Video: Studying Pet Cancer and the Benefits of Comparative Oncology
Transcript (roll over to see more)
Comparative oncology is the study of spontaneous cancers in multiple species. And typically, comparative oncology when we talk about it in regards to people is looking at spontaneous cancers in animals as a model of how cancer behaves in people. The exposure and the types of cancers that dogs and cats get are very similar biologically, genetically, molecularly, to the cancers that people get.
We can study the effects of different therapies, different diagnostics, the biology of cancer in dogs and cats and get results in a much shorter period of time. And because it’s in a shorter period of time, it’s likely going to be less expensive than doing a similar trial in people. Bone marrow transplantation, the active transplanting bone marrow for leukemia was actually developed in dogs.
The second illustration of the value and power of comparative oncology is with targeted medications, targeted chemotherapies. And the use of them is helping researchers to figure out where to use them in people. And so there’s a very nice cross play or cross talk between human oncologists and veterinary oncologists.
The Animal Cancer Foundation is funding the first comparative oncology symposium at the National Cancer Institute, getting human pathologists and veterinary pathologists all together in the same room to talk about a particular type of cancer: melanoma. And what comes out of that truly will be a product of human and veterinary oncologists and pathologists talking. That’s the value of comparative oncology.
Interested in learning more about pet cancer or other conditions likely to affect senior pets? Check out these Petside exclusives: