Report Animal Concerns

Reminders & Responsibilities for Personnel Working on Rodent Tumor Studies


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The Tumor Burden Policy for Rodents yellow lock icon, which defines standard humane endpoints for mice and rats that develop externally visible tumors as part of an approved protocol, has recently undergone a triennial review by the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC).

Although no changes have been made to the specific processes/procedures outlined by the policy, all personnel working on protocols that involve rodent tumor models are encouraged to review the policy to ensure that they understand their roles and responsibilities for safeguarding animal welfare.

Key Reminders & Responsibilities

  • Research personnel are responsible for removing tumor-bearing animals from a study once defined humane endpoint(s) have been reached
  • Continuous monitoring and the performance of regular health assessments are critical for ensuring that the animal’s welfare is considered independent of defined endpoints
  • Standard humane endpoints as defined by the policy do NOT replace what is described in the IACUC approved protocol
  • Limited exemptions to the policy may be requested and approved by the IACUC provided the exemption request is scientifically necessary and clearly articulated in the animal use protocol

IACUC Recommended Training

An online training module is available in Cornerstone Learning for the monitoring and management of rodents that develop tumors as part of a study. Use the following link to log in to Cornerstone Learning, then launch the ULAM-12100 Rodent Tumor Study Monitoring and Management class.

Alternately, users can search for the module in Cornerstone Learning by clicking on “Search” from the menu on the lefthand side of the screen and entering the course code into the Search box. This will provide a list of all available classes that are available to the user.

This module is IACUC recommended, not required, and provides specific information about:

  • The IACUC requirements for monitoring animals undergoing tumor studies
  • Identifying health concerns and humane endpoints related to tumor growth and ulceration
  • Identifying and monitoring tumor development
  • How to obtain veterinary care

Please contact the ULAM Training Core at or (734) 763-8039 for assistance with tumor monitoring training.


Questions about tumor monitoring or studies involving a tumor growth procedure should be directed to your ULAM Faculty Veterinarian. If you don’t know your faculty veterinarian, send an email to and your question will be routed appropriately.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter, it is critical that all animals continue to receive compassionate and humane care throughout the entirety of their lives, no matter the circumstance.

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