Animal Experimentation Attitudes are Changing

An effort is being made to curtail the use of live animals in clinical research.  Is this cause for celebration or a case of too little, too late?

Stanford University Creates 3D Cancer Tumors

Stanford University researchers recently published a study in the journal Nature Medicine.  They were able to create three dimensional cancer tumors from healthy tissue samples of human skin, cervix, esophagus and throat.

By putting pre-cancerous cells into a virus and placing them in the culture dish on normal human tissue, researchers were able to create three dimensional cancer tumors.  This allows doctors to observe how cancer invades various layers of cells. 

Another advantage obtained is tumor growth duration.  In the human body, cancers may take years to develop.  With a cultured tumor, cancerous changes were seen within six days.  The Stanford report says “The new technique also provides a way to quickly and cheaply test anti-cancer drugs without requiring laboratory animals.”

Side Effect: Fewer Animals Used in Research Experiments

This should be considered good news for animals forced to suffer through medical experiments in laboratories across the world.  But the good news is short lived.  When reading the report further, it reveals that plans to test drugs on animals would still take place.

Pre-screening of 20 new anti-cancer drugs with the 3D models was performed.  The researchers ruled out 17 of the 20 anti-cancer drugs and found only three that showed promise.  Those three will be tested on animals.

So yes, it is good news for animal victims of medical experimentation because fewer animals will be used but it still does not provide a definitive alternative that would allow NO animals to be used for clinical research.  Some people believe the use of animals in medical research is justified but disapprove of animals being used for cosmetics, toxicology and other non-medical research.

Global Initiative

In January 2010, The Humane Society International (HSI) began coordinating AXLR8, a European Union-funded initiative to end the use of animals in toxicology testing.  AXLR8 was spurred on by the United States National Research Council (NRC) 2007 report Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: a Vision and a Strategy.  It called for more accurate and humane methods in toxicity testing. 

HSI has enlisted participants from industry and science.  Dow, DuPont, Exxon-Mobil, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and Unilever are among the corporations participating.  Academia, industry, government and regulators will work together.  It is anticipated the project could take 10 years or more to meet its goals. 

AXLR8 goals:

  • To test a much larger number of substances and mixtures than is currently possible
  • To design more rapid, efficient, and cost-effective tests
  • Identify the cellular mechanisms at the root of toxicity and disease to determine relevancy to humans
  • To use fewer animals in research with the ultimate goal of using none

In The Future

It’s good to know the number of animal experiments is being reduced.  The reality remains it will take a long time before animals are no longer being used in research.  But, it is a start!

Flickr: Jepoirrier


William C
William C11 months ago


W. C
W. C11 months ago

Thank you.

Heather K.
Heather K4 years ago

The real problem lies with the attitude that humans have towards animals - if you deny them the most basic rights to a life and a life that is free from pain then any manner of atrocities occur. Until animal rights are legally recognized, animals will continue to suffer at the hands of man.

Sheri D.
Sheri D5 years ago

This is a start, but that doesn't help the poor animals who are currently being used for testing.

JACQUI GLYDE5 years ago



Veronica C.
Veronica C6 years ago

It's a start and that's great, but it's too bad it has taken so long and there will still be those who will believe the old ways are best.

Karen B.
Karen B6 years ago

Hope this is true. The animals used for any experiments or research, or tests, need all the help they can get..!!!!!! Let us keep raising hell on this issue, till it stops.!!!!!!

Myraida Diaz
Myraida Diaz6 years ago

Alex Kerr: '
I am with you.In fact, its been said that the control over Herbs will make their test on animals a requisite to be on the market.Vits also. Everything considered natural (supplements) until now, will bring suffering to animals and broke to many labs. I don't know how they will do it: many regular infussions - including homemade infussions - (not talking "regular"tea) may have more quantity of an element than many remedies and or supplements.Or some that ,with a prolonged use, can cause health disturbances. How can anyone control this?
We are talking business again.Nothing else. Business with animals & control of the market.
For all the eternity medicines,supplements etc will be a question mark for humans; trial and error, because every person is different and can react different to same element.
And no medicine test on animals will ever be 100% guaranteed will function in humans. - NONE. - Even if we are 98% similar in metabolism with an animal, we are not identical biologically, then, we are distant enough. Even humans can react different to same elements because we are not 100% identical! - It is, and will always be, trial and errror.
See why we living beings are so special? Nature produce one and only of every creature.
Medicine of the future - because today is unthinkable - will be personalized. Patient must be treated as a whole:mind,body,spirit.
And animals must be respected and cared for because they also occupy a special p

Lyn N.
Neela N6 years ago

I so agree with Carol Reins--this whole animal experimentation (torture) thing is really all about politics and huge companies getting grants from the NIH year after year for doing many times the most useless experiments.
Most if not all ingredients that are on the market now have been tested on animals for decades and yet it still continues. Why?
Companies that say they don't test on animals buy their ingredients from companies that they KNOW do animal testing. One example, is TIDE, the clothes cleaner.

Alot of people think that testing on animals will make products safer for people--how wrong they are. Think of how many items have been recalled after many thousands of animals suffered and die. Humans are a different species and conducting tests on different types of animals will always bring up a different result from a human test.
It's really simple: might does not make right.

The defense dept. is the biggest user of experimenting on animals. They shoot bullets into goats, horses, and others, to see how much damage certain bullets can do. They use radiation on so many others. All this is behind closed doors.

Saving our fellow earthlings will only begin to stop when we all pull together and totally boycott companies who do testing. Hit'em where it hurts, in the wallet.

I feel sick about this but I believe animal experimatation will not end in our lifetime.

Dana W.
Dana W6 years ago

A step in the right direction.