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Open Vet J. 2023; 13(6): 782-793

In vivo prostate cancer research: Key interspecies prostate anatomical features for translation medicine

Elisabete Nascimento-Gonçalves, Fernanda Seixas, Rita Ferreira, Paula A. Oliveira, Bruno Colaço.

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Prostate cancer (PCa) is a prevalent malignancy affecting men worldwide. Animal models play crucial role in studying PCa pathology and discover novel approaches to prevent, detect and treat this disease. However, the challenge of translational medicine is the limited reproducibility and inadequate recapitulation of human conditions in animal models. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of the macroscopic and microscopic anatomy of prostate gland among distinct animal species is essential for better translating research findings to clinical practice. This review aims to compare and describe the macroscopic and microscopic anatomy of the prostate gland in humans, rats, and dogs, emphasizing the relevant features. Despite the anatomical differences between these species, rats are a valuable model to study human prostate diseases, once they share some features implicated in carcinogenesis in humans. Dogs, on the other hand, are considered the best model for studying prostate cancer due to the development of spontaneous cancer with a higher incidence when compared with other animals and the development of bone metastases. Moreover, the lymphatic system and the sentinel lymph node role and mapping are similar in dogs and humans. However, it is important to recognize that no animal model can directly mimic all aspects of prostate cancer as the human prostate is anatomically different from that of rats and dogs. Therefore, it is essential to analyse and understand the intra- and interspecies variability when translating research findings into clinical practice. This review highlights the importance of a thorough understanding of the anatomical differences between the prostate gland in humans, rats, and dogs when selecting the appropriate animal model for studying prostate cancer.

Key words: Anatomy, Dog, Human, Prostate, Rat

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