Cutaneous melanoma in genetically modified animals
Cutaneous melanomas are tumors originating from skin melanocytes which are present in hair follicles, and interfollicular epidermal and dermal layers. Experimental work in model systems involves in silico, in vitro and in vivo analyses. Such models allow to mimick melanocytic aberrations characteristic of melanoma, and to potentially exploit novel therapies. Transgenic technologies can be used to modify specifically the genome of the model organism and thereby generate transgenic strains, and combinations of such strains, which may develop metastasizing melanoma. In such strains, metastasizing melanoma either arises spontaneously after a period of latency or requires additional physical or chemical induction. In this review, we summarize the work of currently available transgenic melanoma models and discuss the most recent progress in creating improved and/or inducible models reflecting the human disease.