Cancer is the second leading cause of death in humans worldwide and the most common cause of death for humans in developed countries. Cancer is also the leading cause of mortality in dogs. PVM researchers are investigating cancer to identify new molecular targets for novel diagnostic tests and therapies in innovative 3-D cell culture models, zebrafish, genetically engineered mice and in dogs with naturally occurring cancer.
The field of canine cancer epidemiology has great potential to produce answers to research questions pertaining to cancer prevention, development, and treatment relevant to both dogs and humans. Canine DNA shares a large amount of ancestral sequence with human DNA, but dogs have greater genetic homogeneity – even across breeds – than do humans, which simplifies disease mapping at the genomic level. Dogs live in the same environments as humans, too, so they share many similar exposures to environmental factors that may contribute to the development of cancer. These facts, when considered along with the existence of an accelerated aging process in dog, supports use of the canine spontaneous tumor model to gain a greater understanding of genetic and environmental contributions to the human disease.
The Evan and Sue Ann Werling Comparative Oncology Research Center (WCORC)
Our work is aimed at improving the outlook for pet animals and people with cancer. Certain types of cancer are very similar between dogs and humans. Progress made in dogs with these cancers can lead to advances in humans, as well as being very helpful to the dogs.
Visit The Evan and Sue Ann Werling Comparative Oncology Research Center (WCORC) for more information.