Archive for the ‘Cancer Research’ Category

New medicine to treat canine cancer..

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Can you believe there is finally a drug for the treatment of cancer in dogs? Yes, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first drug made specifically to treat mast cell tumors in dogs.

Until recently human oncology medicines were used to treat cancer in dogs.

This is indeed a huge breakthrough. The new drug called Palladia, has been manufactured by Pfizer Animal Health Inc.

It works by killing tumor cells and disrupting blood supply to the tumor. However, the side effects may include diarrhea, loss of appetite, lameness, weight loss and blood in the feces.

For more information on mast cell tumors you can log on to


Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Here’s the deal: rawhide is literally the outside of a cow – the skin. Rawhide is not regulated in any way. Some imported brands (China, Philippines) have been reported as soaked in formaldehyde or contaminated with arsenic. These foreign hides may also contain other detrimental things such as antibiotics, insecticides, or lead- things you’d never knowingly want to ingest.

Also, choking is a hazard, and rawhide can cause canine gastric irritation when chewed on often, which can lead to vomiting and extreme discomfort.

Now the good news: there are great alternatives for purchase online. Or, thick pieces of dehydrated organic sweet potato is nutritious, delicious, and cheap if you have a food dehydrator. At the very least, buy a brand that is made in the USA and says something on the label about being natural. Good chewing!

This blog is contributed by Nadine M. Rosin, author of The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood

What’s More Scary? Change or Cancer?

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Guest blogging for the National Canine Cancer Foundation is a real honor – and a great way for dog lovers to share stories and information. Thanks to the National Canine Cancer Foundation, work for a cure is supported. People who have lost beloved friends or whose dogs are living with cancer have a place to go to find hope and strength. But I want more.

I want all guest bloggers here to share their posts on the National Canine Cancer Foundation’s blog across the dog-blogosphere, so we can get the word about Canine Cancer where it badly needs to go – to people whose dogs are healthy. Let’s face it; people don’t want to hear about cancer if it’s not in their lives. It’s too frightening. But, if we are able to spread information that can help people take real action to promote wellness in their dogs, we can make the National Canine Cancer Foundation’s job a little bit easier.

I started thinking about canine cancer as my dogs got older, (they’ll be 7 and 9 this year) and as I heard about so many pets, both dogs and cats, who were dying from cancer. On one street not far from where I live, the cancer rate for both people and pets seems extraordinarily high. Is it because the planes landing at the airport empty their gas tanks over that area? (The tops of trees in the arboretum there are surely showing signs of damage.) Is the cancer rate due to poor diet? Heredity? Lawn chemicals? Coincidence? More frightening is the possibility that this street is not an anomaly.

When it comes to animal companions, pet owners turn to the experts for help. After all, everyone wants to be sure they’re doing the best they can to keep their pets healthy. What, then, has gone so terribly wrong? Well, sometimes, people choose the wrong experts to listen to, for instance, unscrupulous advertising agencies, who push foods that aren’t really very nutritious for animals, or more subversively, splash images of happy dogs in their ads and on the trucks of lawn care services, who use toxic chemicals.

People need to realize that they are capable of becoming the experts themselves, and more than that, they need to become the experts themselves to effectively advocate for the health and well being of their animal companions. To do this, they must read everything they can get their hands on and question, question, question – Is this food, vaccine, medication, procedure, training protocol, you fill in the blank, what’s right and healthy for my dog?- even if it means an uncomfortable conversation with the vet.

Many pet owners are not aware, for instance, of the danger vaccines pose to pets, including their contribution to incidences of immune disorders, elevated liver enzymes, kidney failure, seizures, hypothyroidism, and cancer, among others. Dr. Jean Dodds, an internationally recognized authority on thyroid issues in dogs and blood diseases in animals, has done extensive research on vaccines, and asserts “In veterinary medicine, evidence implicating vaccines in triggering immune-mediated and other chronic disorders (vaccinosis) is compelling.” She is currently working toward reducing the number of rabies vaccines dogs receive by extending the vaccination requirements to five, and then seven years.

In short, pet lovers need to read the about vaccination issues so that they can make an educated decision about which vaccines and how many their pet really needs, (within legal guidelines, of course) no matter what that postcard from the vet says.

People also need to be open to new ideas and to pay attention to evidence amassed from years of research when it comes to the health of their pets – especially when the results challenge their belief systems about medical care. People often fall into the mindset of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” In the case of canine cancer, however, something in the healthcare system for animals is terribly broken, and both pet owners and the medical community need to look beyond what they’re doing now into new options with an emphasis on wellness, rather than fearing change, in order to remedy the situation.

