Replacement, Refinement, Reduction (3Rs)

SEARCHBreast was established under an NC3Rs Infrastructure for Impact award to facilitate sharing of models, materials and expertise to reduce and refine the use of animals in breast cancer research.


SEARCHBreast will promote the use of humanised breast tissue models as alternatives to animal models, by encouraging and promoting the use of 3D multicellular tissue culture models, derived from human breast material collected with ethical approval. SEARCHBreast will hold workshops for the breast cancer research community using experts in the field of 3D modelling, to ensure dissemination of how animals could be replaced in scientific research.


SEARCHBreast will provide on-line resources that promote emerging refinement technologies to the breast cancer community. These will include advice on earlier humane end-points, and in vivo imaging technologies. SEARCHBreast will encourage its members to share ideas on how improvements to animal welfare could be achieved.


Connecting breast cancer researchers will encourage the sharing of materials. This will reduce the need to embark on new in vivo experimentation, which will reduce the number of animals used in research. This will prevent duplication of efforts, while expediting scientific discovery in the breast cancer field. A power calculation facility on the SEARCHBreast website will allow accurate determination of minimal animal numbers for experiments.