Animal Defense & Anti-Vivisection Society of BC, CA

Mercy cometh to the merciful



Author and medical historian Hans Ruesch (deceased) interviews Dr. Werner Hartinger, Surgeon, on the futility of animal experimentation.

Bad Medicine... The human cost of experiments on animals


The ADAV has been appointed to the Council on Humane Giving, which administers the Humane Seal program

PCRM's Humane Charity Seal of Approval

According to many scientists, the best hope for the prevention or cure of many diseases is relevant and progressive non-animal research methods, such as in vitro cell and tissue cultures, microfluidic circuits, computer modeling, microdosing, and epidemiological studies. This knowledge, as well as ethical considerations for animals, has led many people to be concerned about the continued use of ineffective and outdated animal methods in medical research. They prefer to support charities and corporations that sponsor more responsible and humane alternatives.

Europeans for Medical Progress Trust presents Safer Medicines. Safer Medicines showcases state-of-the-art approaches to ensuring that drugs in the future will be safer than they have been in the past. World leading scientists from industry and academia present their vision for the future of drug development, with a focus on human biology.

Europeans for Medical Progress supporter Marius Maxwell, MBBChir, DPhil - a Cambridge/ Oxford/ Harvard educated neurosurgeon and neuroscientist speaks out against animal testing.


Listen to Kathy Archibald, Europeans for Medical Progress Trust

Listen to Dr. Margaret Clotworthy, Europeans for Medical Progress Trust

Death by Medicine

Something is wrong when regulatory agencies pretend that vitamins are dangerous, yet ignore published statistics showing that government-sanctioned medicine is the real hazard. Until now, Life Extension could cite only isolated statistics to make its case about the dangers of conventional medicine. No one had ever analyzed and combined ALL of the published literature dealing with injuries and deaths caused by government-protected medicine. That has now changed... read more here

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." --Albert Einstein

Obscene Profits, Dangerous Medicine:
Animal Tests and the Vioxx Scandal

"...In at least eight studies in six animal species, Vioxx was not only safe but often beneficial for protection from heart and blood vessel disease. Yet this drug caused an estimated 150,000 cases of heart attacks, strokes and heart failure in the United States, including about 60,000 deaths. That's more Americans than died in the Vietnam War." - John J. Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., Artificial Sweetener Studies Underscore Risk of Relying on Animal Testing. April 23, 2006, Charleston Gazette.

More Dangerous Medicine: Examples of Animal-Based "Safety" Tests Gone Wrong

The "Ethical" Drug Industry?
Big Pharma Gone Wild

By Martha Rosenberg, AlterNet
Posted on February 3, 2009

... Drug giant Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. is being sued by Texas, New Mexico and other states for hiding (anti-psychotic drug) Risperdal's dangers, marketing it for unapproved uses, ghostwriting, misleading doctors, falsifying science, kickback schemes and wholesale Medicaid fraud... Risperdal, a drug meant for treating rare psychiatric disorders, became the seventh best-selling medicine in the world...How Risperdal, a drug meant for treating rare psychiatric disorders, became the seventh best-selling medicine in the world.

More than 200,000 Americans (20,000 Canadians) die each year from adverse reactions to approved, animal tested drugs. This is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Prescription drug deaths accounted for 95 percent of all unintentional and undetermined poisoning deaths in 2004.

More than 90 percent of drugs that appear safe in animal tests fail in human studies.

More than half of all approved drugs will be withdrawn or re-labeled for injurious or lethal effects in humans not predicted by animal tests.

Marius Maxwell, MBBChir, DPhil - a Cambridge/ Oxford/ Harvard educated neurosurgeon and neuroscientist denounces animal testing. December 24, 2006 (revised January 16, 2007)

Oxford Vivisectionists are Swimming Against the Tide

As to the "small bunch of regressive people" who have rejected vivisection (animal experimentation) on all counts, they happen to include Leonardo da Vinci, Voltaire, Goethe, Schiller, Schopenhauer, Victor Hugo, Ibsen, Wagner, Tennyson, Ruskin, Tolstoy, Cardinals Manning and Newman, Mark Twain, G.B.Shaw, Mahatma Gandhi, C.G.Jung, Clare Booth Luce, Nobel Laureates Albert Schweitzer and Hermann Hesse - to name but a few of the deceased ones, and known in the English-speaking world. If human culture has a voice, it is theirs. If there is any justification for the human species on earth, it is to have brought forth a few individuals like these; and not the "workers" of the laboratory subculture.


"How can one explain that for well over a century-and-a-half a great many eminent citizens, including reputable scientists and physicians, physiologists and medical researchers have irrefutably demonstrated the uselessness of animal experimentation as a means of acquiring medical knowledge, and the damage ensuing to human health from this misconception, and yet the majority of "people who count" in politics, public health, education, media, even in animal welfare, and consequently also public opinion, which is influenced by all these institutions, continue to cling to the belief that animal experiments can't be renounced. There is a variety of reasons for this phenomenon, which shall be examined from various viewpoints."

Introduction, Hans Reusch, 1000 DOCTORS (and many more) AGAINST VIVISECTION, CIVIS, 1989

The Case Against Vaccination


J.P., M.D., L.R.C.P., M.R.C.S., L.S.A., Etc
(Gold Medalist in Medicine and in Surgery)

"I once believed in Jenner. I once believed in Pasteur. I believed in vaccination. I believed in vivisection. But I changed my views as a result of hard thinking... Why is it that medical men for the most part follow the fashion of the day? Is it that they dare not think?... It is the great commercial manufacturing firms who are providing the brains for the medical man of today."

NO AUTISM In Never-Vaccinated Children
by Alan Cantwell MD, Philip Rudnick PhD.

"There are very powerful people in positions of great authority in Britain and elsewhere who have staked their reputations and careers on the safety of the MMR vaccine and they are willing to do almost anything to protect themselves." - Dr. Peter Fletcher, former Chief Scientific Officer, Dept. Of Health, Great Britain. read more

: Age of Autism

: Mercury, Autism and the Global Vaccine Agenda

: What's In That Stuff? - Interview With Former NIH Vaccine Researcher

: Cow Pox, Horse Grease, Jenner and his Critics

...Serious students of medicine can rely on very little except Hippocratic hygiene and common sense. But the WHO (World Health Organization) can�t admit it, otherwise the public might ask: "What is the use of the WHO?" WHO is housed in one of the biggest, costliest buildings of modern times, with large, empty halls, libraries lined with every medical publication issued throughout the world, with numerous executives who draw fat salaries to do nothing, and a regiment of smart secretaries to help them. This huge real-estate complex, surrounded by the silence of well-groomed lawns and flower gardens in one of the most beautiful Alpine settings outside Geneva, represents the counterpart of the millions of laboratory animals wasting away under scientific torture the world over...

