Pet cancer registry could help your cat, dog and humans, too

December 16th, 2011   •   no comments   

By Mary Ann Roser | Friday, December 16, 2011, 10:49 AM

If your dog or cat has cancer, there might be an experimental drug that could help your pet, and one day aid humans with cancer.

You can find out more about your pet’s cancer and about clinical trials for drugs and other experimental therapies by registering with a new statewide database in Texas. The Texas Veterinary Cancer Registry is the brain child of Dr. Terry Fossum, (pictured at right) who holds a chair in veterinary surgery at Texas A&M University.

The venture, launched a few weeks ago, involves the nonprofit CARE Foundation, Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas and the Texas Veterinary Oncology Group.

“If we can identify these animals and get them into treatment, it’s really a benefit for these animals, and it’s a benefit for humans because we can have more predictive models” on drugs that might help certain cancers, Fossum said.

Registries also help advance research. They are important sources of data for diseases and therapies.

Fossum said this registry will also give pet owners information they might not otherwise get.

Last month, she performed a novel surgery on an 8-year-old Great Pyrenees named Rowdy with bone cancer from the San Antonio area. She was able to save Rowdy’s leg from amputation, the regular treatment for that type of cancer.

It takes years to develop new medicines for humans, and often, the medicines are tested in mice before going to human trials. Fossum said that testing in dogs and cats could lead to “more effective and efficient clinical trials in humans.”

If you have a dog or cat diagnosed with cancer and want to register your pet in the database, go to this page.

Fossum plans to launch a heart disease registry for pets next, with the same goal — putting owners in touch with cutting-edge therapies and advancing knowledge into human treatments.

Read the original here.


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