An active network of 20 academic comparative oncology centers has formed The Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium (COTC). It is managed by the NIH-NCI- Center For Cancer Research’s Comparative Oncology Program, designed to execute clinical trials in dogs with cancer and offer alternative therapies. The goal is to answer questions about these therapies and how they relate to human cancer patients.
All universities that offer a veterinarian program and meet the established criteria have been invited to join the COTC. The clinical trials include people with eligible pets that would like to participate. In addition, companion animals will also be able to participate with further development for human clinical trials. Interestingly enough, pet animals will take the lead in the fight against cancer.
What Is Comparative Oncology?
Comparative oncology is best defined as the study of naturally developing cancers in animals that are then used as models for human disease. There are many similarities in dogs and cats with human malignancies found in prostate, breast, melanoma, soft tissue sarcoma, osteosarcoma, head and neck carcinoma and lymphomas that are virally induced. The benefits of COP for researchers are endless with relevant information that include:
- Toxicity levels
- Pharmacokinetics – body’s reaction to drugs
- Pharmacodynamics – study of how drugs affect users
- Histology – study of microscopic tissues
Benefits For Pet Parents And Their Pets
The clinical trials are designed to save the life of our dear pets. The novel treatments are designed for the best outcome possible using the extensive understanding of the biology of cancer. Pet owners will find that their pets can tolerate the latest treatments better than conventional forms of chemotherapy. In fact, when pets do not respond well to any treatment, COP searches for alternatives that do work.
Clinical trials are also designed in partnership with universities and veterinary institutions across the United States. Pets receive treatment from board-certified oncologists that focus on alleviating any suffering pets may experience dealing with cancer. Like in human cancer, there are various therapeutic approaches that will work for pets as well. Advances in genetics, protein chemistry and molecular biology have made it easier to develop efficient, canine-specific mixtures and substances.
Click Here For a list of the Clinical Trials
The Goals Of COP
One of the goals of COP is to develop an essential mixture kit for studying comparative examples that represents their biology-based research. Plus, they would be able to develop a multi-center, cooperative network with other comparative oncology programs. The therapeutic strategies that involve pets can be properly evaluated, increasing awareness of naturally occurring cancer models in the cancer research community.
Animal Verses Human Cancer
Pets and humans share similar aspects when it comes to the biology of tumors, environmental risks and prevalence in today’s environment. These similarities have initiated clinical trials with multi-treatment protocols that are feasible due to the size of dogs and cats. Frankly, a lack of gold standard treatments allows early and more humane evaluation of refreshingly new therapies.
Reviewed and approved by Dr. David L. Roberts DVM