On December 13, 1975, under the title 'The Medicine Bluff', an interview was published in the French weekly Paris-Match with Dr. Henri Pradal, a specialist in pharmaceutical toxicology, concerning whom Paris-Match stated: "Henri Pradal spent twelve years in the camp of the industrial laboratories, before leaving it in order to say what he could no longer deep silent about."

Dr. Pradal: "The medical profession is not informed, or, rather, it is instructed almost exclusively by the journals and brochures from the laboratories, and thus by advertising.

A certain messianic belief in progress has persuaded us that an increased use of drugs represents man's victory over disease, a proof of his power, a sign of progress. Whence comes this blind trust, when intelligence should lead us rather towards mistrust? It stems from an illusion which has been imposed on us by the all-powerful pharmaceutical industry, by a giant brewing- house of poisons that makes billions out of it. The guilt for all this lies with the powers-that-be in the Public Health Department, the Government Ministry and the health insurance associations, whose apathy and negligence have resulted in the sanctioning of no less than 11,000 medicaments [in France], although only a couple out of 100 are of any provable worth, as has been confirmed by the World Health Organization.

The doctors can't see further than their own noses. They have become convinced by the laboratory-financed medical literature that medicines have turned them into demi-gods, and that attacks on the pharmaceutical industry mean attacks on medicine.

When the people finally discover the cause of their illnesses, the sale of medicaments will abruptly drop. But we must first get them to understand it..."
1000 DOCTORS (and many more) AGAINST VIVISECTION, p89, CIVIS, 1989

In the Religion of Modern Medicine the rite of vivisection is central.

The medical student-acolyte, early in his pre-clinical years in the seminary called medical school, learns live animal dissection in physiology and pharmacology classes. The religious significance of this practice is implanted deeply into his unconscious by his teachers, who train him, at the end of each experiment, not to kill the animal, but to "sacrifice" it.

Although never explicitly spelled out, the purpose of that "sacrifice" is tacitly shared by the student-acolyte and his doctor-priest teacher. That word &quotsacrifice" - and the positive image it evokes - obviates any serious deliberation of the pros and cons of vivisection. Thus the highly-charged, human emotion inevitably roused by vivisection, carried out in its sacred precincts, far from public view, blessed by its priests and bishops and archbishops, becomes incorporated, subliminally, almost instinctively, into the belief system of every medical student... - Prof. Robert S. Mendelsohn, MD



LATEST BAD NEWS DRUG: February 27, 2009 - AstraZeneca Suppressed Information about Seroquel Link to Diabetes, Told Sales Reps to Lie.

March 12, 2009 - Psychiatric Drug Use of German Shooter Confirmed: Kretschmer Withdrawing from Depression Treatment

March 12, 2009 - Big Pharma CEO Fakes Cancer while Pill-Pushing Doctor Fakes Clinical Trial Results for Bextra, Effexor and Celebrex

DRUG BUST. Alan Cassels, Common Ground Magazine - Statins' awful side effects.
Animal Voices Radio Program

Listen to the Animal Voices Radio Program on CFRO, 102.7 FM, in Vancouver, BC, exploring the relationship between humans and other animals, animal welfare, factory farming, vivisection, endangered species, and other issues. The program is recorded and broadcast live every Friday, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm, Pacific Time. Listen live on the internet. Many Animal Voices programs are posted on their web-page @ Co-op Radio 102.7 FM in Vancouver is heard over much of British Columbia and Northern Washington State. Co-op Radio is a community-based and community-sponsored radio station.

Notable Animal Voices interviews

The National Radio Project; Making Contact: presents "Unnecessary Evil? Animal Experiments and Human Health." Broadcast by Animal Voices, Jan. 16, 2009. - 29 minutes.

Listen to Alka Chandna (, spokesperson for PETA , explaining the wastefulness of animal tests, with particular reference to Canadian Universities and research laboratories. Interviewed by Animal Voices on Sept. 16, 2008

Some Anti-Vivisection websites:


SPEAK The Voice for Animals


University of Victoria Student Animal Legal Defense Fund

Misleading animal tests have led to a string of public health disasters. Vioxx, Phenactin, E-Ferol, and Oraflex are just a few of the drugs that appeared safe based on animal tests but were pulled from the market for killing or seriously harming thousands of people. Read about the Misleading Experiments taking place at Covance facilities.

Books and Pamphlets by Dr. R. Greek, MD
Americans For Medical Advancement

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." --Albert Einstein

Worldwide, industrial food production is responsible for 30% or more of the fossil fuel use and the greenhouse gas pollution that's driving climate change... "Eating a vegetarian diet just 1 day per week is equal to driving 1160 fewer miles per year."


Viewpoint: The Low-Carbon Diet
Change your lightbulbs? Or your car? If you want to fight global warming, it&#65533s time to consider a different diet.
By Mike Tidwell/Photography by Catherine Ledner

Eat Less Meat - It's Costing the Earth

The Eat Less Meat campaign touches on many key issues at the heart of today's sustainability debate. Produced by Compassion in World Farming, UK.

Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine
Vegetarian Starter Kit



"It's been a long time in the making here on Deconstructing Dinner to air a feature on coffee, the second most valuable traded commodity in the world, second only to petroleum.

And so if coffee is the most valuable agricultural commodity on the planet, then deconstructing coffee is possibly the closest we can come to deconstructing humanity itself.

Coffee is constantly scrutinized for its human and social impacts around the world, but rarely do we examine the environmental consequences of a Tim Horton's Double Double, a Starbuck's Cappucino, or even an Organic/Fair Trade Espresso..."

Animal Law Committee of the American Bar Association

International Vegetarian Union
Dr. Rath Health Net

Health Action Network Society

Consumer Health Organizations

Freedom of Choice in Health Care
Int'l Advocates for Health Freedom 


Barry Chowka

Citizens Concerned About Free Trade

Archaic History of Mankind

Theosophy: The Secret Doctrine

Alice Bailey and Djwhal Khul

The Universal Mystery-Language

Esoteric Theory of Evolution

After Death -- What?

Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge By Vandana Shiva, Published by Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, 1998. ISBN 0896085554, 9780896085558. 148 pages
Exciting scientific methods exist that spell the end of futile and costly animal experiments, and the recovery of our human character.



"There really exists no logical basis for translating the results of animal experiments to man." - Dr. L. Goldberg, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. Quantitative Method in Human Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Pergamon Press, London, 1959

"God knows we've cured mice of all sorts of tumours. But that isn't medical research." -- Thomas E. Wagner, senior scientist at Ohio University's Edison Biotechnology Institute, The Columbus Dispatch, March 20, 1998.

"We have learned very well how to treat cancer in mice and rats but we still can't cure people." - Professor Colin Garner, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Vol. 27, No. 15, 2007.