Dr. Terry Shirvani, a Naturopathic physician and owner of cats, suggests that we can (and should!) take for the most part, concepts of holistic health for humans, which are based on wellness, and extend them to our animal friends. The holistic approach takes into account the health of the whole being, and as Terry emphasizes, animals are beings, just as much as humans are. Holism looks at each animal as an individual.

Just like people, all animals are unique in their health and emotional requirements. There is no one-size-fits-all food for dogs, and providing them with the best food we can may mean preparing their meals by hand, rather than picking up a bag of kibble at the supermarket. Sound ridiculous? Consider then, the health and lifespan of dogs before the introduction of kibble. Terry also points out how stress in owners’ lives can affect their pets who are extremely sensitive to what’s going on with their human guardians. By looking at ways to improve pets’ quality of life, their owners may be surprised to find ways in which it’s critical to improve their own.

The path to wellness is not difficult. The difficulty lies in people’s resistance to change. Looking up information on the Internet is not hard. Changing dog food is not hard. Vaccinating less is not hard (and saves money!) Trying a more natural approach to wellness instead of patching symptoms may require finding a different vet, but that’s not really so hard, either. Small changes can make a world of difference. Let’s make that world one that’s canine cancer free.

Contributed by Beth Lowell, Animal Reiki Practitioner,

Dogs predict Cancer and more

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

It has been recorded that dogs can sense when an earthquake or tsunami is coming. Heightened sensitivity to changes in barometric pressure, tremors and other animals may allow them to ‘predict’ a future event, offering a scientific explanation for this particular type of event.

But what about those dogs that save lives? Service dogs are utilized for their ability to predict epileptic seizures or low blood sugar in diabetics, alerting their companion in advance to avert an potentially life threatening episode. It’s not just service dogs who preform these phenomenal acts; accounts of dogs with no training alerting their companions before life threatening attacks are common. How is this possible?

There have been accounts of dogs predicting heart attacks and perhaps most interestingly, cancers. Perhaps the explanation for this behavior lies in our canineDog Doctor companion’s acute sensitivity to changes in odors or changes in behavior that are missed by humans. Rather then being ‘psychic,’ perhaps in addition to science, our dogs are so in tune with that from which we are blocked, they truly can assist us in connecting to that which we are removed from, due to the convoluted structures of modern life.

New studies do conclude that dogs can ’sniff’ out cancer. A major study on this topic was conducted by the Pine Street Foundation, a research organization in San Anselmo, California and more studies utilizing canines to detect cancer are underway.

As dogs can have the ability to smell chemical traces in the range of parts per trillion, dogs are able to discern the breath of lung and breast cancer patients from that of healthy people. Cancer cells emit different metabolic waste from normal cells and these particles can be detected by dogs, even in very early stages of the disease. Previous studies have confirmed the ability of trained dogs to detect skin-cancer melanomas by sniffing skin lesions. It is hoped that dogs will also be able to detect prostate and other cancers by sniffing urine samples. Early detection is vital to a good prognosis for cancer patients and it may be the super-sniffers of dogs that are able to detect disease before any human-made screening methods.

Accounts of untrained house pets repeatedly sniffing or pawing at an area on a family members body are common, only for the human to later find out they have a cancer in the very region that the dog was so focused on. Clearly, the science behind the dog’s abilities are tapping into the natural capabilities of the dog.

This was a guest blog written by Hilary Sloan Canine Aficionado

They know better when it is the time, than we do

Friday, March 6th, 2009

After reading the great blog by our guest blogger Alex of Welderland, I started to think about when we had to put our three dogs down because of Cancer.  I don’t have to tell anyone reading this how hard that decision is, especially right at the time of doing it.

But my wife and I have discovered something that happens with our dogs.  Each dog in their own way, let us know when it was time.  I can still remember when we made the decision for Bailey.  He was the hard one because even with only days left, he was still strong but he could hardly breathe because the Hermangiosarcoma had spread throughout his lungs.

When Bailey let us know it was time, it was at night.  We brush our dogs every night before going to bed and Bailey loved that.  He was up on the grooming table and struggled to breathe but was wagging his tail because he loved to be on the table and brushed.  Then there was a moment when he looked at us in a way that said he was ready, Sara and I both knew without saying anything to each other that it was time, and we just hugged him what seems forever and cried.  The next morning we said good bye to him.

Each of our dogs that have died of Cancer have told us when it is time by a look or an action that in our case makes us know we did the right thing.  But doing the right thing still is not easy and I still sometimes have doubts.  That is why I think Alexandria’s blog was so powerful.

