The European Commission Joint Research Centre publishes a public knowledge base of non-animal models used in immuno-oncology
The Joint Research Centre (JRC), which is part of the European Commission’s EU Science Hub, has published a systematic review of immuno-oncology publications using advanced non-animal models. The JRC has also published an accompanying free, publicly available database of the models they studied.
The goal of this project was to address the need for more human-relevant research methods for immuno-oncology, as animal models often have limitations to their transferability. The study identified 542 relevant articles (of 130,000 screened), which used either immortalised or stem cells for in vitro models or computational, in silico models.
The collected database serves multiple stakeholders: researchers and educators can utilise the tools and stay informed, funding bodies can identify potential areas of growth and investment, project evaluation and ethics boards can better assess whether a study has appropriately considered the potential use of non-animal models, and policy-makers can utilise this information to shape their legislation, particularly on the Beating Cancer Plan and Cancer Mission.
Beyond cancer, the JRC has previously published catalogues of non-animal models for neurodegenerative diseases, respiratory diseases, and breast cancer. They are in the process of or planning to conduct reviews on autoimmunity, cardiovascular disease, and immunogenicity of advanced medicinal products.
These knowledge bases are exciting for a multitude of reasons – they demonstrate that in silico medicine is gaining awareness and popularity for its potential benefits, they provide additional information to researchers and politicians, and they open avenues to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of current in silico research and development.