Acute myeloid leukaemia in humans can be caused by different genetic changes that translate to markedly different responses to standard therapies.
Scott Lowe at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York and his colleagues created mice that closely resemble two common variants of the disease. The team irradiated the animals to kill off blood-cell precursors and then injected them with blood precursor cells that had been genetically modified to recapitulate one of two types of leukaemia. As in the human forms, one was very responsive to treatment, the other resisted common therapy.
In addition to providing new insight, the mice may make for a good preclinical model for drug screening, the authors say.