Thursday, 20 September 2012

Texas University Using Dogs In Fight Against Cancer

Animal lovers will tell you-- pets have the power to heal, but what if they actually held the power to cure? Whether you're a dog owner or not, an emerging field of study at Texas A&M could someday impact you or someone you love.

Cancer touches everyone, even our pets. The human-animal bond is undeniable, but it may also prove to be invaluable in the fight to cure one of man's most deadly diseases.

"I think a dog is man's best friend in more ways than one," said Heather Wilson-Robles, a leading Veterinarian Oncology Specialist with Texas A&M's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Studies.

Experts say nothing co-exists with humans quite like dogs do. They live in our homes, play in our neighborhoods, ride our cars-- and get our cancers. That's precisely why researchers believe studying canines with cancer will help doctors understand and ultimately predict how cancer develops in humans.

"Dogs get cancer for the same reason that we do but because of their accelerated life span, they can go through that process a lot faster and so we can actually collect data, determine response rates and all those kinds of things in a much faster way," said Wilson-Robles.

Through Comparative Oncology, scientists studying dogs with cancer have dramatically helped speed up and cut down on the cost of human treatment. "Because they get cancer the same reason - we can actually use that to determine if the drugs that we want to try are actually going to work in a clinical trial," said Wilson-Robles.


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