"[mouse models of cancer are] woefully inadequate... If you look at the millions and millions and millions of mice that have been cured, and you compare that to the relative success, or lack thereof, that we've achieved in the treatment of metastatic disease clinically, you realize that there just has to be something wrong with those models." - Homer Pearce, research fellow at Eli Lilly. Fortune Magazine, 9th March, 2004.

"It's been well known for maybe two decades that many of these pre-clinical human cancer models [animals] have very little predictive power in terms of how actual human beings -- actual human tumours inside patients -- will respond... pre-clinical [animal] models of human cancer, in large part, stink... Hundreds of millions of dollars are being wasted every year by drug companies using these [animal] models..." -- Leading cancer researcher Prof. Robert Weinberg of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Fortune Magazine, March 22, 2004

Statement of Principles
Hans Ruesch

1. All animal experiments (aka vivisection) must be rejected both on ethical and medical grounds.

2. Animal experimentation destroys respect for life and hardens the experimenter against the suffering of human patients. Callousness towards animals turns imperceptibly but inevitably into callousness towards human beings.

3. Experiments on animals are not a proper way to diagnose, research or heal human ailments. The organic, anatomical, biological, metabolic, genetic, histological and psychic differences between humans and animals are so substantial that knowledge obtained from animals is not only worthless but misleading, and can be fatal when applied to humans, especially the sick (pharmacological disasters, therapeutical errors, etc.).

4. Animal experiments are not carried out in the interest of mankind, but only of the experimenters themselves and their financial backers, as there has never been a single statistical proof that their results are applicable to human beings, whereas proofs of the opposite are countless.

5. Animal experiments lull the public, especially doctors and patients, into a false sense of security that prevents them from warding off illnesses.

6. Most of today's diseases are not organic in origin but have psychological, social, alimentary, environmental and iatrogenic (due to doctors and therapies) causes. All these factors cannot be reproduced in their complexity in animals. That is why orthodox medicine has no causal treatments to offer. It can't even cure a common cold, insomnia, rheumatism, arthritis, cancer, nor any of the other traditional diseases, which it has only managed to increase, meanwhile producing new ills, such as SMON, various herpeses and allergies, leukemias, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, Ebola etc. By concentrating on the symptoms, it obscures the recognition of the causes.

7. Sick care is one of the main victims of vivisection. The many billions of dollars squandered yearly on useless animal torture should rather go to the assistance of the ailing. With the biggest budget for animal experimentation in the world, the United States should also be the healthiest of all nations, but it is one of the sickest, mentally and physically, in the statistics of life expectancy, behind many underdeveloped countries where animal research is unknown.

8. While health depends primarily on prevention and individual lifestyle, the healing of ills can in no way be obtained by animal experiments, but only by application of some of the many "soft" disciplines that are spurned by official medicine because of its fixation on animal experimentation and profits rather than health, for example dietetics, psychosomatics, psychotherapy, exercise, fasting, yoga, environmentalism, epidemiology, vegetarianism, veganism, homeopathy, chiropractic, osteopathy, naturopathy, diathermy, electrotherapy, hydrotherapy, heliotherapy, faith healing, herbalism, acupuncture, macrobiotics, and more, which have proven effective, and economical to boot.

9. Medical research must be holistic, concern itself with the entire person, adopt methods of research that relate to the causes and the patients, instead of veterinarian results applied to humans, which at best replace acute symptoms with chronic illness.

10. The veterinary education should equally follow humane principles: no more deliberate infliction of maladies and mutilations on healthy animals, but considerate treatment of spontaneous diseases and natural accidents. For all these reasons, to demand the total abolition (prohibition by law) of animal experimentation is not only possible but necessary.



The Rockefeller Hyjacking
of Western Medicine


"Competition is a sin!"

John D. Rockefeller
Super-Capitalist or Super-Socialist?

The trend of using animals on a massive scale in medical research was started in America, by John D. Rockefeller, who had learned from his pappy, a horse-thief, bigamist and traveling salesman of snake-oil as a sure-fire cancer remedy, the limitless gullibility of the general public, and how to exploit it. JDR's genius gave him the idea to involve governments in the profits from the sale of lucrative but deadly "miracle" drugs, which had constantly to be replaced by new ones, after the advertised "miracles" had not only failed to materialize but had furthermore opened big scars, mental and physical ones, in the nation's health. Exactly how the Rockefeller principle was organised and sold to all other industrialized countries has been exhaustively described by Morris Bealle in The Drug Story (1949) and by the author (Hans Ruesch) in Naked Empress or The Great Medical Fraud." (1982).

FREE book (PDF), Hans Ruesch, editor


Politics of heroin addiction:
A talk by criminologist Alex Schauss

Download printable antivivisection pamphlets

Dr. Jane Goodall vs Animal Research
CCAC - Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?
There is No Excuse for Animal Testing
Can the Lab Rat Really Cure Cancer?
Of Mice and Cancer
Cancer Research a Super Fraud

See ADAV editorials in the Georgia Straight online

Aren't the 3Rs -- Reduce, Refine and Replace -- the best way to phase out animal experiments?

(From The 3Rs are based on the assumption that experiments on animals, though unpalatable, are scientifically valid, leading to cures and treatments for human disease. Proponents of the 3Rs advocate reducing, refining and replacing animal experiments with 'alternatives'. The principle has merit in theory - though not in practice - from an animal welfare perspective.

However, it makes no scientific sense because if a practice does not work, there is little point in reducing or refining it. The 3Rs have unfortunately become a smokescreen, which allows the continuation of animal experiments to seem acceptable - as long as the 3Rs are applied. The industry could not have devised a better PR campaign.

Those who endorse the 3Rs and Alternatives promote the 'necessary evil' view of animal experiments. They maintain that each type of experiment - of which there are millions - is, regrettably, necessary until it can be replaced by an Alternative. This perpetuates both the practice and the myth that sustains it. Animal experimenters claim that each and every experiment must be assessed on a case-by-case basis for scientific validity and justification. However, science tells us otherwise:

�Applying knowledge gained from animals to humans harms humans most of the time
�Intractable differences between species mean that animals cannot 'predict' how the human body will respond to a disease or a drug. Their use violates the most fundamental principle of biology: evolution.
Therefore the 'animal model' paradigm should be rejected as unscientific.

The 3Rs serve to deflect attention and debate away from the very real issue of the scientific validity of animal experimentation. While appearing to focus attention on concern for the welfare of laboratory animals, those promoting the 3Rs avoid entering into dialogue on the justification of using animals as models of human disease.

The scientific literature of the last 100 years or so reveals sufficient evidence to demonstrate that using animal data in medical research is misleading and often dangerous. Science already has a wealth of superior - not 'alternative'- human-based methods at its disposal. They are responsible for the medical care we enjoy today and are the only way to prevent, cure and treat human illness - yet many are starved of funds while animal experimentation is highly funded. The animal experiment lobby maintains that animal experimentation is an expensive business - it is. But it is not just costing society enormous sums of money, it is costing us far more in terms of human health.

