Mouse Tumor Biology Database (MTB)
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Last Database Update
Sunday 31st August 2014
MTB 1.7.0
 
Mouse Tumor Biology Database User Help Reference  

MTB Background

How to query the Mouse Tumor Biology Database...

What values are acceptable in each of the query form fields?

How do I interpret my search results?

See Also:

MTB Home Page

MTB Background

What information can I find in the Mouse Tumor Biology (MTB) Database?

The Mouse Tumor Biology Database (MTB) was designed to aid researchers in such areas as choosing experimental models, reviewing patterns of mutations in specific cancers, and identifying genes that are commonly mutated across a spectrum of cancers.

MTB supports the use of the mouse as a model system of hereditary cancer by providing electronic access to:

  1. Descriptions of tumors (data are organized by strain and organ of tumor origin)
  2. Tumor frequency and latency data
  3. Information on genetic factors associated with tumors and tumor development
  4. Tumor pathology reports and images
  5. References, both published and unpublished
  6. Links to related online resources, including:

Important information for users of MTB

  1. MTB reports negative as well as positive data. For example, strains of mice that are reported to have a zero frequency of a particular tumor type are included in the database.
  2. Tumor data in MTB are from studies of tumors that arise in mice either spontaneously or after administration of some sort of agent. MTB does not include data on tumors that arise in humans or other species and are subsequently transplanted into mice.
  3. MTB is NOT current with the published literature. Populating MTB is a high priority, but the volume of data available for mouse cancer biology is very large and it will take some time to enter the data. Descriptions of the data sources and data entry priorities for MTB are described below.
  4. The mouse strain information in MTB is NOT limited to the strains distributed by the Jackson Laboratory. However, if a strain in MTB is distributed by The Jackson Laboratory, a link to the data sheet in the JAX® Mice database is provided.
  5. The data in the Mouse Tumor Biology Database come from the following sources:
    • the published literature (current and retrospective),
    • the submission of tumor pathology slides and/or images from investigators (from published or unpublished data), and
    • tumor frequency and pathology data from routine animal health screenings of mouse colonies (often unpublished data).
  6. Priority for entering data in the database is determined by the novelty of the mouse model, the quality of the data, and the organ system involved. The organ systems of high priority are those with the highest reported mortality rate among the United States population, according to the National Cancer Institute.

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How can I contribute my data to MTB?

Data in the Mouse Tumor Biology Database come both from the published scientific literature and from unpublished, routine animal health screenings of mouse colonies. Data submissions from the scientific community are welcome via the Mouse Pathology Submission Form or by contacting User Support for information on the data submission process.

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How do I cite MTB?

MTB is supported by grant CA89713, entitled "Electronic Access to Mouse Tumor Data", awarded to Janan T. Eppig from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Please use the following citation when referring to the Mouse Tumor Biology Database.

  • Krupke DM, Begley DA, Sundberg JP, Bult CJ, Eppig JT. 2008. The Mouse Tumor Biology database. Nat Rev Cancer 8(6):459-65.

If you wish to cite a specific area of MTB we suggest a format similar to the following example:

  • Some tumor data for this paper were retrieved from the Mouse Tumor Biology Database (MTB), Mouse Genome Informatics, The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine. World Wide Web (URL:http://www.informatics.jax.org/). (October, 1998 i.e., the date you retrieved the data cited).

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What should I do if I get an error message?

Here are some possible solutions to common problems. If you continue to experience problems, please contact User support .

Problem Probable Cause Solution
Zero records were returned. The combination of query terms does not match any of the records in the database. Try using fewer search conditions to broaden your query.
The results page is only displaying 25 results even though the search found many more than 25 records. The default limit for the number of records returned was not changed on the query form. Redo the query with the "Max number of items returned" set to a higher number.
"Invalid URL
If you arrived here from a bookmark generated from a previous version of MTB, those URLs are no longer valid. Please perform your search again using the search forms to the left."
A bookmark or hyperlink saved from the previous version of MTB may have been used. Update the bookmark or hyperlink to the current format.
If you need assistance searching the new version of MTB or coding URL links to specific data in the database please contact User Support.

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How to query the Mouse Tumor Biology Database

You begin the MTB query process by filling out one or more fields in a search form and clicking on the "Search" or "Go" buttons (depending on search form you use). Your query results will be returned as a Search Results page with hyperlinks to additional information. A common query strategy is to start with a very general query, review the results, and then go back to the search form and refine the query so that fewer records are returned. To clear all fields of a search form, click "Reset". This will reset all fields to their default values on the form.


Getting Started, General Search Tips

  • You can search the database using the Search Box, the Quick Organ Search, one of the search forms labeled Tumor, Strain, Genetics, Pathology Images, References and Advanced, the Cancer QTL Viewer, or the Tumor Frequency Grid.
  • Searching the database is made simple by using a combination of text string and pick list searches for specific terms.
  • The following provides general information for MTB queries. Specific information and examples for individual search forms is given below.


How do the sort options work?

  • The sort option allows you to change the order in which records appear on your results page. The sort options are specific for each search form.


How can I change the number of records returned by a search?

  • The default number of records returned by a search is 25 for Tumor, Strain, and Genetics searches, and 5 for Pathology Image searches. By changing the "Max number of items returned" in the search form, you change the number of records shown on the subsequent Search results page. To view ALL records matching your search criteria, choose the "No Limit" option.


How do I effectively use text string search boxes?

  • Text based searching generally searches for both names and synonyms carrying the specified text string.
  • Text based searches are NOT case sensitive. You can use uppercase, lowercase, or any combination of the two.
  • Operators offer the opportunity to narrow or expand a text string search.
    • Often the default operator is "contains", meaning that items beginning, equaling and containing your term appear on the results page. This operator can be changed to "begins" or "equals", where appropriate.


How do I effectively use pick list searching?

  • Pick lists are often used to search fields using controlled vocabularies.
  • If a pick list is presented in a box multiple selections can be made by doing the following:
    • On a Macintosh, hold the command (Apple) key down and click the desired items in the list, or hold the shift key down and click two items to select those and all items in between.
    • On a PC, hold the control key down and click the desired items in the list, or hold the shift key down and click two items to select those and all items in between.


How do I access Pathology images in the database?

