Archive for the ‘Cancer Research’ Category

National Canine Cancer Foundation to fund a new innovative Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) Research Project

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

I have some new exciting news. As you all know we are always trying to find an new edge in the battle against canine cancer. And Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is one of those cancers we would like to get a better handle on since it seems to end up being diagnosed too late to save the dog. In fact, we are so keen on finding out how to deal with HSA that we have actually initiated our own research project on HSA with G. Elizabeth Pluhar, D.V.M., Ph.D., and John Ohlfest, Ph.D. This is very exciting for the NCCF because this type of research on HSA has never been tried. Let me tell you how it all came about by first talking about a dog name Batman.

Batman was the first dog to undergo a breakthrough experimental treatment for brain cancer, led by doctors, G. Elizabeth Pluhar, D.V.M., Ph.D., and John Ohlfest, Ph.D. They developed a combination treatment plan for dogs with glioma, a very aggressive and relatively common form of brain cancer. First they removed the tumor surgically. Then, in some cases, they use local gene therapy to attract immune cells to destroy remaining tumor cells, and finally they created a personalized anti-cancer vaccine made from the dog’s own cancer cells to prevent tumor recurrence.

I personally love the thought of taking a cancer that was killing a dog and turning it into a personalized vaccine to kill the cancer!

Dr. Pluhar, a surgeon at the Veterinary Medical Center, and Dr. Ohlfest, head of the neurosurgery gene therapy program at the Masonic Cancer Center, gave Batman his initial treatment in August 2008. Batman led a normal life unaffected by his tumor until his death from cardiac failure in February 2010, there was no tumor recurrence. According to the Dean of the College, Trevor Ames, DVM, MS, “the far-reaching implications of this promising new treatment are almost difficult to fathom; not only could these treatments lead to a cure for brain and other systemic cancers in dogs, but because dogs and humans share many physiological traits, dogs could also be the missing link in the cure for brain cancer in humans.”

Then something interesting happened. Almost one year ago, Davis Hawn’s then 8-year-old yellow lab, Booster, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his nasal sinus. Booster was given three weeks to live. Hawn did not want to accept the death sentence and began searching the country for a cure. His search led him to doctors in Florida who removed Booster’s tumor and gave him chemo. An online search then led him to Dr. Elizabeth Pluhar from the University of Minnesota’s canine brain tumor clinical program. Davis asked her to help his dog, but Dr. Pluhar had never made a vaccine for this type of cancer before. But Davis was not going to take no for an answer so she did agree to try. She shipped the vaccine off and ten months later Booster is cancer free.

Then after Davis contacted the NCCF to tell us about how well the vaccine works, we contacted Dr. Pluhar to ask if she would be willing to try the same research that was successful with brain cancer and skin cancer, and use the same protocol to try dealing with splenic HSA. The NCCF’s thinking is that with all these other cancers, the similarities were that the cancer had to be removed and a vaccine needed to be created from the cancer cells. With splenic HSA, one of the more common forms of HSA, the spleen is typically removed so we felt that Dr. Pluhar’s research could possibly work. With that in mind, we asked her if she could try and apply her protocol on splenic HSA. After doing some initial research she agreed to do the study based on reaching certain goals before going on to the next level.

First, she needs to insure that we can culture the cancer cells in the lab,

Second, she needs to insure that the tumor vaccines stimulate immune cells to attack tumor cells. If she can achieve these two steps she can go on to treat the HSA cancer. We could not be happier and are guardedly optimistic over this research project.

The cost for this project will be $55,500. I hope you are all as excited as we are about this research and will help fund the project. If you want to help with funding this new innovative NCCF’s initiated project please CLICK HERE or got to this link

http://wearethecure.org/giving/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=70

Thank you

Gary D. Nice
President and Founder
National Canine Cancer Foundation

Experimental Canine Tumor Vaccine Tested

Monday, January 25th, 2016

The Yale School of Medicine and The Veterinary Cancer Center in Norwalk, Connecticut, are working together to test and evaluate a cancer vaccine for dogs with certain types of cancerous tumors. If the clinical trial is successful, researchers believe the vaccine will change the way cancer treatment is delivered to animals and people. The Veterinary Cancer Center is accepting dogs for the study.

