Pets help vets find potential cures for human cancers

NEW YORK - Vets treating cancer-ridden pets with cutting-edge drugs are also gaining vital insights into the progression and therapy for cancers in humans.

The National Cancer Institute has launched the Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium (COTC) in a bid to help organise nationwide trials in tumour-bearing dogs using cancer drugs.

Faculty members at Missouri Univeristy (MU) Scott Endowed Program in Veterinary Oncology (SEPVO) participated in COTC’s first trial.

‘Spontaneous cancers in companion dogs offer a unique, and largely unexplored translational research opportunity for cancer imaging, device and drug development,’ said Carolyn Henry, professor and director of SEPVO at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine.

‘Comparative oncology at MU has a long history of advancing cancer treatments in both humans and dogs. In the first COTC trial, we examined a novel drug-delivery method that disrupts blood flow to the tumours but not to the surrounding tissue,’ said Henry.

‘The results were effective, and we observed a dramatic decrease in the size of the tumour in one of our patients,’ she added, according to an MU release.

The report was published in this month’s PLoS ONE.


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