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University of Wisconsin–Madison

WMS™ Rapid Personalized Cancer Model for Innovating Drug and Medical Device Development

Porcine cancer research models are rapidly gaining acceptance and popularity and are being recognized as valuable tools for testing of drugs and devices. However, current porcine cancer models face a challenge. Cancer results from an evolutionary process, during which individual tumor cells accumulate combinations of mutations—referred to as intra-tumor heterogeneity (ITH). As cancer treatment moves towards personalized medicine, animal models need to reflect clinically observed ITH. However, developing and maintaining genetically engineered pig lines representative of each combination of oncogenic mutations is neither practical nor economically feasible. To address this, the project team will create a new line of Wisconsin Miniature Swine™ with the innate ability to produce clinically relevant tumors with any desired combination of oncogenic mutations in a location- and time-specific manner. This commercializable on-demand cancer model, with assistance from our industry partner’s Tumor Inducing Patch (TIP) delivery technology, will transform cancer research and targeted cancer therapy development.


Dhanansayan Shanmuganayagam, assistant professor of animal and dairy sciences


Richard Halberg, associate professor of gastroenterology and hepatology

Dustin Rubinstein, director of genome editing and animal models for the Biotechnology Center

Jacques Galipeau, professor of hematology, oncology and palliative care

John Bayouth, professor of human oncology


Sus Clinicals, Inc.