Society need not fear that abandoning animal experimentation would mean giving up medical progress. On the contrary, it would ensure greater safety for patients and volunteers in clinical trials and a higher probability of finding cures for human illness. (Source:

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

The next time you are asked to donate to a cancer organization, bear in mind that your money will be used to sustain an industry which has been deemed by many eminent scientists as a qualified failure and by others, as a complete fraud.

If you would like to make a difference, inform these organizations that you won't donate to them until they change their approach to one which is focussed on prevention and study of the human condition rather than that of animals. We have the power to change things by making their present approach unprofitable. It is only through our charitable donations and taxes that these institutions survive on their present unproductive path. See:


The problem of animal experimentation is complex, many-sided and hard to fathom. The cruel and deadly use of animals has been legalised by politicians, justified by church institutions, described as unavoidable by science and industry, accepted without criticism by too many people not interested in the sufferings of others, and defended in every way by all those who gain profit from it." -



from Hans Ruesch's

"Hippocrates never vivisected, and yet he raised medical art to a level from which we are very far today, in spite of the alleged great modern discoveries." - Dr. Salinas

The objection that one must carry out animal experiments in order not to have to make any experiments on humans doesn't accord with the truth, for the cruel experiments on animals have merely provided the foundaton for the belief that one may also make reprehensible experiments on human beings. The fact that many doctors are hardly any longer aware of their unsocial or really criminal way of thinking is apparent from the following reports:

Mass Graves Of Children Found Near Montreal; Another Duplessis Orphan Tells Of Being Tortured As A Child In CIA Experimentation Programs Using Nazi Doctors


Prof. Bruno Fedi, M.D., Director of the City Hospital of Terni, Italy, anatomist, pathologist, specialist in urology, gynecology and cancerology: "All our current knowledge of medicine and surgery derives from observations of man, following especially the anatomical-clinical method introduced by Virchow: symptoms of the patient while alive and the alterations found in the dead body.

"These observations have led us to discover the connection between smoking and cancer, between diet and arteriosclerosis, between alcohol and cyrrhosis, and so on. Even the RH factor has not been discovered on the macacus rhesus [monkey]. The observations of Banting and Best on diabetes, attributed to experiments on dogs, were already well known. Every discovery derives from observations on humans, which are subsequently tested in animals, and whenever the findings happen to concur, the discovery is attributed to animal experimentation...

"Everything we know today in medicine derives from observations made on human beings. The ancient Romans and Greeks gained most of their knowledge from epidemiological studies of people. The same goes for surgery. Surgery can't be learned on animals.

"Animals are anatomically completely different from man, their reactivity is completely different, their structure and resistance are completely different. In fact, exercises on animals are misleading. The surgeon who works a lot on animals loses the sensibility necessary for operating on humans."

- Abstract from various TV interviews and articles by Prof. Fedi in the course of 1986. (1000 DOCTORS (and many more) AGAINST VIVISECTION), CIVIS,

Monkeys don't belong in cages

The claim is made that there would be serious health implications for humans if animal research were to end.

Claims as to the necessity of animal research are made in sweeping, unsubstantiated generalizations. Some erroneously proclaim that all major medical advancements have been made because of animals. This is far from the truth. Scientific data in papers published by Project R&R and others have shown chimpanzee research to be ineffective, unnecessary and even dangerous. The few studies that are published have limited - if any - impact on human biomedical advances. In particular, their use in AIDS research (the reason so many were bred) was singularly unproductive, including in the search for an HIV/AIDS vaccine, thus wasting time and money while people die and disease spreads. Chimpanzees were long ago abandoned as a model for cancer and other human killer diseases because chimpanzee research does not work. As a model to study humans, they have failed repeatedly and been a waste of precious time and taxpayer dollars. Yet, in spite of the failed science, NIH continues to pour millions of dollars into maintaining chimpanzees in laboratories, versus releasing and supporting them in sanctuary for far fewer tax dollars in far superior facilities. The continued support of chimpanzee research by the U.S. government works against not only animals, but also our human health.

Release and Restitution for Chimpanzees in U.S. Laboratories, March 11,2009

Quotes from Doctors and Researchers on Cancer Research:

It is often claimed that scientists and doctors are united in their belief in the value of, and necessity for, animal experiments to protect human health. This stream of quotes from scientists and doctors, on only one disease, i.e. cancer, stretching from as far back as the early 20th Century right up to today, shows that there has been a long tradition of scepticism about this issue. Many of the quotes are from scientists who support or conduct animal research; far from diminishing the impact of their words, this fact ought to give them extra weight. Note: FDA stands for Food and Drug Administration, the US drug regulatory body.


Indeed, because oncology drugs have a success rate of only 5%, it is clear that animal models are only marginally effective. M.B. Esch, T.L. King and M.L. Shuler, The Role of Body-on-a-Chip Devices in Drug and Toxicity Studies, Annu. Rev. Biomed. Eng. 2011. 13:55–72 (doi:10.1146/annurev-bioeng-071910-124629)


Mouse models that use transplants of human cancer have not had a great track record of predicting human responses to treatment in the clinic. It’s been estimated that cancer drugs that enter clinical testing have a 95 percent rate of failing to make it to market, in comparison to the 89 percent failure rate for all therapies . . . Indeed, “we had loads of models that were not predictive, that were [in fact] seriously misleading,” says NCI’s Marks, also head of the Mouse Models of Human Cancers Consortium. The Scientist, April 1, 2010


Mouse xenograft models of cancer, understandably, have a terrible reputation. Although researchers and companies routinely use these human tumors in mice for preclinical drug testing, individual models poorly predict how drugs will act in the clinic. Retrospective reviews published by the National Cancer Institute in 2001 and the National Cancer Institute of Canada in 2003 came to the same conclusion: Drugs that work againstcancer in xenograft mice rarely work in people with the same tumor, with the exception of lung and possibly ovarian cancer. "There's this mantra: 'Xenografts don't predict for human effects,'" said Peter Houghton, Ph.D., a cancer researcher at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Ken Garber, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, December 30.

"Animals don't reflect the reality of cancer in humans," says Fran Visco, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and four years later founded the National Breast Cancer Coalition, an advocacy group. "We cure cancer in animals all the time, but not in people." Even scientists who have used animal models to make signal contributions to cancer treatment agree. "Far more than anything else," says Robert Weinberg of MIT, the lack of good animal models "has become the rate-limiting step in cancer research" - Sharon Begley, Newsweek, September 6th.

"Animal models have not been very predictive of how well drugs would do in people," says oncologist Paul Bunn, who leads the International Society for the Study of Lung Cancer. "We put a human tumor under the mouse's skin, and that microenvironment doesn't reflect a person's—the blood vessels, inflammatory cells or cells of the immune system," all of which affect prognosis and survival - Sharon Begley, Newsweek, September 6th.


