Medical Breakthroughs Made Without Animal Models

Image by Konstantin Kolosov from Pixabay

There are a number of problems with using animal models for researching treatments and cures for human medical conditions. It is cruel. Animal physiology is different than ours so there is a certain amount of guesswork involved in applying findings to humans. There are also problems in reliably creating, in animals, the conditions treatment is being tested for – particularly for conditions where the underlying causes are not fully understood. In other words, sometimes we are able to mimic symptoms in the animals, but we aren’t sure the underlying causes are the same as for the human condition being researched. This, together with differences in physiology between humans and animals, can lead to misleading findings.

We are pleased to share information below from Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research and Experimentation (CAARE). In a recent newsletter titled “Medical Breakthroughs Won’t Come From Breaking Animals”, they discuss the problems with animal models as well as sharing some innovative medical breakthroughs that have been developed through more modern and human-centric alternatives using human organoids and human cell studies. Potential treatment approaches for polycystic kidney disease, a new tool for studying human liver disease, a potential treatment for prostate cancer and an assistive device for those unable to speak due to laryngeal cancer surgeries and other vocal cord disorders are all discussed.


If we are to cure human diseases, we need breakthroughs with human-relevant information such as described below. These will will not come from cruel  animal experiments that artificially induce disease states in flawed attempts to mimic human pathology.

Suppose you took your car in for an engine repair and the mechanic said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with your car’s engine, but I’m going to break the one on the car next to it. Once I’ve repaired that one, I might have some clues as to why your engine isn’t running right.”

You’d probably leave immediately and never go back there again.

Unfortunately, this is how animal research works, and it inflicts immense suffering on millions of animals while wasting valuable time and resources.


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