MTB offers many pathology images for viewing. You can view these images by :
  • conducting a Pathology Images Search and viewing thumbnail images on the Pathology Image Search Results page (clicking on a thumbnail image will display the Pathology Image Detail page for that particular image record), or
  • clicking on the Pathology Reports/Images link in the Additional Information column on the Tumor Summary Page.
  • restricting a Tumor or Advanced search to only those records with associated pathology images
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"Search for" Search Box

The "Search for" Search Box provides a quick keyword search against Tumor, Organ, Strain or Genetics records. For more detailed search strategies, use the Search form specific for the area of interest.
To use the "Search for" Search Box chose an item or items from the pick list, type your search terms in the text box, and click on the "Go" button.
  • It is possible to choose multiple options from the pick list, or to search all sections of the database by selecting the option "All Sections".
    • On a Macintosh, hold the command (Apple) key down and click the desired items in the list, or hold the shift key down and click two items to select those and all items in between.
    • On a PC, hold the control key down and click the desired items in the list, or hold the shift key down and click two items to select those and all items in between.
  • Searches will return up to 10 records for each section of the database searched upon. Users may need to scroll down the page to view the results from other sections. At the base of each section is a link that will allow you to view ALL records found in that section.
  • Results within each section will be arranged alphanumerically by a default sort parameter.
  • The total number of records matching your search criteria will be indicated in the Search Summary under the titlebar for each subsection.
  • Search box results use the same result display format as the related query forms. Information included in these pages is summarized in the table below.

Where can I find more details on each of the searches?

If you select... The search returns... For more details, see...
All sections All sections as described below.  
Tumor Tumor records associated with specified classification (e.g. adenoma, carcinoma, etc.) Results also include Tumor name, Organ affected, Treatment type and agents, Strain name, Tumor frequency ranges subdivided by sex, Metastases, Links to tumor details pages. Interpreting the Tumor Search Results page
Organ Tumor records associated with a specified organ or tissue of origin. Results are formatted the same way as with the Tumor search. Interpreting the Tumor Search Results page

Strain Strain records associated with a specified strain background. Includes Strain Name, Strain Type, Strain Description Note and links to Strain Details page. Interpreting the Strain Search Results page
Gene Symbols/Names  Gene symbol, chromosome, and allele pairs associated with strain genotypes and genetic changes observed in tumors. Interpreting the Genetics Search results page.

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Quick Organ/Tissue Search

The Quick Organ/Tissue Search allows you to search for all tumors involving a specific organ of origin. (For more detailed search options, try the Tumor, Pathology Images, or Advanced Search Forms.)
To use the Quick Organ/Tissue Search chose an item or items from the pick list and click on the "Search" button.
  • It is possible to choose multiple options from the organ list.
    • On a Macintosh, hold the command (Apple) key down and click the desired items in the list, or hold the shift key down and click two items to select those and all items in between.
    • On a PC, hold the control key down and click the desired items in the list, or hold the shift key down and click two items to select those and all items in between.
  • The search will return all the records that match the chosen terms and display them on the Tumor Search Results page.
  • Results will be sorted alphabetically by organ of origin.

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Tumor Search Form

The Tumor Search Form allows users to search for records that match particular tumor-related criteria including organ/tissue of tumor origin, tumor classification, treatment type, and agents. Searches may be further refined by restricting the found set to only tumors that have been reported to metastasize and/or only tumors for which we have images in the database.
To use the Tumor Search Form chose or enter an item or items from the available search options and click on the "Search" button.
  • Results are sorted alphanumerically by Organ or Strain of tumor origin. The default is set to "Organ of tumor origin".
  • The number of records returned may be limited to 25, 100, or 500, or users may choose to view all records by choosing the "No Limit" option. The default is set to "25" records.

The following table describes the fields searchable from the Tumor Search Form. For general search help, please refer to How to query the Mouse Tumor Biology Database elsewhere in this document.

Field Description
Organ/Tissue of Origin  The specific organ (or tissue or cell type) from which the tumor originated. This may be different than the organ affected, particularly in records for diseases that are disseminated or in records for metastatic lesions. The value for this field is selected from a list of controlled vocabulary terms. Multiple terms may be selected for searching, in which case the database will return all records matching at least one of the selected terms.
Tumor Classification Standardized names for tumor classifications. This controlled vocabulary was developed using the animal pathology community tumor classification standards whenever possible. Multiple terms may be selected for searching, in which case the database will return all records matching at least one of the selected terms.
Tumor Name This field allows for text searching for part of a tumor designation. The user may try this option if the desired organ name or tumor classification is not readily located from the provided controlled vocabularies for those data types.
Treatment Type This field allows the user to search for spontaneous tumors or tumors which arose in mice given a particular type of treatment. The default is "Any".
Treatment Agent This field allows the user to search for tumors which arose in mice treated with a specific agent. Agents may be chemicals, drugs, types of radiation, etc.
Metastasis These options may be used to restrict the search to return only tumors that have been reported to metastasize, and, if desired, those that have been reported to metastasize to a particular organ. Multiple organs may be chosen from the list.
Pathology Images This option may be used to restrict a search to only those tumor records with an associated pathology image(s) in the database.

Example Queries for Tumors


Query for tumors that originate in a specific organ/tissue

Example: Are there reports of mice with pheochromocytomas of the adrenal gland?
  1. Go to the Tumor Search Form.
  2. Select "Adrenal gland" from the Organ/Tissue of Origin menu.
  3. Select "pheochromocytoma" from the Tumor Classification menu.
  4. Click on the "Search" button.

Query about tumor metastasis

Example: Are there reports of spontaneous tumors that metastasize to the liver?
  1. Go to the Tumor Search Form.
  2. Select "None (spontaneous)" from the Treatment Type menu.
  3. Check the box beside "Restrict search to metastatic tumors only" under "Metastasis".
  4. Choose "Liver" from the menu labeled "Metastasizes to the:".
  5. Click on the "Search" button.

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Strain Search Form

The Strain Search Form allows users to search for records that match particular strain-related criteria including strain name, strain type, and strain genetics. Searches may be further refined by restricting the found set to only those strain available from The Jackson Laboratory or available from the Mouse Models of Human Cancers Consortium Repository.


To use the Strain Search Form chose or enter an item or items from the available search options and click on the "Search" button.
  • Results are sorted alphanumerically by Strain Name or Strain Type. The default is set to "Strain Name".
  • The number of records returned may be limited to 25, 100, or 500, or users may choose to view all records by choosing the "No Limit" option. The default is set to "25" records.