We have learned well how to treat cancer in mice and rats but we still can't cure people. - Professor Colin Garner, Accelerator MS Is a Powerful New Tool, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Vol. 27, No. 15.


We do trials in people because animal models do not predict what will happen in humans. Dr Sally Burtles, Cancer Research UK, Report of the Expert Scientific Group on phase one clinical trials, following the TGN1412 clinical trial disaster.

You really have to design the medicine for the species of interest�You'll find it very rare to find a medicine that will work in both�Patrick M. O'Connor, head of oncology research for Pfizer, quoted in The New York Times, 24 November.

In summary, mouse xenograft models should not be viewed as ideal models for cancer drug development. Altered, nonhuman host stroma, poor predictive value when applied in an empirical sense, and questionable relation to the naturally occurring human disease are but a few features, which temper enthusiasm for their use. Sausville & Burger, Cancer Research, 66, 3351-3354, April 1.

Even when drugs with evidence of anticancer activity in preclinical in vivo models are given at their maximum tolerated doses, they frequently fail to produce useful activity in humans. Sausville & Burger, Cancer Research, 66, 3351-3354, April 1.

In the U.S. NCI retrospective (2001), activity in at least 33% of models of a variety of histologies predicted for clinical activity in some disease. In the NCI of Canada retrospective (2003), generally similar conclusions were reached. It should be cautioned, however, that the drugs used in these studies were for the most part "classic" cytotoxics. Whether "targeted" therapeutics, such as signal transduction inhibitors, antiangiogenic, or stroma-modifying agents, would perform better or worse remains to be defined. Sausville & Burger, Cancer Research, 66, 3351-3354, April 1.

One might expect that these animals would mimic human symptoms, not just the genetic mutations. In fact, that is usually the exception, not the rule. Dr Tyler Jacks, regarding genetically modified mice in cancer research. Science, 287: 1041.


We do trials in people because animal models do not predict what will happen in humans. Dr Sally Burtles, Cancer Research UK, Report of the Expert Scientific Group on phase one clinical trials, following the TGN1412 clinical trial disaster.

You really have to design the medicine for the species of interest�You'll find it very rare to find a medicine that will work in both�Patrick M. O'Connor, head of oncology research for Pfizer, quoted in The New York Times, 24 November.

In summary, mouse xenograft models should not be viewed as ideal models for cancer drug development. Altered, nonhuman host stroma, poor predictive value when applied in an empirical sense, and questionable relation to the naturally occurring human disease are but a few features, which temper enthusiasm for their use. Sausville & Burger, Cancer Research, 66, 3351-3354, April 1.

Even when drugs with evidence of anticancer activity in preclinical in vivo models are given at their maximum tolerated doses, they frequently fail to produce useful activity in humans. Sausville & Burger, Cancer Research, 66, 3351-3354, April 1.

In the U.S. NCI retrospective (2001), activity in at least 33% of models of a variety of histologies predicted for clinical activity in some disease. In the NCI of Canada retrospective (2003), generally similar conclusions were reached. It should be cautioned, however, that the drugs used in these studies were for the most part "classic" cytotoxics. Whether "targeted" therapeutics, such as signal transduction inhibitors, antiangiogenic, or stroma-modifying agents, would perform better or worse remains to be defined. Sausville & Burger, Cancer Research, 66, 3351-3354, April 1.

Change is needed. Thirty years of experience with subcutaneous xenografts, human tumors implanted under the skin of the mouse, have satisfied few because so many drugs that cure cancer in these mice fail to help humans. A 2004 analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that only 3.8% of patients in phase I cancer drug trials between 1991 and 2002 achieved an objective clinical response � and the response rate is declining. Almost all drugs tried in humans work against subcutaneous xenografts in mice. "How many more negative data do you want? It�s very depressing." said Isaiah Fidler , Ph.D., of the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Research Center in Houston. Ken Garber, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 98, No. 17, September 6.


Given that many of these investigational anticancer drugs eventually fail, the animal models on which clinical trials are predicated must at best be limited in power, and at worst wildly inaccurate. Dr Alexander Kamb, Global Head of the Oncology Disease Area at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 4, 161 - 165.

The problem with animal carcinogenicity tests is not their lack of sensitivity for human carcinogens, but rather their lack of human specificity. A positive result has poor predictive value for humans. Knight, Bailey & Balcombe, British Medical Journal USA, Vol. 5, p477.


It�s been well known for maybe two decades that many of these preclinical human cancer models have very little predictive power in terms of how actual human beings � actual human tumours inside patients � will respond�Preclinical models of human cancer, in large part, stink�Hundreds of millions of dollars are being wasted every year by drug companies using these [animal] models�Prof. Robert Weinberg, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Fortune, 9th March.

[mouse models are] woefully inadequate�if you look at the millions and millions and millions of mice that have been cured, and you compare that to the relative success, or lack thereof, that we've achieved in the treatment of metastatic disease clinically, you realize that there just has to be something wrong with those models. Homer Pearce, research fellow at Eli Lilly. Fortune, 9th March.


In Tamoxifen�s case, a drug first developed as a potential contraceptive languished for many years before its present application was found. Furthermore, its propensity to cause liver tumours in rats, a toxicity problem that thankfully does not carry over into humans, was not detected until after the drug had been on the market for many years. If it had been found in preclinical testing, the drug would almost certainly have been withdrawn from the pipeline.Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 2003; 2:167.

The in vitro cell line model was predictive for non-small cell lung cancer under the disease-oriented approach, for breast and ovarian cancers under the compound-oriented approach, and for all four tumor types together. The mouse allograft model was not predictive. The human xenograft model was not predictive for breast or colon cancers, but was predictive for non-small cell lung and ovarian cancers when panels of xenografts were used. Voskoglou et al. Clinical Cancer Research Vol. 9, 4227-4239.


�some findings in colon cancer mice, which were very good [?] models , actually led to clinical trials in humans which resulted in an increase in cancer. Dr Jeffrey E. Green of the National Cancer Institute�s Laboratory of Cell Regulation and Carcinogenesis. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 93:976.

For 39 agents with both xenograft data and Phase II clinical trials results available, in vivo activity in a particular histology in a tumour model did not closely correlate with activity in the same human cancer histology, casting doubt on the correspondence of the pre-clinical models to clinical results. Johnson and colleagues, British Journal of Cancer, 84(10):1289-90.


People are very complacent with their animal models. But this begs the question of whether there exists a good model of cancer. Dr Andy Maniotis, The American Journal of Pathology, 155: 739.


