Skip to comments.Dogs Get Cancer Like People, and Hold Clues to Cures
Posted on 02/06/2012 6:43:01 PM PST by Dysart
Researchers hoping to develop a promising new approach to treating cancer in people are trying it in another group: pet dogs.
The aim of personalized medicine is to design an optimum cancer therapy after analyzing genes in a patient's tumor. Dogs, which have strong genetic similarities with humans, get many of the same types of cancers as people and have similar responses to cancer-fighting drugs. When diagnosed, dogs often have a shorter survival time than humans, allowing researchers to see if a drug is making a difference in a shorter period.
In people, it can take three to five years from the time they are diagnosed until the disease reaches an advanced stage. But in dogs, trials testing whether novel drug therapies extend survival can be finished in six to 18 months, says Melissa Paoloni, director of the Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium at the National Cancer Institute.
Canine patients also are easier to enroll in clinical trials. When cancer researchers last year wanted to do a genetic study of cocker spaniels, a breed at relatively high risk of getting melanoma, and Great Pyrenees, who are at risk for osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, they contacted PetSmart Inc., the Phoenix-based national chain of pet stores. Making use of its big database, PetSmart sent out 117,000 emails to cocker spaniel and Great Pyrenees owners who had entered contact information after bringing in their pets for grooming. The request: Has your dog been diagnosed with cancer and would you be willing to have your dog's genetic information analyzed?
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Golden Retrievers and Hemangiosarcoma, such sweet almost angelic dogs. The only upside is, it’s relatively painless. But, it’s swift and very difficult to treat.
I lost my angel Boxer to Hermangiosarcoma. By the time she was diagnosed, it was too late. The end came very quickly. Cancer sucks. For humans and dogs.
My sister’s friends cat was diagnosed with fast growing cancer and given no more than two weeks to live sometime last Sept. The cat is still alive. They have been helping the kitty with alternative treatments. The University Hospital people where the cat was diagnosed with up to date equipment are quite amazed that the cat is still here.
Sounds like the sober voice of experience here. And you're right, it's almost unjust something so dreadful should afflict such a special friend. I'm rather fond of mine who is as you described above.
So true. My black lab mix dog died of a brain tumor in September 2010. She had been falling and had horrible seizures which my vet had been diagnosing as allergies or possible epilepsy.
A month later, my father was diagnosed with a glioblastoma. He loved to run with my dog. One thing he didn’t tell my mother until the diagnosis, was that he had been falling while running. My dad died less than two months later.
I’m thankful my father did not have to suffer from debilitating headaches and the pain other glioblastoma patients endure. I hope it was the same for my dear hound, though I of course have no way of knowing.
It’s just amazing to me the path they had to follow was so similar. They’re running long distance in Heaven today!
My cat was diagnosed with cancer a year and four months ago. After his third surgery, I’ve decided that he will have no more surgeries and no chemo. He’s such a sweet fellow, I hate to see him go through this.
Hopefully the targeted pet cancer testing will yield productive results for all of us sooner rather than later. I like the approach...the research premise is solid, I think.
I lost three cats to cancer, Cricket (female) in 1994, Pansy (female) in 2006 and GW (male) in 2011. Cricket and GW were 10 years old and pansy was 19. Pansy had lymphoma and if she did not ave it, I really think there would be a fairly good chance she’d still be alive, she’d be 25 this year. She was the runt of the little, but very tough and smart. GW was hard to take, his brother, Greystone died young too, but we still have his mother and sister. BTW, I’ve herd of alternate treatments, what are your friends using?
Hope all your current kitties stay well. Praise The LORD!
It is quite a solid premise. Traditionally, medicine has used a "one size fits all" approach in many areas, and that just doesn't make sense. Our genetic makeups are different. Those differences already have been shown to affect how we respond to drugs; I believe they also affect the course of disease and injury.
I am sorry for your losses. I hope these studies are effective and produce results. I noticed non-Hodgkins lymphoma was in the list of common cancers. That is what took my mother many years ago. Every and any step they can take to eradicating these horrible diseases is a milestone, and I’m not surprised that it may once again be the dog that is instrumental in saving the man.
We had two black labs that died of brain cancer as well. I’ve been hearing a lot of reports of that lately.