Medicine: Giving Up on The Mice

Scientists searching for cancer cures try a new tactic

It was time to give the mice a rest and try something else. For 35 years scientists laboring in the National Cancer Institute's screening program have injected more than 400,000 chemicals into leukemic mice, hoping to find chemotherapies that would help solve the riddles of cancer. All that frustrating work has produced only 36 licensed drugs. Most of them, while dramatically effective against leukemia, have shown only modest value in other forms of cancer. "Maybe," says David Korn, chairman of the National Cancer Institute's advisory board, "we've been using the wrong system as the screening device."

Maybe so. In a radical...

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