INFRAFRONTIER and Cancer Research

After cardiovascular diseases, cancer is the leading cause of death and one of the major contributors to premature deaths in the EU. In 2016, one quarter (26.0%, 1.3 million people) of the total number of deaths in Europe were due to cancer and it was predicted to kill 1.41 million in 2019.

The EC has taken a strong stand in the fight against cancer with the inception of its Europe Beating Cancer Plan and the Cancer Mission area for Horizon Europe framework beginning in 2021.

Mouse models are used in cancer research to explore the causality between cancer genes and carcinogenesis, and as models to develop and test novel therapies. Mouse models have become ideal models for precise individualized cancer therapy thanks to the advancements in CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing, patient xenograft implantation and microbiota studies. 

INFRAFRONTIER is the European Research Infrastructure for phenotyping, archiving and distribution of mouse models. The core services of INFRAFRONTIER comprise the systemic phenotyping of mouse mutants in the participating mouse clinics, and the archiving and distribution of mouse mutant lines by the European Mouse Mutant Archive (EMMA). With over 7800 mouse strains archived, EMMA is the third largest repository in the world.

This page brings together INFRAFRONTIER's endevours to aid cancer research. This includes the INFRAFRONTIER Cancer Resource that is intended to help cancer researchers find an EMMA strain suitable for their work. Here, users can browse through EMMA strains associated to more than 50 different cancer types. Additional information like phenotypic description from MGI and EMMA strain submitters is also accessible.

Another important INFRAFRONTIER resource is the list of manually-curated disease models for cancerThe listed strains have been accurately and systematically curated and annotated, as they carry mutant alleles or transgenes and express phenotypes which precisely model particular cancer types, according to the original reports in the associated peer-reviewed publications.


Manually-curated cancer mouse models:


Links to the INFRAFRONTIER Conference 2020 held in October 2020 and NKI GEMM-ESC archive are also available here.  


External Cancer Mouse Model Resources:


  • EurOPDX is the European Research Infrastructure on patient-derived xenografts. The EurOPDX Data Portal was launched as part of their EU-funded project. It is a user-friendly and efficient informatics tool to optimize access to-, and data searching of PDX models & their clinical, molecular, & pharmacological annotations. It is being populated by fully validated PDX models.


  • The Mouse Models of Human Cancer Database (MMHCdb) is a comprehensive, expertly curated resource of diverse mouse models of human cancer. It focuses on spontaneous and induced tumors in mice, genetically defined mouse models of cancer and Patient Derived Xenograft (PDX) models.



Here is the INFRAFRONTIER resource to help cancer researchers find suitable EMMA strains. 

INFRAFRONTIER and Cancer Conference

Find more information on the annual INFRAFRONTIER Conference 2020: Targeting Cancer with Animal Models here

NKI GEMM-ESC archive

The Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) has created a unique archive of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) derived from validated genetically engineered mouse models (GEMM) of cancer. Check it out here