Purdue Comparative Oncology Program News

Integrated Canine Data Commons (ICDC)

In Comparative Oncology news, the National Cancer Institute has announced the development of an Integrated Canine Data Commons (ICDC). Many different types of information on dog tumors, including genomics, pathology, clinical features, and case outcomes can be deposited into the ICDC. Scientists from all over the world can study the information from dogs and compare it with human cancer patient data from the Cancer Research Data Commons! This is expected to lead to a much better understanding of the similarities and differences between canine and human cancer and better outcomes for cancer patients in both species. Multiple Purdue scientists are involved in the effort and have contributed two of the initial data sets in the Commons.

Read more at the National Cancer Institute >>

Summer 2020 Newsletter

Fall 2019 PCOP Newsletter

We are glad to share our revived Purdue Comparative Oncology (PCOP) Newsletter with you. The newsletter was a popular feature of our program a few years ago. After a break in production, and after many request for it, we are reviving the PCOP Newsletter to share our work and its impact with you. There is so much to share!

Read the Summer 2020 Newsletter (PDF) >>

Previous Newsletters

2019 Fall Newsletter (PDF)

TanoveaTM is here!

The Purdue Comparative Oncology Program is excited to announce that we are now carrying Tanovea™ (rabacfosadine), a new treatment for dogs with lymphoma. Click here to read more about TanoveaTM.  If you have questions about Tanovea at Purdue, please call (765) 494-1107 and ask to speak with a member of the Oncology staff.

Lawn Herbicide Exposure to Dogs

Considerable interest has been generated by a recently published study by PCOP scientists and key collaborators at Purdue University and the University of North Carolina.  The purpose of the study was to determine the extent to which lawn chemicals are taken into the body of dogs and eliminated in the urine. This study was in followup to an earlier study that showed a significant association between lawn chemical exposure and increased bladder cancer risk in dogs with a strong genetic risk for the cancer, i.e. Scottish terriers.  Briefly, in the new study 3 different herbicides (2,4-D, MCPP, dithiopyr) were measured in the urine of dogs of any breed that did not have cancer and on the surface of the grass in 25 households who had already planned to apply lawn chemicals and in 8 households who were not going to apply lawn chemicals. The 3 chemicals were selected because they are commonly used in lawn chemical mixtures, not because of specific known carcinogenic effects of those chemicals.  The goal was to assess how readily lawn chemicals are taken up by dogs, as well as to assess factors that could result in prolonged presence of the chemicals on the grass.

Some of the important findings and conclusions are summarized below:

  • Lawn chemical exposure was widespread in dogs. At least 1 of the 3 chemicals measured in the study was present in the urine of dogs in the majority of the 25 households after lawn chemicals were applied to the grass.
  • “Untreated” grass also contained lawn chemicals, presumably from drift from nearby treated areas.  At least 1 of the 3 chemicals was detected on the grass in 7 of 8 control households, as well as in many of the “treated” households BEFORE the chemicals were applied.
  • Half of the dogs living in “untreated” control households had lawn chemicals in their urine.
  • The condition of the grass affected how long the chemicals persisted on the surface of the grass where they would be taken up by dogs. Chemicals persist longer on dry brown grass.  Chemicals were detected on the grass at 48 hours after treatment in the household study.
  • The levels of chemicals in the urine were lower than those that would cause acute toxicity. The effects of chronic long term exposure to these levels of chemicals have not yet been determined. 

The bottom line is dogs can internalize lawn chemicals from exposure to their treated lawn, exposure to their untreated but contaminated lawn, and from other treated areas such as parks. Further studies are indicated to determine the exposure levels in humans, especially for people involved in yard work, gardening, and sports.

What can pet owners do to reduce exposure to their dogs?  Limit lawn chemical use to areas necessary.  Consider treating the lawn in sections: the front yard one week, the back yard another week so there is an area for the dog that has not recently been treated. Follow manufacturer or applicator instructions, and do not apply excessive amounts of chemicals. Keep the dog off treated areas for at least as long as the manufacturer recommends, and recognize that longer is usually better.  Dogs in our study picked up chemicals from lawns even when the chemicals had dried. Some dedicated dog owners even wash their dogs feet each time they come in the house from the lawn.

The full text article is available through PubMed:

Knapp DW, Peer WA, Conteh A, Diggs AR, Cooper BR, Glickman NW, Bonney PL, Stewart JC, Glickman LT, Murphy AS. Detection of herbicides in the urine of pet dogs following home lawn chemical application. Sci Total Environ. 2013 Jul 1;456-457:34-41. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.03.019. Epub 2013 Apr 10. PMID: 23584031.

A pdf copy of the article is available here.

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