Cancer Research to Benefit Pet Animals & People

Cancer is most often a disease of older age. As our What is a clinical trial?dogs and cats maintain their health better and live to older ages, they are at greater risk for cancer development. With more than 70 million pet dogs in the United States, cancer is a growing challenge to pet animals, their families, and to veterinarians. Cancer also remains a major cause of suffering and death in people, taking the lives of more than half a million people each year in the United States. Scientists in the Purdue Comparative Oncology Program (PCOP) are working to change this. As veterinarians, it is obvious that our work is aimed at helping our canine and feline companions. Our work is also aimed at benefiting human cancer patients. A tremendous opportunity exists for the comparative nature of the work because specific forms of naturally-occurring cancer in pet animals very closely mimic those same forms of cancer in humans. Therefore, when a new successful approach to prevent, treat, or better manage cancer in pet animals is identified, there is clear justification to evaluate this approach in humans.

Comparative oncology studies in the Purdue University Veterinary Hospital include work in invasive urinary bladder cancer (transitional cell carcinoma)lymphoma, and brain cancer. PCOP scientists are actively involved in the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, including the Bladder Cancer Focus Group.

The PCOP team at Purdue University also participates in the Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium (COTC). The COTC is part of the Comparative Oncology Program at the National Institutes of Health. The COTC consists of veterinary oncologists all across the country that work together to perform clinical trials in dogs and cats with cancer.

Cancer Research to Benefit Pet Animals and People

Research Mission Cancer is a major cause of death in older dogs and humans. The goal of the PCOP is to change this.

Urinary Bladder Cancer Research Urinary bladder cancer has been a focus of research efforts in the PCOP for many years. The outlook for dogs with this cancer has improved substantially, and successful work in dogs is being translated into humans.

Canine Brain Tumors Brain tumors are another emphasis of the PCOP’s research, and efforts are focused on both MRI detection of brain tumors and improving the surgical and medical therapies that are available.

Canine Lymphomas Canine lymphomas are a research focus area for the PCOP. We are actively seeking new and better ways to diagnose and treat these very common canine cancers.

Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium (COTC) In the COTC, veterinary oncologists, including those in the PCOP, are working together for rapid and successful clinical studies in pet animals with cancer.

Canine Brain Tumor Treatment and Brain Tumor MRI Research Program The PVM Canine Brain Tumor Research Program is a research program involving all aspects of canine brain tumor research: diagnosis using MRI, surgery, chemotherapy and other post-operative therapies.

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