People and pooches battling cancer

By Connie Orcutt • Published: February 1st, 2016
Category: Animal Airwaves

Sadly, one of the medical problems we share with our canine companions is a high incidence of cancer — especially as we both grow older. But in the field of cancer research, each group has the other’s back.

Whether you’re a person or a pooch whose cancer hasn’t responded to traditional therapy, the only option left might be clinical trials of new drugs. Such studies in dogs can give them more time while providing valuable data for later human trials.

Drugs used for people have helped many dogs with cancer. And now that the canine genome has been mapped — as in people — techniques for targeting cancer genes in humans are also being transferred to dogs.

Such promising results have boosted the field of comparative oncology — that is, the study of cancer from one species to another — and it’s a win-win situation for all.