Notes by Dr Kent’s on his canine Lymphoma Cancer research with Nanoparticles. Rearch funded by a grant from NCCF

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Lymphoma in dogs is one of the most common cancers. While between 80 and 90% of dogs will achieve a complete remission, with conventional chemotherapy protocols the median time to loss of first remission is between 8 and 10 months with median overall survivals ranging between 12 and 14 months. Only about 5% of dogs will be alive at two years. The last major breakthrough for the treatment of canine lymphoma was the addition of doxorubicin to combination chemotherapy protocols around 30 years ago. New therapies to break through this ceiling are desperately needed.

We have recently begun enrolling dogs with relapsed lymphoma in a new clinical trial to evaluate a new type of chemotherapy treatment. We are evaluating response and toxicity. Working closely with the human medical school we have developed a nanoparticle targeting agent. This molecule targets dog lymphoma cells and brings conventional chemotherapy agents to the cancer cells. This has the potential of making therapy for lymphoma both more effective and less toxic.

This work is funded by a grant from the National Canine Cancer Foundation. At the conclusion of the trial we will make more information on this exciting new treatment available on the website


Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

From Wikipedia: “Well into the 20th century, coal miners brought canaries into coal mines as an “early warning signal” for deadly, toxic gases. The birds, being more sensitive, would become sick before the miners, who would then have a chance to escape or put on protective respirators.”

Is it any wonder that with the “pre green” proliferation of chemical laden cleaning and laundry products, building supplies, and monthly flea poison treatments, that our pets are developing cancer at such an alarming rate? In addition to protecting one’s animal from constant exposure to a myriad of possible household carcinogens, our having to negotiate the constant recalls and dangers of an unregulated, processed pet food industry can be an overwhelming and depressing nightmare. But there’s also a deeper issue: when it comes to these everyday toxins that we have become so unconscious about or accepting of, have our cherished, innocent pets become our modern day canaries?

There are MANY things we can do to prevent our beloved companion animals from ever getting cancer. When my 8-year old dog, aka: my adopted daughter, Buttons, was diagnosed with deadly carcinoma and given 6 weeks to live, I launched a massive personal research campaign into the world of holistic medicine. I soon came to learn that “holistic” didn’t mean symptom treating with natural remedies or herbs in lieu of pharmaceutical drugs. Instead, it meant clearing my home environment of all possible toxins, cleansing Buttons’ entire system physically and emotionally, and then giving her the proper nutritional support so that Buttons’ body could do what an unburdened body does best: HEAL ITSELF. Buttons went on to thrive for another 11 years. Exactly 1 week before her 19th birthday, she died peacefully of old age in my loving arms.

Contributed by Nadine M. Rosin, author of The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood

A Picture always tells the story.

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

I received a donation today like we do everyday.  This one came with a story and a picture like many do.  But this one seem to get to me.  It made me cry.  I did not cry because of the words but because of the what the words said and how the picture looked.

The donor proceeded to talk about Mia and how see went through her battle with Cancer getting steroids and chemo treatments and how she lost her battle with Cancer on February 28 of this year.  I get many emails just like this and everyone is very personal to me and I feel and understand their sorrow since I have lost three of my dogs in the past three years to Cancer.

Then the donor said that they were enclosing a picture of Mia waiting at the Vet for her Cancer treatment just two weeks before she died.  And that picture was what got me.  Look at her, how happy she is, so excited to visit her friends at the Vet. Two weeks later she was gone.  I must do more, we must do more.  The research is there, the technology is there, we just need to be there with our support.

Mia at the Vet

Mia at the Vet

How Cancer Research in Dogs will Help Human Cancer Research

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

In 2004, the mapping of the dog genome was completed.  This effort was a collaboration of many individuals at many institutions and was funded by the National Institutes of Health. This was done at a cost of over $30 Million. Why did they do this?  Because they recognized that cures for cancer in people may come through studying and learning to treat this disease in dogs

There are several reasons that many cancer researchers believe this.  First, dogs like humans develop cancer spontaneously.  This is not the case in mice and rats in which the majority of cancer research happens now. Treating a mouse with a tumor that was injected into it is a lot easier to cure than a person with cancer. By learning how to treat a dog’s cancer, which has all the complexities of a human cancer, we are likely to come up with treatments that can also be used on people. Also, since dogs age faster than humans and they develop cancer at a younger age than people, cancer trials can be done faster and less expensively in dogs.

While the dog genome is about the same size as the human genome, there is less diversity in it, coming from many generations of breeding for specific traits and breeds.  This makes it easier to find the genes responsible for specific diseases, including many forms of cancer.

So in helping fund canine Cancer research you are also helping fight Cancer in people. For more information on the mapping of the genome of the dog go to

Interview with Dr. Jamie Modiano

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009