The EGFT/HER2 Tumor Vaccine is the culmination of years of work by cancer researchers at Yale University. This stage of the project will determine whether or not anti-tumor antibodies are produced in vaccinated dogs. The vaccine ingredients are combined with a patient’s own white blood cells and then injected into a dog at two different intervals during the study. Blood samples are taken at the time of the first injection, then again on day 21, day 28 and day 56.

Yale researchers found that in a laboratory setting, the white blood cells worked with the vaccine to target malignant tumors and start to kill, reducing their size.

One patient in the clinical trial is a Pit bull mix named Valo. His owner reported the dog hasn’t experienced any side effects from the vaccine and is doing all of the regular activities he enjoys.

The ultimate goal of the vaccine study is to develop a new technology for treating cancer in people, as well as animals. This goal is somewhat rare because the majority of clinical trials for pets do not produce the same results when they are tested on people, but the Yale researchers are optimistic this study will benefit all of us.

Here are the eligibility requirements for dogs to enter the study:

  • Dogs must have confirmed mammary cancer or osteosarcoma.
  • Dogs with other types of cancer may be eligible depending on enrollment opening.
  • Dogs must weigh more than 6 pounds.
  • Dogs must not have been on prior steroid use. (ie: prednisone)

For more information about the EGFR/HER2 Canine Tumor Vaccine clinical trial, contact Gillian Rothchild at: Gillian@VCCHope.com.

Story reposted from:
https://www.toegrips.com/canine-tumor-vaccine/
By Sharon Seltzer

Researchers Get OCE Funding for Canine Cancer Study

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

University of Guelph scientists working to improve cancer therapy for dogs – and potentially to enhance human cancer treatment – have received a $100,000 grant from Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE).

Principal investigator is Brenda Coomber, a biomedical sciences professor in the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) and co-director of U of G’s Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation (ICCI).

She will work with Rna Diagnostics to study dogs with advanced lymphoma, one of the most prevalent canine cancers. This project builds on her research begun in 2013 with the Toronto-based company.

Paul Woods and Brenda Coomber

“Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that all dogs with lymphoma get the best treatments we have available,” Coomber said.

“Since lymphoma in dogs is very similar to lymphoma in humans, the results of this study may also improve our understanding and treatment of human cancer.”

Certain molecules called biomarkers can help predict disease outcome or response to therapy in order to improve treatment.  Rna Diagnostics has developed a novel biomarker test called an RNA disruption assay (RDA™), intended to pinpoint cancer patients unlikely to respond to chemotherapy.

Coomber used RDA™ previously at OVC’s Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer to assess early response to conventional drugs in dogs treated for lymphoma.

Typically, treating canine lymphoma with chemotherapy involves multiple rounds of four drugs. In about four out of five dogs, this treatment leads to complete cancer remission.

But about half of dogs with complete remission will suffer a relapse within six months and will need new treatment.

“This time we’ll be studying dogs that have lymphoma and did not respond to treatment, or those who responded and were in remission but have now relapsed,” Coomber said.

Learning whether RDA™ can predict early response to chemotherapy among dogs with advanced lymphoma might spare patients from ineffective drug treatments and improve outcomes, she said.

Coomber will also analyze genes in these samples to identify other changes that might predict response to therapy for advanced canine lymphoma.

The OCE funding comes from its Voucher for Innovation and Productivity II fund, which supports collaborations between universities and Ontario companies.

“This is the kind of made-in-Ontario innovation we are always trying to find and are proud to support,” said OCE president and CEO Tom Corr.

“The work that Brenda Coomber and Rna Diagnostics are doing has the potential to not only change the way dogs are treated for lymphoma but also provide valuable information that might lead to more effective treatment of the disease in humans.”

Ken Pritzker, CEO of Rna Diagnostics, added: “OCE is a valued supporter. Funding needed studies ensures we get RDA to those clinicians and patients who need it most.”

The study will also involve clinical studies professor and ICCI co-director Paul Woods, pathobiology professor Dorothee Bienzle, ICCI clinical trial co-ordinator Vicky Sabine, and ICCI tumour bank co-ordinator Kaya Skowronski.

