Canine bone cancer study offers hope of better treatment for kids

By Susan Aiello • Published: February 1st, 2012
Category: Animal Airwaves

Bone cancer is a tragic disease that often strikes young people. But, new research into bone cancer in dogs offers hope of improved treatment for kids.

Only dogs and people develop bone tumors with any frequency, and the two forms of cancer are very similar. New research has found a genetic pattern that distinguishes aggressive bone cancer in dogs from milder forms of the disease. This gene pattern is also seen in people, suggesting that it might be possible to separate aggressive and tamer forms of human cancer.

This could lead to predictive tests that allow both human and veterinary oncologists to reserve high-risk treatment for those with the aggressive form, while treating other bone tumors with more conservative therapy that has fewer side effects. This is a win-win for all patients … and yet another way that dogs make our lives better.