Professor Matthew Allen

University of Cambridge

University departments
Department of Veterinary Medicine

Position: Professor
Personal home page:

PubMed journal articles - click here

Research description

My laboratory is interested in preclinical modelling of musculoskeletal cancer, with a particular emphasis on paediatric cancers (such as osteosarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma and Ewings sarcoma) and adult cancers that spread to bone (such as breast, prostate, renal and lung cancer). We use a combination of cell culture and preclinical animal models to explore the mechanisms through which these cancers grow in bone and then spread (metastasise) to other organs. In collaboration with veterinary clinical colleagues, we also work with dogs and cats with naturally-occurring cancer to evaluate new therapies. Ultimately, we seek to develop new approaches to diagnose, track and treat these cancers in both animals and humans.

Research Programme or Virtual Institute
Paediatric Cancer
Methods and technologies
Clinical trials
Computational modelling
In vivo modelling
Tumour type interests
Bone and connective tissue

bone cancer; fracture; radiation; osteosarcoma; metastasis; skeleton

Recent publications:
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Key publications

1.A clinically relevant mouse model of canine osteosarcoma with spontaneous metastasis. Chaffee BK, Allen MJ. In Vivo. 2013 Sep-Oct;27(5):599-603. PMID: 23988893 2.Effects of extensive circumferential periosteal stripping on the microstructure and mechanical properties of the murine femoral cortex. Mercurio AD, Motta T, Green E, Noble G, Hart RT, Allen MJ. J Orthop Res. 2012 Apr;30(4):561-8. doi: 10.1002/jor.21537. Epub 2011 Sep 16. PMID: 21928431 3.Anabolic and antiresorptive drugs improve trabecular microarchitecture and reduce fracture risk following radiation therapy. Arrington SA, Fisher ER, Willick GE, Mann KA, Allen MJ. Calcif Tissue Int. 2010 Sep;87(3):263-72. doi: 10.1007/s00223-010-9390-z. Epub 2010 Jun 20.PMID: 20563797 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 4.Metastatic osteosarcoma gene expression differs in vitro and in vivo. Lisle JW, Choi JY, Horton JA, Allen MJ, Damron TA. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2008 Sep;466(9):2071-80. doi: 10.1007/s11999-008-0309-1. Epub 2008 May 31.PMID: 18516656 5.The differential effects of the radioprotectant drugs amifostine and sodium selenite treatment in combination with radiation therapy on constituent bone cells, Ewing's sarcoma of bone tumor cells, and rhabdomyosarcoma tumor cells in vitro. Margulies BS, Damron TA, Allen MJ. J Orthop Res. 2008 Nov;26(11):1512-9. doi: 10.1002/jor.20679. PMID: 18473385 6.Predicting distal femur bone strength in a murine model of tumor osteolysis. Mann KA, Lee J, Arrington SA, Damron TA, Allen MJ. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2008 Jun;466(6):1271-8. doi: 10.1007/s11999-008-0241-4. Epub 2008 Apr 11. PMID: 18404290 7.Temporal changes in bone mass and mechanical properties in a murine model of tumor osteolysis. Arrington SA, Schoonmaker JE, Damron TA, Mann KA, Allen MJ. Bone. 2006 Mar;38(3):359-67. Epub 2005 Nov 8. PMID: 16278105 8.Concurrent administration of zoledronic acid and irradiation leads to improved bone density, biomechanical strength, and microarchitecture in a mouse model of tumor-induced osteolysis. Arrington SA, Damron TA, Mann KA, Allen MJ. J Surg Oncol. 2008 Mar 1;97(3):284-90. PMID: 18161868 9.Bone turnover mediates preferential localization of prostate cancer in the skeleton. Schneider A, Kalikin LM, Mattos AC, Keller ET, Allen MJ, Pienta KJ, McCauley LK. Endocrinology. 2005 Apr;146(4):1727-36. Epub 2005 Jan 6. PMID: 15637291 10.Neoplastic transformation of cells by soluble but not particulate forms of metals used in orthopaedic implants. Doran A, Law FC, Allen MJ, Rushton N. Biomaterials. 1998 Apr-May;19(7-9):751-9. PMID: 9663750