Do animal models of brain tumors replicate human peritumoral edema? a systematic literature search


Introduction Brain tumors cause morbidity and mortality in part through peritumoral brain edema. The current main treatment for peritumoral brain edema are corticosteroids. Due to the increased recognition of their side-effect profile, there is growing interest in finding alternatives to steroids but there is little formal study of animal models of peritumoral brain edema. This study aims to summarize the available literature. Methods A systematic search was undertaken of 5 literature databases (Medline, Embase, CINAHL, PubMed and the Cochrane Library). The generic strategy was to search for various terms associated with “brain tumors”, “brain edema” and “animal models”. Results We identified 603 reports, of which 112 were identified as relevant for full text analysis that studied 114 peritumoral brain edema animal models. We found significant heterogeneity in the species and strain of tumor-bearing animals, tumor implantation method and edema assessment. Most models did not produce appreciable brain edema and did not test for observable manifestations thereof. Conclusion No animal model currently exists that enable the investigation of novel candidates for the treatment of peritumoral brain edema. With current interest in alternative treatments for peritumoral brain edema, there is an unmet need for clinically relevant animal models

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