Breakthrough Cancer Treatment for Dogs and Humans
Texas A&M University research study makes breakthrough that just might change the fight against lymphoma cancer for canines and humans.
Posted: March 7, 2012, 5 p.m. EST
The ground-breaking lymphoma treatment, funded by the AKC Canine Health Foundation, uses laboratory expanded T-cells to help extend the lives of dogs that have lymphoma cancer. The treatment was created by a team of scientists at Texas A&M and the University of Texas MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital in Houston.
First, they take a blood sample from the dog and expand the T-cells – the white blood cells critical for fighting infection and controlling cancer. Then, after the dog has had chemotherapy treatments, the expanded T-cells are infused back into the dog’s system. Their hypothesis was that the T-cells would fight off any remaining cancer not wiped out by the chemotherapy. Results are encouraging, according to the foundation.
Our [T-cell] treated dogs had a tumor-free survival (first remission) almost five times longer [than dogs that received only chemotherapy treatments],” said Texas A&M’s Heather Wilson, DVM, leader in the next phase of the canine T-cell project that is being funded by CHF.
In a disease that is considered rarely curable, these results are promising. Typically, 80 percent of dogs with lymphoma survive for only 12 months after being diagnosed and it is the most common type of cancer found in dogs, making up nearly 24 percent of all cancer cases in dogs.
“We chose to fund Dr. Wilson’s research because it was such a novel and innovative concept to harness a dog’s own immune system to combat cancer, and we also realized the strength and the resources that would come to canine research when our most pioneering veterinary researchers are partnered with human oncology researchers,” said Shila Nordone, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at the AKC Canine Health Foundation. “We fully support the One Health-One Medicine initiative because we know that there are no dividing lines between human and animal health.”
Interestingly enough, dogs are closer genetically to humans than mice, and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has already approved trials using T-cell immunotherapy to treat humans for lymphoma. New trials stemming from this research are forthcoming.
For more information and to donate to cancer research, visit the CHF website and click on the “Donate Today” button or text “dog” to 20222 to make a $5 donation.
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