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The mice have three instead of two copies of genes that keep cell division in check.
It might be possible in the future to make a drug for humans that would confer the same protection against cancer, the Spanish scientists hope.
The team at the Spanish National Cancer Centre in Madrid report their findings in Genes and Development.
Cell growth and division is normally kept under control by a group of gatekeeper genes called tumour suppressors.
In cancer, cells grow out of control and invade, erode and destroy normal tissue.
Dr Manuel Serrano used DNA technology to breed mice that had an extra copy of part of the tumour suppressor genes called Ink4a/ARF locus.