Human and Companion Animal Cancer Research Reveals Interesting Overlaps

Human and Companion Animal Cancer Research Reveals Interesting Overlaps

Recently, at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, researchers have taken an extremely unique approach in their study of immunotherapy. By coupling with the Flint Animal Cancer Center, Steven Dow, DVM, PhD and Dan Regan, DVM, PhD have been conducting clinical trials involving the study of both human and canine cancers, finding interesting correlations between the two.

Throughout the trials, there have been several cases of canine cancer treatments becoming catalysts for human cancer prevention and treatment developments. Interestingly enough, the same is being shown to be true in the opposite direction as well. One example of this miraculous human-companion overlap was seen in Sadie, a Bernese Mountain dog suffering from cancerous nodules in her lungs. Being a beloved pet of CU Cancer Center member, Michael Verneris, MD, a professor of pediatric hematology and oncology, Sadie was able to participate in one of these groundbreaking clinical trials. The impressive potential reality of Sadie’s survival became a possibility after being prescribed a drug, commonly known as Losartan, which is traditionally used to treat high blood pressure in humans. Seeing as bone cancer commonly metastasizes to the lungs in dogs and humans alike, researchers theorized that using losartan to block metastasis to the lungs would decrease the ability for the cancer to grow. As a result of the clinical trial and use of Losartan, the nodules in Sadie’s lungs drastically shrunk in size, granting her the ability to live an entire year of life beyond her initial cancer diagnosis.

Intuitively, different species develop diseases in different ways and use their unique biological compositions to try and create a unique form of internal defense. With this in mind, how is it possible that an immunotherapy used for canines can be remotely applicable to a human cancer treatment and vice versa? Dan Gustafson, PhD, co-director of the CU Cancer Center Drug Discovery and Development Shared Resource and FACC director of research comments that “as people start to understand cancer as a biological process, what we need to let the public know is that process is amplified in dogs due to their shorter lifespan. Thirty percent of dogs die of cancer, and as we treat more of them, we start understanding the parallels with humans more”.

At Cryoport Systems, we recognize the significance of clinical trial research and development across the life science industry. We strive to provide the best of our services and technologies to each and every one so that miraculous medical advancements, such as these, can bring about important change for humanity and our beloved four-legged companions alike.

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