CARY, N.C. (WNCN) — Chances are you know someone who’s been diagnosed with cancer, and if you own a dog there’s a chance your pet may have dealt with cancer, too.
Now, a Cary-based charity is working to help researchers discover the similarities in cancers that affect dogs and people and better ways to treat both.
The diseases that affect people and their pets are alike.
“Dogs and humans share a number of cancers that are very similar – sarcomas, which are bone cancers, melanomas, leukemia. Those are very similar, and, in fact, under a microscope sometimes you can’t tell the difference,” explained Katie Sweet with the V Foundation For Cancer Research.
Treatments are also similar that’s why the V Foundation is funding collaborations between human cancer centers and veterinary medical centers studying treatments that could benefit both people and dogs with cancer.
“When they can do clinical trials in each for cancers that they both experience, you can move that research faster and that’s where we are coming in by funding that really innovative research that will move the clinical trials faster and help develop better drugs,” said Sweet.
The foundation provided $1.5 million in grants to researchers studying ways to stimulate a patient’s immune system to fight brain tumors, bone cancers, and sarcomas.
“I think we will see drugs that we learn more about, therapies that we learn more about, and the immune system that we learn more about,” said Sweet. “Both in our pet dogs and in our loved ones, our human loved ones, we will be able to see good things happen for both of them.”