News reposted from:
http://news.uoguelph.ca/2016/01/u-of-g-researchers-receive-oce-funding-for-canine-cancer-study/

Self-Taught Artist Paints Pet Portraits To Raise Money For Canine Cancer Research

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

When Debbie Bruce’s 11-year-old golden retriever was diagnosed with cancer she was devastated. When only a few years later her 5-year old golden retriever was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer, she knew she had to do something to help further canine cancer research.

That’s how Painting For A Cure was born, a website that allows you the chance to get an affordable hand painted portrait of your pet, from which a generous percentage of proceeds go directly to funding canine cancer research.

Qupid, Debbie’s 5-year-old golden was diagnosed with lymphoma, a fast moving canine cancer that can kill a dog in a mere month. Luckily, thanks to a team of oncologists at California Veterinary Specialists, Qupid enjoyed an extra year-and-a-half of life. Still, she was only 3 months short of her 7th birthday when she passed, much too soon in the eyes of her loving family.

A painting of Qupid, the dog that inspired it all:

During Qupid’s bi-weekly cancer treatments, Debbie met people with dogs, cats and even rabbits battling cancer. One day, Debbie was struck with the idea to paint personalized pet portraits to raise money for canine cancer research. The only problem? She had never drawn more than a stick figure in her life.

Debbie wasn’t going to let a lack of experience stop her. She signed up for private lessons, watched countless YouTube videos, purchased books, and practiced almost every hour of every single day. Before she knew it, her ‘okay’ drawings were turning into incredible works of art that truly capture the heart and soul of each animal on canvas.

Today, Debbie’s website, Painting For A Cure, stands in honor of Qupid’s legacy. Providing hope that one day we will have a cure for cancer.

The self-taught artist said, “It is my hope that someday in the near future cancer will no longer have the chance to rob anyone of their golden years.”

It’s not just golden retrievers, or even dogs. Cancer is on the rise in many species, and when breakthroughs occur in canine cancer research it helps all across the board. You can help contribute to these breakthroughs by simply ordering a personalized pet portrait for you or someone you love.

Story reposted from:
http://www.earthables.com/pet-portraits-raise-money-for-canine-cancer-1553680628.html
By Earthables

Penn Vets Make Strides to Help Dogs with Cancer

Friday, January 8th, 2016

Penn Vet is making some amazing strides in fighting a devastating cancer in dogs. It’s called Hemangiosarcoma and it strikes like a lightning rod.

In fact, our Dawn Timmeney lost her Golden Retriever, Bhodi, to the nasty cancer. She shows us what Penn Vet researchers are doing to turn dog owners’ despair to hope.

Bhodi was an 8-year-old healthy, happy Golden Retriever. One minute he was playing in the yard and the next minute he was being rushed to an emergency veterinarian. The diagnosis was something Dawn never even heard of: Hemangiosarcoma. It’s a highly aggressive and invasive canine cancer of the blood vessels that most often strikes the spleen.

“A lot of times, by the time we diagnosis it, it spread to other organs,” said Penn Vet Researcher Dr. Dorothy Cimino Brown.

Bhodi was treated at Metropolitan Veterinary Associates in Trooper, Pennsylvania, where the oncologist gave Dawn and her family the poor prognosis for their beloved pet. The doctors said tumors were on his spleen, heart, lungs and the cancer was advanced. He might have a few days, maybe a month to live. Dawn and her family could do chemotherapy, but it would not buy him much time. Their one hope was a Chinese compound derived from mushrooms called “I’m Yuntiy.”

“The PSP that’s in “I’m Yunity” comes from a very specific Yunzee mushroom. The active compound within this mushroom is the Polysaccharopeptide,” said Dr. Brown.  “It’s been used in Chinese Medicine for over 2000 years and the predominant interest is in boosting the immune function.”

Penn Vet researchers found in a study they published in 2012 that this particular compound increased longevity in dogs with Hemangiosarcoma and it appeared to have a tumor fighting effect.

“We were like,  ’Wow, this is really promising.’ It made us want to go ahead and do the next study which we are doing now,” Dr. Brown explained.