The following table describes the fields searchable from the Strain Search Form. For general search help, please refer to How to query the Mouse Tumor Biology Database elsewhere in this document.

Field Description
Strain name The name of the strain of mice. The default operator is "contains". Users may change the operator to "begins with" or "equals".

NOTE: Strain names in MTB include background and genetics information and follow international nomenclature guidelines for naming laboratory strains, when possible.
Strain type Method of strain derivation (e.g. inbred strains, targeted mutations, transgenics, etc.). The value for this field is selected from a controlled vocabulary.
Genetics Text search by mutant Gene or Allele carried in a strain. This search is done against gene symbol, name, and synonym.
Other Database links  These options allow users to restrict their searches to mice offered by either JAX® Mice or by the NCI Mouse Repository. Users may additionally query for a specific strain of mice offered through The Jackson Laboratory's JAX Research Systems, by the stock number of that strain.

Example Queries for Mouse Strains


Query for a specific strain of mice

Example: Find the strain record for BALB/cByJ inbred mice.
  1. Go to the Strain Search Form.
  2. Type "BALB/cByJ" in the Strain Name text box.
  3. Choose "inbred" from the Strain Type menu.
  4. Click on the "Search" button.
  5. Click on the "BALB/cByJ" hyperlink to view the Strain Tumor Overview for that strain.


Query by strain type

Example: Find all the strains in the database that are targeted mutant (knockout) mice where the mutation carried by the mice involves the Kras gene.
  1. Go to the Strain Search Form.
  2. Select "targeted mutation (knockout)" from the Strain Type value list.
  3. Type "Kras" in the Gene or Allele text box.
  4. Click on the "Search" button.
  5. If the user feels they are seeing too many or too few records they can redo the search and change the selection for "Max number of items returned" to suit their particular needs.

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Gene Expression Data Set Search

Search for cancer-related mouse gene expression data sets that are in NCBI's Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) archives. Searches can be done by organ, tumor classification, mouse strain or expression assay platform to find relevant gene expression data sets. Search results provide links to external gene expression data as well as MTB tumor frequency records and strain details.
If a search returns zero results try limiting the search cirteria to a single category, ie. organ as opposed to organ and platform.
The search results will list series containing samples matching the search criteria. For each series all matching samples will be listed with links to the data sets and MTB tumor frequency records. Any matching samples that don't belong to a specific series will be listed at the end of the results.

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Genetics Search Form

The Genetics Search Form allows users to search for records that match particular genetic-related criteria including genetic marker, allele, and type of mutation in strain and tumor records.
To use the Genetics Search Form chose or enter an item or items from the available search options and click on the "Search" button.
  • Results are sorted alphanumerically by Gene Symbol, Mutation type, or Chromosome. The default is set to "Gene Symbol".
  • The number of records returned may be limited to 25, 100, or 500, or users may choose to view all records by choosing the "No Limit" option. The default is set to "100" records.

The following table describes the fields searchable from the Strain and Tumor Genetics Search Form. For general search help, please refer to How to query the Mouse Tumor Biology Database elsewhere in this document.

Field Description
Gene/Marker The approved symbol and name for a genetic marker. Searches using this field query gene names, symbols, and synonyms using either the "contains", "begins with", or "equals" operator.

NOTE: If a particular gene is not initially found in MTB, please check the Mouse Genome Database to ensure that the gene symbol and/or name being used in the search is current.
Allele The approved symbol and name for an allele. Searches using this field query allele names, symbols, and synonyms using either the "contains", "begins with", or "equals" operator.
Chromosome  Mouse chromosome number. The value for this field is selected from a controlled vocabulary. This field allows users to limit their search to genes/loci on a particular chromosome. 

NOTE: This field is generally empty for transgenes, unless the integration site has been mapped.
Mutations / Abberrations Users may search for specific genetic changes by choosing one or more of the options within the Mutations/Aberrations list. Users may search for these changes in strains, tumors or both by using the radio buttons at the top of the Type of Genetic Change section.
Assay Images When checked the results will only include records with assay images

Example Queries for Genetics


Query by gene name or symbol

Example: Are there any records in MTB for tumors or strains in which the Kras gene has been examined?
  1. Go to the Genetics Search Form.
  2. Type "Kras" in the Gene/Marker text box.
  3. Click on the "Search" button.

    NOTE: If a particular gene is not initially found in MTB, please check the Mouse Genome Database to ensure that the gene symbol and/or name being used in the search is current.

Query for a specific genetic change

Example: Are there records in MTB of tumors associated with genomic instability?
  1. Go to the Genetics Search Form.
  2. Select "Amplification" from the list of terms for the "Mutations / Aberrations:"
  3. Click on the "Search" button.

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Human Gene Search Form

Allows human genes to be used to find orthologous mouse genes and any tumor or strain reference to these genes in MTB.
To use the Human Gene Search form enter a single gene or delimited list of human gene symbols or Entrez Gene ID's and click on the "Search" button.
If you know only part of the gene symbol or want to search for a number of similar symbols use the "Contains", "Begins with", or "Ends with" operator. Entrez Gene ID's can only be used with the "Equals" operator.

Example Queries for Human Genes


Single query by gene symbol

Example: Is there a mouse ortholog to the human gene Kras and does MTB contain any records for it?
  1. Go to the Human Gene Search Form.
  2. Type "Kras" in the Human Symbol text box.
  3. Click on the "Search" button.

Search for any mouse orthologs for the human genes that start with NTRK or EPHA

  1. Go to the Human Gene Search Form.
  2. Select "Begins With" from the list of comparison operators.
  3. Type "NTRK,EPHA" into the Human Sybmol text box.(a number of delimiters are accpeted ie newline, tab, semicolon etc.)
  4. Click on the "Search" button.

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Pathology Images Search Form

The Pathology Images Search Form allows users to search for records that match particular pathology image-related criteria including organ or tissue of tumor origin, tumor classification, diagnosis, stain/method, and antibody.
To use the Pathology Images Search Form chose or enter an item or items from the available search options and click on the "Search" button.
  • Results are sorted alphanumerically by Organ of origin, Strain of origin, Method, or Antibody. The default is set to "Organ of origin".
  • The number of records returned may be limited to 5, 10, or 100, or users may choose to view all records by choosing the "No Limit" option. The default is set to "5" records.

