By Douglas Main
Dogs, like people, can get cancer–and research has shown that canine and human cancers can be very much alike. Austrian scientists recently found that the receptor proteins that coat the surface of various canine tumors are 91 percent similar to human cancers. Taking the next step, they took antibodies from mice and tweaked them so that they were able to bind to canine cancer cells, which in some cases slowed the growth of canine tumors, and in other cases led to the death of the cancer. These antibodies could be used to treat dogs with a variety of cancers in the future, the researchers wrote in their study, published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.
“We expect dogs to tolerate these anti-cancer antibodies well,” said study co-author Erika Jensen-Jarolim. “This will be investigated in clinical studies in the future and is expected to greatly improve the treatment as well as the diagnosis of cancer in dogs.”