My own medical perspective is that animal cancer research should be regarded as the scientific equivalent of gossip � with about the same chance of turning out to be true, i.e. truly effective in humans. Some gossip turns out to be true, but most of it does not�and gossip can cause great anguish for those affected, in this case millions of desperate cancer patients worldwide. G. Timothy Johnson MD, Boston Globe, May 22.

The history of cancer research has been a history of curing cancer in the mouse. We have cured mice of cancer for decades, and it simply didn�t work in humans. Dr Richard Klausner, Director, National Cancer Institute, LA Times, May 6.

God knows we�ve cured mice of all sorts of tumours. But that isn�t medical research. Thomas E Wagner, senior scientist at Ohio University�s Edison Biotechnology Institute, the Columbus Dispatch, March 20.


The fundamental problem in drug discovery for cancer is that the model systems are not predictive at all," says Alan Oliff, executive director for cancer research at Merck Research Laboratories in West Point, Pennsylvania�Researchers blamed the failures on the fact that the drugs were being tested against mouse, not human, tumors� the xenograft tumors don't behave like naturally occurring tumors in humans � they don't spread to other tissues, for example. Thus, drugs tested in the xenografts appeared effective but worked poorly in humans. "We had basically discovered compounds that were good mouse drugs rather than good human drugs," says Sausville (associate director of the division of cancer treatment and diagnosis, NCI). Science, 278; 1041-1042.

One might expect that these animals would mimic human symptoms, not just the genetic mutations. In fact, that is usually the exception, not the rule. Dr Tyler Jacks, regarding genetically modified mice in cancer research. Science, 287: 1041.


Since its inception 25 years ago, EPA [the US Environmental Protection Agency] has applied the same logic to hundreds of other substances, extrapolating from high levels in animal studies to arrive at acceptable levels for humans. But that approach, say scientists both inside and outside the federal government, may no longer be the best way to safeguard public health...EPA's new emphasis on molecular data is based on a growing body of evidence that extrapolations from megadoses can provide a misleading picture of the effects of low-level exposure. Chloroform is a good example. EPA's current strict standards were derived from a study in which mice developed liver tumors after exposure to massive daily doses of chloroform pumped into their stomachs over several months. However, those findings may not be relevant to human exposures, according to a paper picked by the Society of Toxicology as the best published last year in its journal. Richard Stone, Science, vol 268, p 356-357.


1-3 Butadiene, an important industrial chemical and a common environmental air pollutant, has been shown to be a weak carcinogen in the rat, but a potent carcinogen in the B6C3F1 mouse. This species difference makes risk extrapolation to humans difficult, and the underlying mechanism must be clarified before meaningful risk extrapolation to humans can be made. Dr Gunnar Johanson, of the National Institute of Occupational health, Sweden, Alternatives to Laboratory Animals, vol 21, p 173180.

Why the dog was ever considered as an appropriate animal for carcinogenicity testing is also not entirely clear... Despite the obvious problems of study design and interpretation, carcinogenicity tests in the dog, lasting 7 years, were requested by regulatory authorities from the late 1960s...One of the best known examples of the inappropriate use of the dog was the carcinogenicity testing of hormonal contraceptives. It is now understood that mammogenesis in the dog is very different from that in primates; quantitative and qualitative differences exist in the feedback control mechanisms, receptor content and behaviour, and target sensitivity and responsivity. As a result of this biological difference there was a high incidence of mammary tumours in long-term studies in dogs treated with progestagens/contraceptive steroids such as lynestrol. Ultimately pressure from the scientific community led, relatively recently, to the requirement for carcinogenicity studies in dogs being dropped. Parkinson and Grasso, Human and Experimental Toxicology, vol 12, p 99-109.


In the course of tumour progression, it has been known for many years that mice and men are totally different. Nature, Nov 26. The following quotes are all from Philip H Abelson, Editor, Science, vol 255, p 141. 

It has been conventional practice to test potential carcinogens using highly inbred strains of rodents. The rationale was the supposed superior reproducibility of results compared with those obtained from wild-type animals. However, that assumption can be questioned. At least three examples of genetic drift of inbred strains can be cited... Lifetime expectation [in an inbred strain of mice] of developing one or another form of neoplasm ['spontaneous tumour'] had risen from 10 to 80 percent.

The use of inbred strains as test animals can be further questioned on the basis that they often develop spontaneous tumors in organs where cancers are not frequent in humans. For example, incidences of mouse liver tumors in 2-yearold B6C3F1 mice has ranged from 17.8 to 46.9 percent. In contrast, the death rate from liver cancer in the United States is about 0.005 percent. * Results of the animal studies raise questions about the validity of federal regulations that are based on ad lib-fed inbred strains of rodents. Are humans to be regarded as behaving biochemically like huge, obese, inbred cancer-prone rodents? * The estimate made by NIOSH was 597 excess cancers per 10,000 workers having that same exposure... Instead of extra cancers predicted by NIOSH, workers had fewer cancers than expected...With trillions of dollars, loss of competitiveness, and jobs at stake, a searching review of the risk assessment methodology of the regulatory agencies is overdue.

[Regarding tamoxifen, an anti-cancer drug] "Experimentally, tamoxifen has carcinogenic potential. In some strains of rat, but not mouse or hamster, tamoxifen can cause liver cancers at doses as low as 5mg/kg per day... However, there are doubts about the correlation of [the results] with the risk of malignant disease even in rats, let alone in other rodents, mammals, or human beings. There are many uncertainties in extrapolating these experimental data from rats to women. The effect depends on bioavailability, hepatic [liver] blood flow, and hepatic [liver] metabolism to active genotoxic carcinogens, all of which differ enormously between rat and man. Dr Trevor Powles, The Lancet, vol 340, p 1145-1147.


For example, the control incidence of mouse liver tumour varies between 0 and 58% in 41 NTP [National Toxicology Program] bioassays where these tumours are induced by a test chemical. Ashby and Morrod, Nature, vol 352, p 185-186.

Yes, I think it is very clear to all of us who are engaged in the business of assessing toxicity data that, when volumes of data are proudly presented to us after a carcinogenicity study, showing that there was a tumour in this organ or that, we look at it and we scratch our heads, and we wonder what on earth we can make of it. This is especially true when huge doses are given, with nothing to suggest what would be expected at low doses. I think very often the carcinogenicity studies are a waste of everybody's time and a fearful waste of animals. They are conducted partly because we are not sure what to do instead, and partly because they are a political gesture and a very miserable one at that. Professor Andre McLean, speaking at a conference reported in Animals and Alternatives in Toxicology, p86, ed. Balls, Bridges and Southee (publ. Macmillan).

The [pharmaceutical] industry is left with an expensive and time consuming test which uses large numbers of animals and whose very basis is questioned by scientists. Professor D Davies, quoted in the pharmaceutical magazine Scrip, 2nd October, p 23.

