MCCA: Mouse Clinic for Cancer and Aging

The aging population in developed countries leads to rapid increase in cancer incidence and other aging-related disorders. To accelerate cancer and aging research and to contribute to the theme of ‘healthy aging’, the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) and the European Research Institute for the Biology of Aging (ERIBA) have established a Mouse Clinic for Cancer and Aging research (MCCA). The MCCA will accelerate the development of genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) of human cancer and aging syndromes. These mouse models will be used for developing new therapies against cancer and aging-related diseases.

The MCCA houses three key expertises:

  • A Transgenic facility for efficient derivation, genetic modification and distribution of embryonic stem cell (ESC) lines from GEMMs, and for production of ESC-derived mice.
  • A Mouse Cancer Clinic for preclinical intervention studies and imaging of cancer growth and therapy response in advanced mouse models of human cancer.
  • An Aging and Phenotyping Facility for controlled aging and phenotyping studies in different inbred mouse strains and GEMMs, and for creating a centralized biobank of frozen mouse tissues for aging research.

The MCCA is partner of the EC funded Infrafrontier Project for the implementation of a sustainable European research infrastructure for systemic phenotyping, archiving and distribution of mouse models. The MCCA is also the National partner of the European Mouse Mutant Archive (EMMA) for distribution of GEMM-derived ESC lines via the Infrafrontier portal.

Latest news

Critical role for transcription factor, NFIB, in tumor metastasis – July 2016
Two new mouse models for Small Cell Lung Cancer developed at the MCCA transgenic facility in collaboration with the group of Anton Berns at the Netherlands Cancer Institute have uncovered a critical role of the NFIB transcription factor in tumor metastasis. This important finding was published in Cell Reports and mentioned in a preview in Cell and opens avenues for additional research that ultimately could benefit patients suffering from this aggressive cancer.

Tissue of aged mice available to researchers – July 2016
In 2015, the Aging and Phenotyping Facility of MCCA in Groningen started collecting tissues in a systematic manner from young, middle aged and old mice. Currently, we have 4 or 33 different tissues available, either snap-frozen or embedded in paraffin of C57Bl/6J, BALB/cByJ and DBA/2 mice for interested researchers (see also “Available Mice”). Please contact Dr. Ronald van Os for details at: or

GenesNew mouse model platform for invasive lobular breast cancer – June 2016
The team of Jos Jonkers at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in collaboration with the MCCA transgenic facility and the MCCA Mouse Cancer Clinic has developed a technique for creating mouse models for invasive lobular carcinoma ILC that doesn’t require lengthy breeding of transgenic mice. They describe their approach in the journal Genes & Development. Read more in the news article at the

GEMM-ESC protocol published in Nature Protocols - Oct 2015
In 2014, the MCCA presented a strategy for rapid analysis of gene function in mouse models, the GEMM-ESC strategy. Now, a protocol is published in...
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