Pet Cancer Leads to 'One Medicine'
Just like humans, dogs and cats develop spontaneous tumors. As they also live in the same environment as humans, they provide an excellent opportunity for inclusion in the search for new cancer therapies.
Veterinary oncologists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine are constantly evaluating new cancer therapies ranging from novel drugs to improved radiation treatments.
For example, a young Whippet diagnosed with stage 3 lymphoma (a form of white blood cell cancer) was given only about four weeks to live. His caregivers agreed to enroll their dog in a clinical trial, and just after the little dog's first treatment with a novel anti-cancer therapy, his cancer went into a complete remission.
For nearly two years, their dog lived a happy, normal, cancer-free life. Though the dog's cancer eventually returned, his owners gained a lengthy reprieve, and have enrolled their dog in a clinical trial of yet another novel cancer drug.
Based on positive results from veterinary trials, physicians may propose human drug trials of these exciting agents. This is just one example of "one medicine," where advances realized in companion animals translate to benefit humans, and vice versa.