[Animal carcinogenicity tests on new drugs are] inaccurate, often insensitive and generally misleading. Dr John Griffin, Director of the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry, quoted in the pharmaceutical magazine Scrip, 2nd October, p 23.

It seems sometimes that almost everything we eat, drink or take can cause cancer in rats. That does not necessarily relate to tumours in humans. Tony Watson, President of the British Association of Plastic Surgeons, quoted in The Times, 9th May.


Our risk models are based on at least 50 assumptions, none of which has been scientifically demonstrated. For example, we assume that there is no difference between continuous (as in animal tests) or intermittent (as in human experience) dosages. But that ignores our growing knowledge of the way in which DNA repairs the human system.

...We feed rodents `all-you-can-eat' buffets every day, yet we know that caloric intake is the single greatest contributing cause of cancer [in rodents]. In fact, we found you can modify the cancer causing impact of one of the most potent carcinogens from 90% down to less than 3%, just by cutting caloric intake 20%. Dr. Ronald Hart, Director of the Center for Toxicological Research in Arkansas, quoted in Business Review Weekly, 27th April.

� Predictions of carcinogenicity from laboratory animals are without meaning for there is no evidence that the studies were conducted in a way that took into consideration the pharmacodynamics in the species investigated, or with any appreciation of end organ sensitivity (with respect to contraceptive steroids). Ralph Heywood, Chapter 7: Clinical Toxicity- could it have been predicted? Post-marketing experience, Animal Toxicity Studies: Their Relevance for Man (publ. Quay).

Risk assessment policy that relies solely on screening bio-assay results from the most sensitive species is not based on scientific principles. Neither is it credible or reliable. Dr Vernon Houk, director of environmental health at the American Center for Diseases Control, addressing a conference in the USA, 1989, and quoted in Business Review Weekly, 27th April.

The principal method of determining potential carcinogenicity of substances is based on studies of daily administration of huge doses of chemicals to inbred rodents for a lifetime. Then by questionable models, which include large safety factors, the results are extrapolated to effects of minuscule doses in humans... The rodent MTD test that labels plant chemicals as cancer-causing in humans is misleading. The test is likewise of limited value for synthetic chemicals. The standard carcinogen tests that use rodents are an obsolescent relic of the ignorance of past decades. Philip H Abelson, Science, vol 249, p 1357.

... numerous chemicals have been found to have potential toxicity/carcinogenicity in rat or mouse, which, we are reasonably certain, have little or no potential hazard in man. The reason for this is again species differences, for the biological defence mechanism which protects against toxic chemicals is most highly evolved in man, who therefore generally has a higher resistance to chemical toxicity and carcinogenicity than have rodents and other species� Parke, Ioannides and Lewis, Alternatives To Laboratory Animals, vol 18, p 91-102.


Elsewhere, I have pointed out that overfeeding of rats profoundly influences the incidence particularly of endocrine tumours. Furthermore, endocrine tumours and tumours of tissues, such as the breast and uterus, which are very directly under sex-hormone control, constitute a very high proportion of the tumours observed in most carcinogenicity studies in rats. [Comparing] the incidences of tumours in these categories in men and women with those in male and female rats... [shows] the differences between the two species are sufficiently striking to make one wonder how appropriate the laboratory rat is as a model for man in terms of the spectra of tumours to which they are prone. Dr Francis Roe, Advances in Applied Toxicology, p 10, ed. A D Dayan & A J Paine (publ. Taylor & Francis).


Over a 25-year period, the United States National Cancer Institute screened 40,000 species of plants for anti-tumour activity and, as a result, several proved sufficiently safe and effective on the basis of animal tests to be included in human trials. Unfortunately, all of these were either ineffective in treating human cancer or too toxic to consider for general use. Thus, in 25 years of this extensive programme, not a single anti-tumour agent safe and effective enough for use by patients has yet emerged. N.R. Farnsworth and J.M. Pezzuto, paper presented at the University of Panama workshop sponsored by the International Foundation for Science, 1982. Reproduced in The Cruel Deception by Dr. Robert Sharpe, 1988.

There are marked differences in carcinogenicity across sexes, strains and species. Often, the-same chemical will cause one kind of cancer in one experiment and another kind in another experiment Indeed, the most hard-bitten advocates of animal experiments do not claim to be able to predict which organ will be affected in humans by a chemical that is carcinogenic in animals. Freedman and Zeisel, Statistical Science, vol 3, p 3-28.

[Regarding animal carcinogenicity tests on saccharin] Published risk estimates, starting from the same animal data but using various [statistical] models, differ by factors of over 5,000,000. Freedman and Zeisel, Statistical Science, vol 3, p 3-28.

[Regarding the difficulties of applying animal results to humans] "There turn out to be many different ways to measure this difference [in size]. For example, a man weighs 2800 times as much as a mouse, eats 300 times as much per day and lives 40 times as long. Which factor should be used to rescale the dose? Freedman and Zeisel, Statistical Science, vol 3, p 3-28.

There are many unresolved problems in the standard bio-assay, including... how to account for inter-species and intra-species differences in metabolism and pharmacokinetics. Omenn & Lave, Mutation Research, vol 205, p 41.

Data from dose-response relationships are sometimes employed to estimate the expected tumour incidence at dose levels very much lower than those which could possibly be employed in conventional [animal] experiments. A number of mathematical models have been employed in such estimates and the results obtained vary considerably. Despite these uncertainties - and the possibly greater ones in extrapolating from animals to man - such models are often employed in some quarters to estimate the likely risk to man. Dr Paul Grasso, Perspectives in Basic and Applied Toxicology, p268-284, ed. Ballantyne (publ. Butterworth).

Extrapolating from one species to another is fraught with uncertainty... For almost all of- the chemicals tested to date, rodent bio-assays have not been cost-effective. They give limited and uncertain information on carcinogenicity, generally give no indication of mechanism of action, and require years to complete." [They are] "rarely the best approach for deciding whether to classify a chemical as a human carcinogen. Lave, Ennever, Rosenkrantz and Omenn, Nature, vol 336, p 631. 1987

...of the 20 probable human non-carcinogens with conclusive animal bioassay results, only one, methotrexate, is negative, and the other 19 are positive... Thus, the standard interpretation of animal bioassay results provides essentially no differentiation between definite human carcinogens and probable human non-carcinogens. Drs Ennever, Noonan and Herbert, Mutagenesis, vol 2, p 73-78.

The standard carcinogenicity bioassay, which involves treating two rodent species for a minimum of 2 years, at a range of doses, is acknowledged to be an insensitive tool because of the background `noise' of spontaneous disease. Most strains of rat used in such studies have high incidence of pituitary and mammary tumours; some inbred rat strains frequently develop leukaemia or testicular tumours; mice strains show high incidence of malignant lymphomas and liver tumours. Dr Mary Tucker, Human Toxicology, vol 6, p107-109.


