Sunday, May 21, 2017

A note on my mouse model

Just an update on this aspect of my treatment: our oncologist told us two days ago that she would be checking to see whether the mouse model is still progressing – which I think means whether my cancer cells, having grown successfully in two mice (one after the other), have now been injected into and successfully grown in a third.  

Whether my mouse model will actually tell us something about what to do with my disease remains uncertain, our oncologist pointed out. But she added one more, interesting thing: if this model does “take,” so that my cancer cells can dependably be moved to one mouse after another, then apparently I will be the source of an immortal line of cells, like those of Henrietta Lacks.

By now there are probably a lot of immortal cell lines, so mine will hardly be unique. Moreover, I don’t consider my cancer cells to be part of “me” (they’re more like my evil twin, sharing the same genetic base but turned all wrong) – so their life in mice or test-tubes won’t feel like some form of immortality for me. But this is still kind of cool.

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