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Cancer patients using “mouse avatars” to customize treatments

mouseScientists often test drugs in mice. Now some cancer patients are doing the same — with the hope of curing their own disease.

They are paying a private lab to breed mice that carry bits of their own tumors so treatments can be tried first on the customized rodents. The idea is to see which drugs might work best on a specific person’s specific cancer.

The mice may help patients make what can be very hard choices under difficult circumstances. Studies can suggest a certain chemotherapy may help, but patients wonder whether it will work for them. Often there’s more than one choice, and if the first one fails, a patient may be too sick to try another. So hundreds of people have made “mouse avatars” over the last few years to test chemotherapies.

Click here to read more from this December 15, 2014 Seattle Times (AP) article by Marilynn Marchione.

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