We have studied in vivo responses of "spontaneous" Brca1- and p53-deficient mammary tumors arising in conditional mouse mutants to treatment with doxorubicin, docetaxel, or cisplatin. Like human tumors, the response of individual mouse tumors varies, but eventually they all become resistant to the maximum tolerable dose of doxorubicin or docetaxel. The tumors also respond well to cisplatin but do not become resistant, even after multiple treatments in which tumors appear to regrow from a small fraction of surviving cells. Classical biochemical resistance mechanisms, such as up-regulated drug transporters, appear to be responsible for doxorubicin resistance, rather than alterations in drug-damage effector pathways. Our results underline the promise of these mouse tumors for the study of tumor-initiating cells and of drug therapy of human cancer.