The following table describes the fields searchable from the Pathology Image Search Form. For general search help, please refer to How to query the Mouse Tumor Biology Database elsewhere in this document.

Field Description
Organ/Tissue of Origin The specific organ (or tissue or cell type) from which the tumor originated. This may be different than the organ affected, particularly in records for diseases that are disseminated or in records for metastatic lesions. The value for this field is selected from a list of controlled vocabulary terms. Multiple terms may be selected for searching, in which case the database will return all records matching at least one of the selected terms.
Tumor Classification Standardized names for tumor classifications. This controlled vocabulary was developed using the animal pathology community tumor classification standards whenever possible. Multiple terms may be selected for searching, in which case the database will return all records matching at least one of the selected terms.
Organ/Tissue Affected The organ in which the lesion was found. The value for this field is selected from a controlled vocabulary. The default is set to "ANY".
Stain/Method Stain/method of slide preparation. The value for this field is selected from a list of staining methods.
Antibody Specific antibody used in immunohistochemistry (IHC). The value for this field is selected from a list of antibodies used for IHC.

Example Queries for Pathology Images


Query for pathology images by organ of origin

Example: Retrieve pathology images for tumors arising from the cortex of the adrenal gland.
  1. Go to the Pathology Image Search Form.
  2. Choose "Adrenal gland - Cortex" from the Organ/Tissue of Origin menu.
  3. Click on the "Search" button.
  4. Users may view a Pathology Image Detail page for a record by clicking on the corresponding thumbnail image.

Query for images of tumor samples processed by immunohistochemistry using a particular antibody

Example: Retrieve records of pathology images in which anti-fillagrin (PRB-417P) was used as a probe.
  1. Go to the Pathology Image Search Form.
  2. Choose "anti-filaggrin (PRB-417P)" from the Antibody menu.
  3. Click on the "Search" button.

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Reference Search Form

The Reference Search Form allows users to search for records that match particular citation-related criteria from a published or unpublished report including authors, journal, year, volume, page, or title.
To use the Reference Search Form chose or enter an item or items from the available search options and click on the "Search" button.
  • Results are sorted alphanumerically by Publication Year or First Author. The default is set to "Year".
  • The number of records returned may be limited to 25, 100, or 500, or users may choose to view all records by choosing the "No Limit" option. The default is set to "25" records.

The following table describes the fields searchable from the Reference Search Form. For general search help, please refer to
How to query the Mouse Tumor Biology Database elsewhere in this document.

Field Description
First Author  The last name and initials of the first author for a published article. The default operator for this field is "Contains". "Begins" or "Equals" may also be used.
Authors The last name and initials of any of the authors for a published article. The operator for this field is "Contains".
Journal The name of the journal in which the published reference appeared. The default operator for this field is "Contains". "Begins" or "Equals" may also be used.
Year The year a reference was published. The default operator for this field is "Equals". "Greater Than" or "Less Than" may also be used.
Volume The volume of the journal in which an article was published.
Page The first page number of a published article.
Title Text search for a word or words in the title of an article. The default operator for this field is "Contains". "Begins" may also be used.

Example Queries for References


Query for references by first author

Example: Retrieve references where Tyler Jacks is the first author.
  1. Go to the Reference Search Form.
  2. Type "Jacks T" in the First Author text box.
  3. Click on the "Search" button.

Query for references by year and a term in the article title

Example: Retrieve references published in 2005 where "retinoblastoma" appears in the title of the article.
  1. Go to the Reference Search Form.
  2. Type "2005" in the field labeled "Year".
  3. Type "retinoblastoma" in the field labeled "Title".
  4. Click on the "Search" button.

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Advanced Search Form

The Advanced Search Form allows users to perform complex queries using combinations of strain, tumor, genetics, and pathology image search criteria.
To use the Advanced Search Form chose or enter an item or items from the available search options and click on the "Search" button.
  • Results are sorted alphanumerically by Tumor Classification, Organ of tumor origin, Strain name, Strain Type, or Treatment Type. The default is set to "Tumor Classification".
  • The number of records returned may be limited to 25, 100, or 500, or users may choose to view all records by choosing the "No Limit" option. The default is set to "25" records.

The following table describes the fields searchable from the Advanced Search Form. For general search help, please refer to
How to query the Mouse Tumor Biology Database elsewhere in this document.

Field Description
Strain name The name of the strain of mice. The default operator is "contains". Users may change the operator to "begins with" or "equals".

NOTE: Strain names in MTB include background and genetics information and follow international nomenclature guidelines for naming laboratory strains, when possible.
Strain type Method of strain derivation (e.g. inbred strains, targeted mutations, transgenics, etc.). The value for this field is selected from a controlled vocabulary.
Gene or Allele Text search by mutant Gene or Allele carried in a strain. This search is done against gene symbol, name, and synonym.
Organ/Tissue of Origin  The specific organ (or tissue or cell type) from which the tumor originated. This may be different than the organ affected, particularly in records for diseases that are disseminated or in records for metastatic lesions. The value for this field is selected from a list of controlled vocabulary terms. Multiple terms may be selected for searching, in which case the database will return all records matching at least one of the selected terms.
Tumor Classification Standardized names for tumor classifications. This controlled vocabulary was developed using the animal pathology community tumor classification standards whenever possible. Multiple terms may be selected for searching, in which case the database will return all records matching at least one of the selected terms.
Treatment Type This field allows the user to search for spontaneous tumors or tumors which arose in mice given a particular type of treatment. The default is "Any".
Metastasis This option may be used to restrict the search to return only tumors that have been reported to metastasize.
Pathology Images This option may be used to restrict a search to only those tumor records with an associated pathology image(s) in the database.

Example Advanced Queries


Query for tumors based on strain type, tumor characteristics and restrict the results to records with pathology images

Example: Retrieve tumor records for spontaneous mammary gland adenocarcinomas in transgenic mice and only show those with associated pathology images.
  1. Go to the Advanced Search Form.
  2. Select "transgenic" from the Strain Type menu.
  3. Select "Mammary gland" from the Organ/Tissue of Origin menu.
  4. Select "adenocarcinoma" from the Tumor Classification menu.
  5. Select "None (spontaneous)" from the Treatment Type menu.
  6. Click on the box beside "Restrict search to entries with associated pathology images".
  7. Click on the "Search" button.