If we wish to understand human cancer, the [research] effort should be made in humans because the genetic control seems to be different in different species. Renato Dulbecco (Nobel Laureate). Science, 231: 1055-1056.

Let us look at some animal carcinogens � gold, DDT, clofibrate and bromocriptine. There is no doubt that all of these can rightly be regarded as carcinogenic for rodents, and yet there is really quite good evidence that they are not carcinogenic to man. Prof Andre McLean, Long Term Animal Studies-Their Predictive Value for Man (publ. MTP Press).


During a chronic study the problem may be complicated by the presence of concomitant diseases; it is in fact known that acute inflammation or the presence of a tumor may affect the kinetics of chemical, thus altering their potential toxicity. Silvio Garattini, Toxic Effects of Chemicals: Difficulties in extrapolating data from animals to man; Critical Reviews in Toxicology, vol 16, issue 1, p1-29.


It is painfully clear that carcinogenesis in the mouse cannot now be predicted from positive data obtained from the rat and vice versa. Dr F J Di Carlo, Drug Metabolism Reviews, vol 15, p 409-413. 1983

The major problems of animal studies are the validity of cross-species comparisons and relevance to human disease. Johanna Dwyer, Fundamental & Applied Toxicology 3: 63-67.

The lifetime feeding study of mice and rats appears to have less than a 50% probability of finding known human carcinogens. On the basis of probability theory, we would have been better off to toss a coin...The `definitive bioassay for carcinogenesis' as now designed has never been subjected to proper validation as an assay for human carcinogens. At attempt made in this paper to examine the literature suggests that it may have an unacceptably high false negative rate and that it produces so many contradictory answers as to suggest a very poor specificity. Dr. David Salsburg, Fundamental and Applied Toxicology, vol, 3, pp. 63-67.


Animal model systems in cancer research have been a total failure�not a single essential drug for the treatment of human cancer was first picked up by an animal model system. All of the drugs in wide current clinical use were only put into animal model systems after finding clinical clues to their therapeutic possibility. The money was spent�for two main reasons. First, it was a highly profitable undertaking for certain medical schools and research institutions that were incapable of doing any genuine cancer research. Second, it was sustained by a superstitious belief in a grossly unscientific notion: mice are miniature men�in sum, from the standpoint of current scientific theory of cancer, the whole mystique of the animal model systems is hardly more than superstitious nonsense�the moral is that animal model systems not only kill animals, they also kill humans. There is no good factual evidence to show the use of animals in cancer research has led to the prevention or cure of a single human cancer. Dr. Irwin Bross (formerly Director of the Roswell Park Memorial Institute for Cancer Research) November issue, Fundamental and Applied Toxicology. 1981

The rodent�s 6 pairs of mammary glands suggest an increased likelihood for tumor development compared to the human. Bernard L. Oser, Journal of Toxicology & Environmental Health; vol. 8, p521-642.

The discovery of chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of human cancer is widely heralded as a triumph due to the use of animal models� However, there is little, if any, factual evidence that would support these claims� Indeed, while conflicting animal results have often delayed and hampered advances in the war on cancer, they have never produced a single substantial advance in either the prevention or treatment of human cancer. Dr Irwin Bross (formerly Director of the Roswell Park Memorial Institute for Cancer Research) testifying to US Congress.


Even when there are common target sites for a given carcinogen, there are usually important differences, between man and animals, and between different species and strains of animals. These 'spontaneous' tumours in rats and mice... [vary] widely according to sex, strain, diet, conditions of maintenance, hormonal status, immunological status and latent virus infections. Dr R L Carter, British Journal of Cancer, vol 41, p 494.

�one of the great fallacies in this calculation is that they are assuming that the mouse or rat or the hamster predicts for man, and we have no basis for this prediction�So it�s again a half-baked guess� Does the animal model have any relevance to human disease? If not we�re wasting a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of good scientists, and a lot of good space at NIH� I completely agree with Dr. Clayton that extrapolation is unscientific� the chief objective here is to keep us all employed and to make sure we do interesting experiments so we can keep coming back to nice places like this. Coulston and Shubick (Eds) Human Epidemiology and Animal Laboratory Correlations in Chemical Carcinogenesis, p391-3 and p309 (publ. Ablex).

It is in fact hard to find a single, common solid neoplasm [cancer] where management and expectation of cure has been markedly affected by animal research. Most human cancers differ from the artificially produced animal model� Harrison, Clinical Oncology, 15: 1-2.

We have a discrepancy between animal data and human data�clearly, right now our animal models are totally and absolutely inadequate to answer all the obvious questions before us. Human Epidemiology and Animal Laboratory Correlations in Chemical Carcinogenesis, Coulston and Shubick (Eds), p13 (Ablex Publ.).


As a cancer specialist engaged in clinical practice, I can�t agree with the researchers who believe that results obtained with laboratory animals are applicable to human beings. Dr Heinz Oeser, Quick, 15th March. 1976

Unfortunately, extrapolations from animal results to man remains largely problematic and no amount of mathematical sophistication can render such extrapolation more certain. Higginson and Muir, Cancer Detection and Prevention, 1(1) p79-105.


It is not possible to apply to the human species experimental information derived from inducing cancer in animals." - Dr. Kenneth Starr, of the New South Wales Cancer Council, reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, April 7, 1960


Warning is given not to carry over, without reservation, to man, the conclusions based on animal experiments. In monkeys none of the powerful carcinogens has been shown to produce cancers. The Lancet (1952) Aug 9, p 274.


The characteristic effects in leukaemia were detected solely as a result of clinical observation. The various leukaemias in the mouse and rat were relatively refractory to the influence of urethane, and the remarkable effect in the human might have eluded discovery if attention had been directed to the animal alone. That illustrates the hazards of such work. Dr Alexander Haddow, British Medical Journal, Dec 2, p1272.

The wasted time and energy over the modern lines of cancer research are to be greatly deplored. We are sorry to think that so many able research workers are being tricked into believing that the cure of cancer will be discovered by animal experiments. Medical Times, January 1936.


That research into the cause and nature of cancer is making no headway is obvious to everyone who has followed its drift since the movement began with the beginning of this century.
And now, after thirty years of research, all that it has to show is a prodigious heap of facts and inductions got by much industry from animal sources, but, so far as man is concerned, no better than a tumour - an innocent tumour - useless to man, and most decidedly of no use to mice... Laboratory cancer research has gone on for so many years, contentedly grinding out data and spinning inductions, without attention being drawn to the fact that it never produces any useful results. And now, after a quarter of a century of research, we can see to what a deplorable waste of energy and ability and money this academic, aimless toil may lead. One useful, if negative, conclusion, however, emerges; which is that the problem of the causation of human cancer is not to be solved by experiments on lower animals in laboratories. Prof. Hasting Gilford, surgeon, Lancet.

Top of Page