|Caption: Lab mice huddling in a cage.|
Credit: Image courtesy of Kathleen Kokolus and Sandra Sexton.
The point of these experiments is not to suggest that human cancer patients should be kept warm (though obviously, people should be made as comfortable as possible). Rather, it’s to point out that unknown or unexpected variables can skew medical tests. This may explain the unfortunately common occurrence of experimentally promising drugs not living up to expectations in human clinical trials.
Kathleen M. Kokolus, Maegan L. Capitano, Chen-Ting Lee, Jason W.-L. Eng, Jeremy D. Waight, Bonnie L. Hylander, Sandra Sexton, Chi-Chen Hong, Christopher J. Gordon, Scott I. Abrams, & Elizabeth A. Repasky (2013). Baseline tumor growth and immune control in laboratory mice are significantly influenced by subthermoneutral housing temperature Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1304291110.