The first study was small with 15 dogs but some lived over a year.  The second study is more definitive and involves 100 dogs. Two dogs in the study are a Golden Retriever named Moose and a 10-year-old Frenchie named Milo.

“When you are dealing with cancer, you are always looking for; is there any indication the cancer has spread beyond where it was the last time you looked at the dog,” said Dr. Brown

Milo was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma right after Christmas last year.  He had his spleen removed and joined the study in January of 2015.

“When we found out just kind of on a fluke that Penn had this opportunity for him to be part of this trial and this new medication. I mean we just jumped at the chance because we wanted to make sure we had as much time with him as much good time with him as we could,” said Milo’s owner Bonnie Levitt.

Half the dogs in the study are on I’m Yunity, a quarter are on I’m Yunity and chemotherapy and another quarter are getting chemo and a placebo. Milo is getting chemo but  Bonnie doesn’t know if the 3 capsules she gives him a day are I’m Yunity or a placebo, but thankfully, he is much improved and living life.

“The fact that he is now kind of past the typical window of what dogs with Hemangiosarcoma would see “it’s been a winning lottery ticket for us. We feel very fortunate,” Bonnie explained.

Moose is also seeing amazing results, he had his spleen removed in February and has been taking only I’m Yunity for 8-months.

“For dogs with Hemangiosarcoma one of the major problems is they can have bleeding from their tumors, either from the main tumor in their spleen or if they have spread of tumor, these small tumors can bleed as well,” Dr. Brown explained.

That is what ultimately causes the dogs to succumb to the cancer. Dawn’s Golden Bhodi lived for 38 days after the dreaded diagnosis taking 9 I’m Yunity capsules a day They considered those 38 days a gift.

Penn Vet is halfway into its second study on I’m Yunity. Researchers estimate it will probably run another two years since its team of vets is following all the dogs until the end of their life.  They say there’s been no evidence of any adverse effects of I’m Yunity. The hope is being it will offer a significant and successful alterative to chemo, which doesn’t greatly increase survival. The makers of I”m Yunity  may also pursue large scale clinical trials in humans.

Interested dog owners can contact researchers at VCIC@VET.UPENN.EDU or call 215-573-002)

Story reposted from:
http://www.fox29.com/news/69956817-story

People living with cancer may benefit from canine cancer research but dogs themselves benefit just as much.

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

Dogs have long been recognized as man’s best friend. But a new cancer study confirms that canines offer humans a lot more than companionship.

Scientists just identified new genes that may predispose humans to lymphoma, a common blood-borne cancer. They arrived at this discovery by studying naturally occurring lymphoma tumors in golden retrievers, cocker spaniels and boxers. The research could yield new treatments for humans with lymphoma.

This study is hardly an outlier. In recent years, research with the help of dogs has yielded significant advances in medical and veterinary science — especially in the fight against cancer.

Yet even as research yields promising results, animal-rights groups have redoubled their efforts to end scientific research involving dogs. These opponents have long been willing to sacrifice human lives for their ideology. But by campaigning against canine research, they’re also putting the lives of dogs in danger.

Scientists discover cures by studying diseases in living systems — first in animals and then in people. They can’t test a drug’s effectiveness by just plugging formulas into a computer model.

Consider cancer, which is as big a threat to dogs as it is to humans. One in four dogs develops cancer at some point in its life. Dogs also develop many of the same cancers humans do. But more importantly for researchers, they develop cancer in the same way as humans: spontaneously.

That’s different from mice and rats, the go-to models for cancer research. Rodents are genetically engineered to have various forms of the disease. And while they are incredibly valuable for cancer drug trials, even they don’t mimic how cancer acts within a person’s body as closely as a dog with a naturally occurring form of a similar cancer.

So people living with cancer benefit from canine cancer research. But dogs themselves benefit just as much.

A few years ago, researchers at the University of Minnesota successfully removed a form of brain cancer known as glioma from a 10-year-old dog named Batman with the help of several experimental treatments. Glioma is often impossible to fully remove in dogs through surgery. Among humans, this form of cancer accounts for 80% of malignant brain tumors.

