Thursday, October 11, 2012

In the Dog House:

 New cancer treatment for dogs

 A new study, reported in the American Journal of Veterinary Research, found that a pox virus (myxoma) can be successful in treating several types of canine cancer cells. The virus that is found in rabbits, but does not afflict any other vertebrates attacks cancer cells in dogs, while sparing healthy cells (SD,2012).

This study is important because it is promising for benign cancer treatments in humans. Dogs develop spontaneously occurring cancers just as humans do. They share our food and live in the same environments, so this is a big step in standard cancer treatments. 

Furthermore, “viral infection of the cancer cells appears to train the immune system to better recognize the cancer” (SD, 2012).   Reintroduction of cancer cells in those treated for cancer is not exhibiting signs of new tumors. 

Unlike chemotherapy that kills healthy cells; many cancers have anti-viral defenses which allow viruses to target tumors while sparing healthy cells. The introduction of certain Oncolytic virus kills cancerous cells without any inflammatory responses (Urbasic, et al, 2012).

You can read more about the study and further research at the links below.

Ashlee S. Urbasic, Stacy Hynes, Amy Somrak, Stacey Contakos, Masmudur M. Rahman, Jia Liu, Amy L. MacNeill. Oncolysis of canine tumor cells by myxoma virus lacking the serp2 gene. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 2012; 73 (8): 1252 DOI: 10.2460/ajvr.73.8.1252 

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