The New York Times says it "could be the ultimate in personalized medicine," and it's hard to disagree. The idea is to give mice the same disease you have—as in, implant part of your tumor into the rodents—to help doctors zero in on a precise treatment. The practice is new, expensive, and still mostly confined to research facilities, but a few companies are trying to make it a commercial venture and pitching it to patients.
A New Jersey couple, for example, paid about $25,000 to give several mice the same tumor as their son, and technicians discovered that the mice responded well to a particular combination of drugs. The family will try the combo if the current treatment for the boy doesn't work. Doctors calls the mice "avatars," after the virtual characters in computer games, and one medical researcher dubbed a mouse with her own immune system "Mini-Me." Read the full article here.