Or consider the story of Sasha, an American bulldog diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2012. As many as 8,000 dogs are diagnosed with this form of bone cancer every year. The majority do not survive for more than a year following their diagnosis.

Sasha and four other dogs gained access to a new vaccine through a clinical trial at the University of Pennsylvania. The treatment enabled Sasha and the others to live healthily for another two years.

Opportunities for dogs to receive advanced cancer therapies are growing more common. The National Cancer Institute’s Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium, for instance, is currently managing dog trials at 20 institutions around the country.

Thanks to these studies, dogs are benefiting from some of the most sophisticated cancer treatments available to any species.

Why are activists fighting this dog-saving research? In recent months, campaigners from a non-profit known as the Beagle Freedom Project have been publicly attacking — and even suing — research institutions that conduct canine studies. Their ultimate goal is to end all research with dogs and cats.

If they succeed, many cancer patients — across multiple species — will die. Who knows how long it will take to cure cancer if scientists are precluded from using some of the most effective research techniques available to them.

And that’s to say nothing of the dogs who will die along the way.

Canine cancer studies are offering new hope to the owners of dogs with cancer — and paving the way toward new, more effective treatments for humans. That activists oppose these efforts in the name of animal rights reveals their hypocrisy.

Article reposted from:
http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/frankie-trull-animal-rights-groups-dog-cancer-research-article-1.2475913
BY FRANKIE TRULL

Canine Cancer: Clinical Trials Give Cure Clues

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Aggressive cancer research may benefit both man and animals, and because many cancers in dogs so closely resemble human cancer, the clinical trials used for dogs can provide meaningful results for humans, too. These trials, taking place all over the United States, are helping scientists find answers in their war on cancer.

Canine research hasn’t been confined to studying just cancer. Researchers are also gaining knowledge on spinal injuries and aging, and they are even learning if having a dog improves overall health. But the biggest potential medical benefit for humans comes from work intended to unlock the mystery of cancer. These studies are far from what you might imagine, and not “animal testing” as one might think of it.

Animals participating in cancer clinical trials are generally dogs with cancer that belong to people who are trying to prolong their lives and provide pain relief for a beloved companion, and most continue to be cared for and live at home. Their owners are getting help from veterinary specialists who have access to the latest information and equipment. These dogs often get experimental drug therapy. Cancer treatments are expensive, but clinical trials are frequently offered at a reduced cost or sometimes at no cost.

A new cancer drug for man’s best friend may help advance cancer therapies for humans as well. According to veterinary oncologist DMV Cheryl London, of Ohio State University’s Center for Clinical and Transitional Science, this drug, called Verdinexor, works by preventing powerful tumor-suppressing proteins from leaving the nucleus of cells, an exodus that would allow the cancerous cells to grow unchecked. It’s a new type of treatment for dogs with certain types of blood cancers. Dogs suffering from lymphoma usually go to the veterinary office weekly to get chemotherapy infusions. Verdinexor is a pill that can be given at home, making treatment less traumatic for both the dog and the owner. It’s an option when chemotherapy fails or as an adjunctive therapy, and shows great promise: preliminary studies showed that the drug either stopped or slowed tumor growth with over 30% of dogs experiencing some regression of the disease.

Dr. London notes that more information sharing is taking place between veterinary and human oncologists, making discovery and development of new drugs more efficient. The US Food and Drug Administration approved a portion of Verdinexor’s animal drug application for “minor use” – similar to “compassionate use” in humans. Additional trials of the drug are ongoing, and veterinary oncologists hope to have access to Verdinexor later next year.

At the Veterinary Cancer Center in Norwalk, CT, 20 dogs in a cancer study are still alive, perhaps because they received a vaccine developed at the Yale School of Medicine. The vaccine was first tested on mice before the clinical trial that has allowed dogs to receive it, too. The vaccine’s purpose is to encourage animals to make disease-fighting antibodies to attack their tumors. More traditional medications provide the antibodies externally, so it’s a big step when the body makes them itself. If the study shows that the dogs have developed the antibodies, additional research will look at dosing and long-term effects on tumors. Dr. Gerald Post, a DMV and oncologist at the center is excited about the results so far and says that “it could revolutionize how cancer is treated in both dogs and humans.”

