What can man’s best friend teach us about human cancer? A lot, thanks to surprising similarities in the disease across species. Watch the video to see how two Penn Vet researchers specializing in different types of cancer are improving outcomes for both human and canine cancer patients.
The Penn Vet Shelter Canine Mammary Tumor Program, founded by Professor of Oncology Dr. Karin Sorenmo in 2009, rescues homeless unspayed dogs with mammary tumors. In this win-win situation, the dogs get a new lease on life and become adoptable while Penn Vet researchers gain access to tumor tissues and clinical data that helps advance knowledge about human breast cancer.
Dr. Nicola Mason’s lab focuses on osteosarcoma, a bone cancer commonly affecting larger breed dogs. Through innovative clinical trials in canine cancer patients, Dr. Mason, the Pamela Cole Chair in Companion Animal Medicine and Associate Professor of Medicine & Pathobiology, and her team, have had promising results using vaccines to prevent this form of cancer from metastasizing – or moving to other areas of the body. Evidence suggests that similar treatments could be used to treat the more than 800 new human cases of osteosarcoma that are diagnosed each year.
These are just two examples of how Penn Vet embodies their mantra – Many Species. One Medicine.