Universities Team Up to Combat Canine Cancer

Two North Carolina institutions to study tissue samples from dog and human patients.

Posted: May 27, 2009, 5 a.m. EDT

The North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and the University of North Carolina’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center have partnered to help combat non-Hodgkin lymphoma in canine and human patients.

The disease is biologically similar in dogs and humans, but is much easier to narrow down problematic areas in a dog’s genome because the genetic variation among dogs of the same breed is so much lower than genetic variation in humans, according to the universities.

“Non-Hodgkin lymphoma ranks fifth in cancer deaths among human patients, and the mortality rate for dogs is even higher,” said Steven Suter, VMD, Ph.D., Dipl. ACVIM, professor of clinical sciences, who will help lead the NC State component. “By combining the strengths of our programs, we expect to enhance our understanding of the disease and speed improved treatments for people and pets. This is another example of ‘One Health,’ the concept of comparative medicine that acknowledges human and animal health relies on a common pool of medical and scientific knowledge and is supported by overlapping technologies and discoveries.”

Labs from both institutions will study tissue samples from human and canine patients. The team said it hopes to create a genomic “profile” of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that will give veterinarians and oncologists greater insight into the disease’s biology, and improve their ability to diagnose the illness early.

The team is recruiting dogs diagnosed with lymphoma to collect tissue samples for study. Dog owners may receive $1,000 for their pet’s participation.


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Jan   Los Angeles, CA

5/28/2009 7:20:54 AM

Where is prevention to stop this or any other disease before it starts? We only talk about diagnosis and treatment after the fact, by then it's too late. The focus needs to be on setting the body up to fight these diseases through better nutrition and elimination of environmental toxins, both for human and animal...don't you think? These options are also the least expensive to employ.

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