Animal experiments are an important part of research to understand the mechanisms behind tumour initiation, progression and metastasis and to develop new and improved methods to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Studies can be associated with a high degree of animal suffering, for example as a result of tumour growth and the guidelines for the welfare and use of animals in cancer research have been widely used by researchers nationally and internationally to support good practice and high standards in animal care. The guidelines were last updated in 2010 and given the advances in science and technology since then it is now timely to review and update them.
In collaboration with the National Cancer Research Institute we are convening an expert working group, chaired by Professor Paul Workman from the Institute of Cancer Research, to identify further opportunities for refinement.
The aims of the working group are to:
- Review changes in oncology science and research practices using animals.
- Update the existing guidelines to reflect the latest developments in the field, focusing on animal welfare.
- Publish the new guidelines in a peer-reviewed paper.
- Promote the new guidelines within the cancer research community.
Survey: Help us understand the current and emerging practices in the use and welfare of rodents in cancer research
To help facilitate the revision of the guidelines we are conducting a survey of current practice focusing on the use of rodents. If you are a researcher, veterinarian or animal technician working in cancer research and you are using rodents as animal models, we would like to learn about your experiences of current and emerging practices and trends in animal use.
The survey findings will be used to help identify opportunities to apply the 3Rs in cancer research and the anonymised and collated data will be published as part of the revision of the guidelines.
Completing the survey takes up to an hour, but please note that it does not have to be completed in one session as your answers will be automatically saved and you can return to the survey at your convenience.
The deadline to fill in our survey and help inform the revision process of the existing guidelines is Friday 29 October 2021.