Dog research has certainly led to drugs and therapies that show promise in human health. Researchers are beginning human trials on a number of drugs after successful results from canine studies. Sutent is one such medication, prescribed to battle advanced kidney and other cancers, and human trials are also underway on a drug called PAC-1 which causes cancer cells to self-destruct.

Throughout the country, clinical trials are taking place on dogs with cancer, aimed at curing the animals but with huge ramifications for human cancer treatments as well. Over the last 15 years The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation has funded over 30 different trials and researchers at 20 universities formed the Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium to cooperate on clinical trials and to share their research. This important work may play a big part in helping researchers to finally unlock vital answers for dogs suffering from the disease, as well as for people who are battling cancer.

News reposted from:
http://dogtime.com/dog-health/canine-cancer/32057-canine-cancer-clinical-trials-give-cure-clues
By
Vicki Clinebell

ClancysCure Honors Golden Retriver Lost to Canine Cancer

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

You might recognize these two golden retrievers, Clancy and Chase. They kept guard outside of St. Mary’s Church on Greenwich Ave. for eight years until sadly their owner Rev. Monsignor Frank Wissel had to be put in a nursing home. Bill Gorgas and Barbara Davis saw that these two pups needed a new home and jumped on the opportunity.

Clancy had Hemangiosarcoma, a very common canine cancer in golden retrievers

“We probably went through about a month’s long process of adoption,” said Gorgas.

Chase and Clancy became a part of the family officially on May 14 of last year. Things were great for about a year until Clancy got sick one June night.

“He woke us up on a Sunday night breathing very heavily, and the next morning he was completely lethargic- wouldn’t go for a walk, wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t lift his head,” said Gorgas.

They were then hit with the news that Clancy had Hemangiosarcoma, a very common cancer in golden retrievers.

“I’ve read 25 percent of all golden will die from that particular cancer,” said Davis.

“It’s very aggressive, it’s very quick. We actually lost him in two days,” said Gorgas.

Gorgas said the cancer began in the dog’s liver and spleen but it had spread throughout his whole body.

“There was nothing they could do, so we actually put him down that night,” said Gorgas.

And as a tribute to their four-legged friend, ClancysCure was founded. It works in partnership with the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine to raise funds for canine cancer research.

“We needed to figure out why he was given to us and turn that into a positive,” said Davis.

All funds raised go directly to Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Gorgas hopes the money raised will bring about a day when dogs are cancer free.

“Of course, that’s a long term goal, but you have to start somewhere,” said Gorgas.

And now this cause is even more important to Gorgas and Davis- it was discovered a few weeks ago that Chase now has a tumor similar to Clancy’s.

“There’s a one third probability that it’s benign, and that’s the thought we are going on right now and that’s our hope,” said Gorgas.

But no matter what happens, these dogs will have helped lead the way to hopefully one day eliminating caine cancer.

“My philosophy in this is, you took Clancy from me, so game on. I want to have a proactive stance on this and fight it head on,” said Gorgas.

You can help fight canine cancer head on by donating at www.clancyscure.org.

Story reposted from:
https://www.greenwichsentinel.com/2015/11/09/clancyscure-honors-golden-retriver-lost-to-canine-cancer/
By Taylor Knight

AU researchers see major breakthrough in canine cancer

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

There are not enough months in the year to raise awareness for the numerous types of cancers, but there is one unlikely awareness month that could be an invaluable asset for the future of cancer treatment research.

And, it might come as a surprise.

Dr. Bruce Smith of the Scott-Ritchey Research Center, at Auburn UNiversity's College of Veterinary Medicine examines a dog. Smith has been part of research in canine cancer that has great promise.(Jeffrey Etheridge / Auburn University)

November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month. This year the month is marked by a major cancer research breakthrough in dogs could push the realm of possibility in cancer treatment for humans.

And it is all happening less than an hour’s drive down Highway 280 East, at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and the Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer.

The approach hinges on using viruses to target and kill cancers in dogs.

And it is only a fraction of the research set to begin at the AURIC, potentially with the help of dogs from local families.

