jeffrey Dach MD
Injecting cancer into mice is a major activity at Wake Forest Medical School in North Carolina, keeping students busy with many publications over the years. Injecting the cancer cells prompty kills the mouse, but first, the mouse makes fluid in the abdomen, also called ascites.
Image: Lab Mice courtesy of wikimedia commons.
Chance Favors the Prepared Mind - Luis Pasteur
Then one day, a medical student injected a mouse and noticed something strange happened. What happened? Nothing. The mouse didn't get cancer, and no fluid in the abdomen. The first mouse that could kill cancer was discovered.
Spontaneous Regression of Cancer in the Mouse
Once identified as a "cancer killing" mouse, the little furry fellow was earmarked for study. These were exciting times in the lab. Researchers in the lab asked some urgent questions. Why didn't this mouse get cancer and ascites like all the others? How was this mouse able to resist injected cancer cells? What was the mechanism for the rejection of the cancer cells?
Over the next 3 years, research studies showed these mice are immune to cancer, a trait innate to this SR/CR strain.