Query for metastatic tumors from inbred mice

Example: Retrieve tumor records for spontaneous adenocarcinomas in inbred mice that have been reported to metastasize.
  1. Go to the Advanced Search Form.
  2. Select "inbred" from the Strain Type menu.
  3. Select "adenocarcinoma" from the Tumor Classification menu.
  4. Select "None (spontaneous)" from the Treatment Type menu.
  5. Click on the box beside "Restrict search to metastatic tumors only".
  6. Click on the "Search" button.

How to Interpret Search Results in MTB

General Tips on Interpreting Search Results

The following is a brief introduction to the Search Results pages. More detailed descriptions for each page and how to access them are given below.
  • Data in MTB are presented at increasing levels of granularity on Search Results, Summary, Overview and Detail pages for tumor, strain, genetics, pathology, and reference data. The Search Results page provides a general overview of records found by your search, while the other pages provide more in depth information on a record(s).
  • Search results are alphanumerically sorted by parameter of choice.
  • Each page has a title bar at the top, indicating which level of detail is included on the page. Listed just below this title bar is an indicator of the search parameters, how the records were sorted (e.g. organ or tumor name), the display limit of the search, and a text string indicating the number of items displayed vs the number of matching records found by the search. (For example, "25 of 50 matching items displayed".)
  • The default for number of records returned by a search is generally 25 (5 for pathology images searches). You can expand the number of records to view, by requesting a larger number of records in the search form. The option "No Limit" enables you to view all records.

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Tumor Search Results

The Tumor Search Results page presents all tumor records found matching the requested search criteria. Users may refine the search by going back to the form and adding more selections to the search criteria.
The Tumor Search Results page may be accessed from:
  • the results page generated by the "Search for" box in the menu bar when searching on either "Tumor" or "Organ"
  • the Quick Organ/Tissue Search Form
  • the Tumor Search Form
  • the Advanced Search Form
  • the "Tumor Records" hyperlink on the Reference Detail page
  • the Number of Associated Tumor Frequencies hyperlinks on the Genetics Change Summary page

A Search Summary is located just beneath the heading on the Tumor Search Results page. This summary provides the following information:
  • a summary of the search parameters and operators chosen for the search. This section is dynamically generated, so it does not show parameters not included in the current search criteria
  • the selected sort order, either by Organ of tumor origin or Strain of tumor origin. The default is set to "Organ of tumor origin".
  • the selected display limit, either 25, 100, 500, or No Limit. The default is set to "25"
  • the number of records displayed as well as the total number of matching records found by the query

The following table describes the fields displayed on the Tumor Search Results page.

Field Description
Tumor Name
The tumor name is generally a combination of organ of origin name and tumor classification.
Organ Affected The organ in which the tumor was found. This may be different than the organ of origin, particularly in records for diseases that are disseminated or in records for metastatic lesions.
Treatment Type (Agents) Indicates whether the tumor was spontaneous or arose in mice that had received some form of treatment and, if treated, lists the specific agent(s) given.
Strain Name The name of the strain of mice. Strain names in MTB follow international nomenclature rules whenever possible.
Strain Types Method of strain derivation (e.g. inbred strains, targeted mutations, transgenics, etc.). One or more types are assigned to each strain.
Tumor Frequency Range  Tumor Frequency is the percentage of a population of mice that develop a specific lesion.

This field summarizes the the reported frequency of a particular lesion in a specific strain.

The Tumor Frequency Range is often a summary of frequencies reported in different references. Tumor frequency ranges are displayed by sex. Separate Tumor Frequency Ranges are displayed for female, male, mixed population, or unspecified sex mice.

NOTE: Observations of "zero percent frequency" are recorded in the Mouse Tumor Biology Database.

Often, subjective descriptions of tumor frequency are reported rather than exact proportions or percentages. We have assigned non-exact text descriptions of tumor frequency the following numerical values for the purpose of database searching and sorting:

Numerical equivalencies assigned to text descriptions of tumor frequency

Frequency Description  Numerical Equivalent 
very high > 80%
high > 50%
moderate > 30%
low < 20%
very low <10%
sporadic < 1%
observed > 0.1%
Metastasizes To A list of organs a tumor was found to metastasize to or found to not metastasize to. The negative results are preceded by the word "not" and are listed in italics. If no metastases results were reported, this field is left empty.
Images A camera icon in this column indicates that there are pathology images in MTB associated with one or more of the tumor frequency records represented by that row.
Tumor Summary A hyperlink to more specific information for tumor frequency records sharing the same tumor name, organ of origin/organ affected, strain, treatment, and metastatic status as displayed in the corresponding row.

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Tumor Summary

The Tumor Summary page presents a summary of tumors arising in the same strain under the same conditions and may include tumor frequency records from multiple citations.

The Tumor Summary page may be accessed by clicking on:
  • the Tumor Summary links on the Tumor Search Results Page, or
  • the numerical links in the Number of Tumor Group Records column on the Strain Overview pages.

The following table describes the fields displayed on the Tumor Summary page.

NOTE: Some of the fields presented on the top portion of the Tumor Summary page are populated dynamically and are only visible if that field contains data, otherwise the corresponding area is hidden from view.
Field Description
Tumor Name
The tumor name is generally a combination of organ of origin name and tumor classification.
Treatment Type
Indicates whether the tumor was spontaneous or arose in mice that had received some form of treatment.
Tumor synonym(s) Alternate names used to refer to this lesion.
Strain The name of the strain of mice. Strain names in MTB follow international nomenclature rules whenever possible.
Strain Type(s) Method of strain derivation (e.g. inbred strains, targeted mutations, transgenics, etc.). One or more types are assigned to each strain.
General Note This is a textual description of the strain, often including details of the generation of the strain.
Strain Synonym Alternate names used to refer to this strain.
MTB ID This is a identification number given to each unique tumor frequency record in the MTB database.
Organ Affected The organ in which the lesion was found.
Treatment Type/Agent(s)  Indicates whether the tumor was spontaneous or arose in mice that had received some form of treatment and, if treated, lists the specific agent(s) given.
Strain Sex Indicates the sex of the mice, which may be female, male, mixed population, or unspecified sex.
Reproductive Status Indicates the reported reproductive status of the mice.
Frequency Tumor Frequency is the percentage of a population of mice that develop a specific lesion.

This value may be a distinct number, a range, or a qualified comment.

NOTE: Observations of "zero percent frequency" are recorded in the Mouse Tumor Biology Database.

Often, subjective descriptions of tumor frequency are reported rather than exact proportions or percentages. We have assigned non-exact text descriptions of tumor frequency the following numerical values for the purpose of database searching and sorting:

Numerical equivalencies assigned to text descriptions of tumor frequency

Frequency Description  Numerical Equivalent 
very high > 80%
high > 50%
moderate > 30%
low < 20%
very low <10%
sporadic < 1%
observed > 0.1%
Age of Onset The age of the mice at the time the lesion first arose, often the age when the tumors first are discernible. For many lesions this is not readily apparent as they are not diagnosed until after the mice have died.
Age of Detection The age of the mice at the time of tumor detection. This is often the age of death.
Additional Information This column provides text links for Pathology Reports/Images, Genetics, and Additional Notes, where available, for a specific record. Clicking on these hyperlinks opens a pop-up window displaying the related data. Pathology information may include textual descriptions as well as images. Genetics information details the somatic mutations observed in the lesion. Additional Notes may include treatment details, gene expression levels, and/or other tumor-related information.
Reference A unique identification number ("J:number") for the reference for this record. This number is hyperlinked to the Reference Detail page for that particular reference.

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Strain Search Results

The Strain Search Results page presents all strain records found matching the requested search criteria. Users may refine the search by going back to the form and adding more selections to the search criteria.
The Strain Search Results page may be accessed from:
  • the results page generated by the "Search for" box in the menu bar when searching on "Strain"
  • the Strain Search Form
  • the "Strains" hyperlink on the Reference Detail page
  • the Genotype hyperlinks on the Genetics Search Results page

A Search Summary is located just beneath the heading on the Strain Search Results page. This summary provides the following information:
  • a summary of the search parameters and operators chosen for the search. This section is dynamically generated, so it does not show parameters not included in the current search criteria
  • the selected sort order, either by Strain Name or Strain Type. The default is set to "Strain Name"
  • the selected display limit, either 25, 100, 500, or No Limit. The default is set to "25"
  • the number of records displayed as well as the total number of matching records found by the query

The following table describes the fields displayed on the Strain Search Results page.

Field Description
Strain Name  The name of the strain of mice. Strain names in MTB follow international nomenclature rules whenever possible.
Strain Type Method of strain derivation (e.g. inbred strains, targeted mutations, transgenics, etc.). One or more types are assigned to each strain.
Strain Notes  This is a textual description of the strain, often including details of the generation of the strain.

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Strain Tumor Overview (Collapsed View and Expanded View)

The Strain Tumor Overview page presents a summary of the tumor frequency records associated with a particular strain and may include data from multiple citations.
The Strain Tumor Overview page may be accessed by clicking on:
  • the hyperlinked strain names found on several database pages
    • Strain Search Results
    • Tumor Search Results
    • Tumor Summary
    • Pathology Image Search Results
    • Pathology Image Details

The following table describes the fields displayed on the Strain Tumor Overview page. Most of these are visible on both the Collapsed View and Expanded View pages. Some are visible only on the Expanded View pages (as indicated below). Users may switch between the two views by clicking on the appropriate hyperlink in the upper right-hand portion of the page. Tumor listings are grouped by Tumor Name, Organ Affected, and Treatment Type on the Collapsed View pages, and they are grouped by Tumor Name, Organ Affected, Treatment Type, Treatment Agent, and Metastatic Status on the Expanded View pages.

NOTE: Some of the fields presented on the Strain Tumor Overview page are populated dynamically and are only visible if that field contains data, otherwise the corresponding area is hidden from view.
Field Description
Strain The name of the strain of mice. Strain names in MTB follow international nomenclature rules whenever possible.
Strain Synonyms Alternate names used to refer to this strain.
Strain Note This is a textual description of the strain, often including details of the generation of the strain.
Tumor Name The tumor name is generally a combination of organ of origin name and tumor classification.
Organ Affected The organ in which the lesion was found.
Treatment Type/
Agents (Expanded View)
Indicates whether the tumor was spontaneous or arose in mice that had received some form of treatment. Specific treatment agent(s) are given on the Expanded View pages.
Metastasizes to
(Expanded View)
A list of organs a tumor was found to metastasize to or found to not metastasize to. The negative results are preceded by the word "not" and are listed in italics. If no metastases results were reported, this field is left empty.
References
(Expanded View)
A unique identification number ("J:number") for the reference for this record. This number is hyperlinked to the Reference Detail page for that particular reference.
Number of Tumor Group/Sub-type Records This indicates the number of tumor frequencies that fit the criteria shown on the corresponding line of the table (unless all the associated frequencies have a value of "0%" (see NOTE)). Clicking on the hyperlinked number will go to the Tumor Summary page for those tumor frequencies.

NOTE: When a "0" is present in this column it does NOT indicate zero associated frequencies, but rather it is an indication that all the associated frequencies have a value of 0%.
Other Database Links Hyperlinks to additional related data held in external resources:

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Genetics Search Results

The Genetics Search Results page presents all records for strain and tumor genetics found matching the requested search criteria. Users may refine the search by going back to the form and adding more selections to the search criteria.
The Genetics Search Results page may be accessed from:
  • the results page generated by the "Search for" box in the menu bar when searching on "Genetics"
  • the Genetics Search Form

A Search Summary is located just beneath the heading on the Genetics Search Results page. This summary provides the following information:
  • a summary of the search parameters and operators chosen for the search. This section is dynamically generated, so it does not show parameters not included in the current search criteria
  • the selected sort order, either by Gene Symbol, Mutation Type, or Chromosome. The default is set to "Gene Symbol"
  • the selected display limit, either 25, 100, 500, or No Limit. The default is set to "100"
  • the number of records displayed for strain genetics records and the number of records displayed for genetic changes observed in lesions

The following table describes the fields displayed on the Genetics Search Results page.

Genes, Alleles and Transgenes carried by Strains

Field Description
Mouse Chromosome  The mouse chromosome of the marker with which the allele is associated. This field is generally empty for transgenes, unless the integration site has been mapped.
Symbol, Name The official gene symbol and gene name for the genetic marker associated with the displayed genotype.