Most dogs, for example, that are diagnosed with cancer at Alexander City Veterinary Clinic, according to a staff member, are sent to AU’s Teaching Hospital for its advanced facilities and treatments.

And though this method alone is not completely new and is used to a degree to treat certain cancers in humans, it is still at the forefront of current cancer treatment research.

The new approach will build upon the use of these oncolytic viruses, or viruses altered to directly infect and kill only cancer cells.

It was proposed by Andrew Hessel, a genetic researcher out of Northern California, to the director of AURIC, Bruce F. Smith V.M.D., Ph.D.

“What we’re doing is trying to build a virus that’s precisely designed for each patient. That’s a huge revolution. That is a complete revolution,” said Smith.

In short Hessel, skilled in genomics and trained in genetics, microbiology and computer programming, will digitally map the genetic makeup of the cancer that is individually specific to each dog.

The genetic information will come from the samples collected by Smith and his AURIC team.

From this information Hessel would construct a digital blueprint for an oncolytic virus specified for the cancer of each dog.

Smith said that an entire virus genome could now be synthesized from scratch.

“We’re right at the point – and I mean like days and weeks, not months or years – in the technology development that allows this to happen,” said Smith.

He said that physical trials probably would not begin for nearly a year.

However, in the meantime, he noted that if a dog were diagnosed and the cancer caught early enough, with current methods, including his implementation of generic oncolytic viruses, it might be likely that the dog could go into remission until physical trials of the new method are available.

And the reason behind the excitement behind the approach comes from what Smith called the potential “bidirectional” application of this method later in human trials.

“Dogs get many of the same cancers at much the same frequency that people do,” said Smith.

News reposted from:
http://www.alexcityoutlook.com/2015/11/13/au-researchers-see-major-breakthrough-in-canine-cancer/
By Corey Arwood / The Outlook

Get Educated On Canine Cancer "Lymphoma" In Time For National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Canine Cancer “Lymphoma” is devastating, and the information on it is varying depending on the source. Get up to speed quick on this deadly disease.

Canine Cancer Lymphoma is deadly to canines. Be prepared and know the signs and what to do if you suspect that you dog may have this disease. (Photo : Flickr Commons)

Nov. 7 has been named National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day, and it’s a day to educate and create awareness of canine lymphoma. Only when we are armed with knowledge can we make quality decisions on behalf of our best friend.

This is the first year for the National Holiday, which was submitted by Terry Simons, a well-respected and popular dog agility trainer and competitor who lost his best friend Reveille to lymphoma in 2011, according to National Day Calendar. While Simons had been lucky enough to share his life with several amazing dogs, Reveille was his “heart and soul” and he was devastated at losing his dog.

Motivated by the need to educate himself and also to limit anyone else going through the agony he did when losing Reveille, Simons has started CLEAR (Canine Lymphoma Education Awareness and Research), a 501(C)3 non-profit dedicated to increasing the awareness and understanding of canine lymphoma through clinical research, as well as arming dog owners with the knowledge of prevention and treatment of this devastating disease, Clear Canine Cancer noted.

One of the most common neoplasms (tumors) in canines is lymphoma, or lymphosarcoma, which usually originates in the lymphoid tissues, such as lymph nodes, spleen and bone marrow, according to We Are the Cure. But it can be present in any tissue in the body and accounts for 7 to 24 percent of all canine neoplasia and 83 percent of all canine hematopoietic malignancies. Lymphoma is generally seen in aging dogs from middle aged to older.

Certain breeds have a higher incidence of the breed, including Boxers, Bull Mastiffs, Basset Hounds, St. Bernards, Scottish Terriers, Airedales and Bulldogs. Spayed females have a much better prognosis than their unaltered doggy friends.

Symptoms include, but are certainly not limited to, lack of appetite, weakness, lethargy and weight loss, according to Pet MD. Know your dog and habits. Early awareness is key to treatment and healing.

Arm yourself with up-to-date information on this deadly disease to ensure your canine friend is around for a very long time.

Article reposted from:
http://www.hngn.com/articles/148025/20151107/educated-canine-lymphoma-time-national-awareness-day.htm
By Tracy Hughey

November 07, 2015