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 four key expertises:

  • A Transgenic facility for the generation of genetically modified mouse strains on either wildtype or complex genetic backgrounds.
  • A Mouse Cancer Clinic for preclinical intervention studies to determine therapy responses in advanced mouse models of human cancer.
  • A Mouse Imaging facility for both functional and anatomical imaging.
  • An Aging and Phenotyping Facility for controlled aging and phenotyping studies in different inbred mouse strains and GEMMs, combined with a centralized biobank of frozen mouse tissues for aging research.

External users can gain access to the MCCA facilities on the basis of scientific excellence and pay-for-use.

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

An accurate mouse model for lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma – Oct 2016 
Giustina Ferone in the group of Anton Berns has developed a faithful mouse model of human lung squamous cell carcinoma that has the same set of genetic lesions as often seen in tumors of patients with this devastating malignancy. With aid of the MCCA transgenic facility, two new conditional alleles were generated: one for SOX2 and the other for FGFR1. In combination with loss of Cdkn2ab and Pten, Giustina showed that SOX2 but not FGFR1 overexpression in basal cells of the lung is critical for lung squamous cell carcinoma. Her article was published in Cancer Cell.

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

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