Ohio Golden Retrievers Get Cancer Care as Part of Study

 |  Dec 26th 2006  |   0 Contributions

Thanks to the Cleveland Plain Dealer for this hopeful news!

Ill dogs get free care to aid cancer study
OSU tests new drugs on canines
Michael Sangiacomo
Plain Dealer Reporter

After decades of an adversarial relationship, animal-welfare groups and the medical research community are cooperating to treat dogs with cancer drugs.

The result: free treatment for the dogs and testing of new cancer drugs for humans.

The National Cancer Institute is working with more than a dozen veterinary schools, including the Ohio State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, to give cancer-stricken dogs new treatments. The free treatments, even if they were available for pets, would normally cost up to $6,000.

"It's a fabulous thing," said Rhonda Hovan of Bath Township, a research facilitator for the Golden Retrievers Club of America. "It provides hope for the dogs, something owners are desperate for. Some cancers are not curable, but at least the dogs' lives can be extended and scientists can learn something from them."

Hovan said she never would have believed that one day she would advise people to let their dogs be used for drug testing. Now, she helps people around the country link up with drug and treatment trials like the one at Ohio State.

She has donated blood and cell samples -- to be used for genetic research -- from some of her dogs that have died of cancer.

One of the success stories is that the pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer has approved a drug for fighting cancer in humans that first proved effective on dogs.

Scientists are studying DNA and samples of tumors from dogs to isolate genes that are associated with cancer in animals and humans.

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