NOTE: Because many transgenes carry genes from organisms other than mouse, the source organism of the expressed component of the transgene is indicated in parentheses after the gene name for records of transgenes.
Type This indicates the allele type (e.g. normal, chemically induced, targeted mutation, transgene, etc.).
Genotype This indicates the allele pair. The number in parentheses indicates the number of Strain records associated with that allele pair. Clicking on the hyperlink will access the Strain Search Results page showing the associated strain records.

Genetic Markers analyzed in the Tumor

Field Description
Mouse Chromosome  The mouse chromosome of the genetic change, where applicable.
Gene Symbol, Name The official gene symbol and gene name for the genetic marker associated with the displayed genetic change.
Marker Type Observed  This indicates the type of genetic change observed. The number in parentheses indicates the number of specific genetic changes associated with that genetic change type. Clicking on the hyperlink will access the Genetic Change Summary page showing the associated genetic change records.

Cytogenetic observations in the Tumor

Field Description
Mouse Chromosome  The mouse chromosome of the genetic change, where applicable.
Type  This indicates the type of cytogenetic observation. The number in parentheses indicates the number of cytogenetic observations of that type for the specified chromosomes. Clicking on the hyperlink will access the Cytogenetic Summary page showing the associated cytogenetic records.

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Genetic Change Summary

The Genetic Change Summary page presents a summary of the tumor frequencies associated with the specific somatic genetic change indicated.
The Genetic Change Summary page may be accessed by clicking on:
  • the hyperlinked number in the Marker Type Observed column in the Genetic Changes in Tumors section of the Genetic Search Results page, which is located on the lower portion of the page.

The following table describes the fields displayed on the Genetic Change Summary page.

Field Description
Gene Symbol The official gene symbol for the genetic marker.
Gene Name The official gene name for the genetic marker.
Mouse Chromosome The mouse chromosome of the marker with which the genetic change is associated. This field is generally empty for transgenes, unless the integration site has been mapped.
Genetic Change Type  This indicates the type of genetic change observed.
Mutation Location This field provides the user with a more detailed description of the mutation observed.
Tumor Name The tumor name is generally a combination of organ of origin name and tumor classification.
Treatment Type Indicates whether the tumor was spontaneous or arose in mice that had received some form of treatment.
Number of Associated Tumor Frequencies This indicates the number of tumor frequency records associated with that particular genetic change. Clicking on the hyperlinked number will bring the user to a Tumor Search Results page summarizing all of the associated tumor frequency records.

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Cytogenetic Summary

The Cytogenetic Summary page presents a summary of the tumor frequencies associated with the specific cytogenetic change.
The Cytoenetic Summary page may be accessed by clicking on:
  • the hyperlinked number in the Marker Type Observed column in the Cytogenetic Observations in Tumors section of the Genetic Search Results page, which is located on the lower portion of the page.

The following table describes the fields displayed on the Cytogenetic Summary page.

Field Description
Chromosomes The mouse chromosomes associated with the cytogenetic observation.
Name The official gene name for the genetic marker.
Note Additional notes releating to the observation.
Type  This indicates the type of genetic change observed.
Assay Type  This indicates the type of assay.
Tumor Name The tumor name is generally a combination of organ of origin name and tumor classification.
Treatment Type Indicates whether the tumor was spontaneous or arose in mice that had received some form of treatment.
Images Contains any assay images for the cytogenetic record.
Tumor Summary A link to the Tumor Summary for this Tumor Frequency Record.

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Pathology Image Search Results

The Pathology Image Search Results page presents all pathology image records found matching the requested search criteria. Thumbnail images serve as hyperlinked to Pathology Image Detail pages. Users may refine the search by going back to the form and adding more selections to the search criteria.
The Pathology Image Search Results page may be accessed from:
  • the Pathology Image Search Form
  • the "Pathology Images" hyperlink on the Reference Detail page

A Search Summary is located just beneath the heading on the Pathology Image Search Results page. This summary provides the following information:
  • a summary of the search parameters and operators chosen for the search. This section is dynamically generated, so it does not show parameters not included in the current search criteria
  • the selected sort order, either by Organ of origin, Strain of origin, Method, or Antibody. The default is set to "Organ of origin"
  • the selected display limit, either 5, 10, 100, or No Limit. The default is set to "5"
  • the number of records displayed as well as the total number of matching records found by the query

The following table describes the fields displayed on the Pathology Image Search Results page.

Field Description
MTB ID This is a identification number given to each unique tumor frequency record in the MTB database.
Tumor name The tumor name is generally a combination of organ of origin name and tumor classification.
Organ Affected  The organ in which the lesion was found.
Treatment Type/Agent  Indicates whether the tumor was spontaneous or arose in mice that had received some form of treatment and, if treated, lists the specific agent(s) given.
Strain name/
Strain Sex/
Reproductive Status
The name, sex, and reproductive status of the mice. Strain names in MTB follow international nomenclature rules whenever possible.
Tumor Frequency Tumor Frequency is the percentage of a population of mice that develop a specific lesion.

This value may be a distinct number, a range, or a qualified comment.

NOTE: Observations of "zero percent frequency" are recorded in the Mouse Tumor Biology Database.

Often, subjective descriptions of tumor frequency are reported rather than exact proportions or percentages. We have assigned non-exact text descriptions of tumor frequency the following numerical values for the purpose of database searching and sorting:

Numerical equivalencies assigned to text descriptions of tumor frequency

Frequency Description  Numerical Equivalent 
very high > 80%
high > 50%
moderate > 30%
low < 20%
very low <10%
sporadic < 1%
observed > 0.1%
Age at Necropsy The age of the mouse when the necropsy was performed.
Description The textual pathology description associated with a particular tumor frequency record.
Image ID This is a identification number given to each unique image in the MTB database.
Source of Image The source of the pathology descriptions and/or images and may be either a published reference or a personal communication (for records submitted directly to MTB).
Pathologist The name of the pathologist.
Method/Stain The method/stain used in the preparation of the slides/tissues for the displayed image.
Image Caption This is a detailed description provided a veterinary pathologist. This additional information helps facilitate more accurate interpretation of pathology images by non-pathologists.
Image Link Thumbnail images are hyperlinked to the Pathology Image Detail page for that particular image.

