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Personalized cancer treatment one mouse at a time

Customized cancer mice are helping patients narrow down treatment choices.

Customized cancer mice.

It sounds like what could be the basis of a science-fiction film, but it's a new option for those impacted by the disease.

Not covered by insurance, cancer patients are paying between $10,000 to $30,000, in some cases, to test a variety of treatments in hopes of finding the one that will work best for their specific cancer.

"What I'm doing is personalized cancer treatment. It's the wave of the future," Eileen Youtie, told The Associated Press. "Part of this is trying to eliminate chemos that are not going to work on me. I don't want to waste time taking them and poison my body."

According to the article, people pay a private lab to breed mice who have bits of their specific tumors in them. The medicine is then tested on the mice before they are given to the patient.

Proponents of the practice say it is beneficial because not all treatments work on everyone, and this helps narrow down what will, and will not, work.

Dr. Andrew Gaya of Leaders in Oncology Care, a private clinic in London, told The Associated Press in his study, about 70 percent of the time the mouse results helped a patient.

However, Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, cautioned the practice should be considered highly experimental.


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