Dog treatment, human cure?

By Susan Aiello • Published: April 2nd, 2012
Category: Animal Airwaves

Dogs take on many roles, providing heroic service to people with disabilities and soldiers at the front. Our canine friends are also helping provide improved cancer treatment for people.

An aggressive form of human brain cancer called glioma is currently treated with a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. But chemo drugs have trouble reaching tumor cells in the brain, so few are effective.

Research in dogs is suggesting a better way. Veterinary oncologists have injected chemotherapy drugs directly into canine gliomas, successfully reducing tumors up to 90 percent and leading to clinical trials in people. Dog studies also provide important genetic clues to this deadly cancer because the map of the canine genome has many similarities to our own.

Once again, dogs prove to be man’s best friend far beyond family companionship.