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Pathology Image Detail

The Pathology Image Detail page presents a larger version of the selected pathology image as well as detailed pathology information associated with that image.
The Pathology Image Detail page may be accessed by clicking on:
  • the thumbnail images on the Pathology Image Search Results pages
  • the thumbnail images on the Pathology Report/Image pop-up windows

The following table describes the fields displayed on the Pathology Image Detail page.

NOTE: Some of the fields presented on the Pathology Image Detail page are populated dynamically and are only visible if that field contains data, otherwise the corresponding area is hidden from view.
Field Description
Caption This is a detailed description provided a veterinary pathologist. This additional information helps facilitate more accurate interpretation of pathology images by non-pathologists.
Description A discription of the image.
Notes Any notes included with the image.
Contributor The veterinary pathologist who provided the caption for the displayed image.
Pathologist The veterinary pathologist credited with displayed image.
Copyright Any copyright details for the displayed image.
Method The method used in the preparation of the slides/tissues for the displayed image.
Image Probes Details of any probes used in the image
MTB ID The id of the the tumor frequency record this image is assoicated with. Links to the tumor summary
Tumor Name The tumor name is generally a combination of organ of origin name and tumor classification.
Treatment type/Agent  Indicates whether the tumor was spontaneous or arose in mice that had received some form of treatment and, if treated, lists the specific agent(s) given.
Tumor synonyms Alternate names used to refer to this lesion.
Organ Affected The organ in which the lesion was found.
Frequency Tumor Frequency is the percentage of a population of mice that develop a specific lesion.

This value may be a distinct number, a range, or a qualified comment.

NOTE: Observations of "zero percent frequency" are recorded in the Mouse Tumor Biology Database.

Often, subjective descriptions of tumor frequency are reported rather than exact proportions or percentages. We have assigned non-exact text descriptions of tumor frequency the following numerical values for the purpose of database searching and sorting:

Numerical equivalencies assigned to text descriptions of tumor frequency

Frequency Description  Numerical Equivalent 
very high > 80%
high > 50%
moderate > 30%
low < 20%
very low <10%
sporadic < 1%
observed > 0.1%
Strain name The name of the strain of mice. Strain names in MTB follow international nomenclature rules whenever possible.
Strain Type Method of strain derivation (e.g. inbred strains, targeted mutations, transgenics, etc.). One or more types are assigned to each strain.
Strain Synonyms Alternate names used to refer to this strain.
Strain Sex Indicates the sex of the mice, which may be female, male, mixed population, or unspecified sex.
Reproductive Status Indicates the reported reproductive status of the mice.

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Human Gene Search Results

A Search Summary is located just beneath the heading on the Strain Search Results page.
This summary provides the following information:
  • A summary of the search parameters and operators chosen for the search.

The following table describes the fields displayed on the Human Gene Search Results page.

Field Description
Human Gene Symbol  Human Gene Symbol(s) that match the search criteria
Mouse Gene Symbol An orthologous Mouse Gene
Name The name of the mouse gene 
Alleles/Transgenes in Strains The number of Strains in MTB with a reference to this gene
Classes of Tumor Specific Alterations The number of tumor records in MTB involving this gene

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Reference Search Results

The Reference Search Results page presents all reference records found matching the requested search criteria. Users may refine the search by going back to the form and adding more selections to the search criteria.
The Reference Search Results page may be accessed from:
  • the Reference Search Form

A Search Summary is located just beneath the heading on the Reference Search Results page. This summary provides the following information:
  • a summary of the search parameters and operators chosen for the search. This section is dynamically generated, so it does not show parameters not included in the current search criteria
  • the selected sort order, either by Year or First Author. The default is set to "Year"
  • the selected display limit, either 25, 100, 500, or No Limit. The default is set to "25"
  • the number of records displayed as well as the total number of matching records found by the query

The following table describes the fields displayed on the Reference Search Results page.

Field Description
Accession ID A unique identification number ("J:number") for the reference for this record. This number is hyperlinked to the Reference Detail page for that particular reference.
Reference The details for each reference. This includes authors, title, journal, year, volume, issue, and pages for published references, and author, title, and year for personal communications.

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Reference Detail

The Reference Detail page presents a full citation and abstract for a single reference, as well as a summary of associated information in MTB and a link to the same reference in MGI.
The Reference Detail page may be accessed by clicking on the "J:number" links on:
  • the Reference Search Results page
  • the Tumor Summary page
  • the Pathology Reports/Images pop-up page
  • the Genetics pop-up page
  • the Additional Notes pop-up page
  • the Strain Tumor Overview (Expanded View) page
  • the Pathology Image Detail page

The following table describes the fields displayed on the Reference Detail page.

Field Description
Reference The full citation for the selected reference. This includes title, authors, journal, volume, issue, year, pages, and abstract for published references, and title, author, and year for personal communications.
Additional Information in MTB This section contains a summary of the tumor frequency records, strains, and pathology images in MTB from the selected reference and provides hyperlinks to that data.
Other Accession IDs The unique identification number ("J:number") for this reference. The accompanying text, "Mouse Genome Informatics", is hyperlinked to the MGI Reference Detail page for that particular reference.

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Cancer QTL Viewer

Cancer QTL data are grouped by organ. One or more organ groups can be selected to view associated QTLs.
Selected QTLs can be viewed as HTML, tab delimited text or graphically on the mouse genome.
When using the graphical view, click on a chromosome to see a higher resolution view, mouse over a feature to see a label, shift+click on a feature to open the details and search page (pop-ups must be enabled). QTLs are color coded by organ group.
A legend will be displayed to the right of the genome or chromosome with each selected organ and the color of the associated QTLs.

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Cancer QTL Selection Details

This page provides additional information about the selected QTL and the ability to search for genes within the region.
Search results can be submitted as a gene batch query to MGI.

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Dynamic Tumor Frequncy Grid

The dynamic tumor frequency grid presents the same information as the existing tumor frequency grid, but allows the data to be refined by the user.
Individual strain families and organ groups can be selected to generate a customized grid.
In the resulting grid, individual strains and organs can be selected to further refine the grid's contents. Use the checkboxes to select the desired strain and organ rows and columns, then click the 'Generate Grid' button.

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Citing MTB
MTB is supported by grant CA89713 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
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