MU finds new treatment for bone cancer in dogs
COLUMBIA — Researchers at MU have found a treatment for bone cancer in dogs, which a Columbia veterinarian said is becoming an especially serious issue for large dogs.
More than 10,000 cases of bone cancer are found in dogs in the United States each year, according to the MU News Bureau. There are 800 to 900 cases found in humans each year.
The new treatment is a vaccine developed from the dog's own tumor to target specific cancer cells and avoid toxic side effects.
"The dogs received no chemotherapy and received only immunotherapy after their surgery," Dr. Jeffrey Bryan, who helped develop the treatment, said in a news release.
"Fortunately here in Columbia we have the university right here that has a large oncology department and is able to do a whole array of treatments," veterinarian Tom Rose said.
With a new form of treatment from the university, Rose said he can give more hope to owners when their beloved pets are diagnosed with bone cancer.
"That's what we're most happy about: being able to offer another step or another opportunity for them to have more time with their pet," he said.
Rose hopes to learn more about the length of time the dog can live on the treatment, as well as potential side effects and how to minimize them.
"It's always nice to have another option," he said.
This new form of treatment could be beneficial to dog owners and veterinarians. By extending the dog's life, it delays the pain of having to put a dog to sleep.
MU and Rose are hopeful that this form of cancer treatment will be able to extend the life of a dog for years.
"An extra year of life, which may not seem like much to us as people, but can be a lot for a dog," Rose said.