Table 1

Participants’ seven most commonly endorsed advantages and disadvantages of personalised patient-derived xenografts, identified in our pilot study

AdvantagesDisadvantages
1. The mouse avatars might improve treatment selection, which may improve the patients’ chance of surviving.1. The results might not be the same in the patient as they are in the mice, so the treatment chosen might not work on the patient.
2. The avatars could guide treatment selection to reduce the patients’ chances of developing side effects from their treatment.2. The scientists may be unable to find any effective treatment using this technology.
3. To help future research about how best to treat cancer.3. The treatment recommended from the avatar testing may be unavailable or too expensive to use.
4. To help doctors choose the right drug more quickly, which might avoid having to try several other drugs on the patient before finding the best one.4. The testing will involve harming animals.
5. To provide reassurance that doctors have done everything they can to make the best possible treatment selection.5. The patient might be recommended a treatment which is different to the most common treatment used for their type of cancer, or the treatment may not be compatible with any existing treatment that we know is effective.
6. The patient might recover faster if the right drug is chosen earlier.6. It would take some time to get the results from the mouse avatars, which might mean you might not choose the right treatment straight away.
7. The results from the avatars might help make the patient and their family feel more confident about the outcome of the treatment.7. It might be difficult to change treatments if the patient has already started on another treatment plan.