Although rodent models offer the advantage of parallel in vitro and in vivo studies, human cell culture models are designed to study mechanisms of human carcinogenesis more directly. Prerequisites for human cell transformation model development are long-term growth of human cells in culture, sensitivity of the cells to carcinogenic treatment, and endpoints permitting quantitative and qualitative assessment of transformation and tumorigenesis in human cells.

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Human cell models take advantage of the knowledge gained from experimental animal models on transforming oncogenesin vitro endpoints, and growth of differentiated tumor types in immunodeficient hosts, such as athymic nu/nu and severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice.

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