Lab Anim Res.  2021 Mar;37(1):1-10. 10.1186/s42826-020-00053-1.

Nonhuman primate model in mammary gland biology and neoplasia research

  • 1Primate Research Center at IPB University, Jl. Lodaya II No.5, Bogor, West Java, 16151, Indonesia
  • 2Department of Pathology, Section on Comparative Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC, 27157, USA


Research on breast cancer pathogenesis, prevention and drug development remains an important field as this disease is still one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide. Nonhuman primates, particularly macaque species, may serve as a highly translational animal model in breast cancer studies due to their similarity with humans in genetics, anatomy, reproductive and endocrine physiology including mammary gland development profile. The use of nonhuman primates in biomedical research, however, requires high ethical standards and an increasing expectation to improve strategies to replace, reduce and refine their use. Here, we discuss some key features of nonhuman primate mammary gland biology relevant to their strengths and limitations as models in studies of breast development and cancer risk.


Breast cancer; Macaques; Monkey; Breast differentiation; Animal model
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