We have talked before about how our dog friends will be helping us humans as we fund canine cancer research, as many of the findings can be applied to human cancer. We haven’t talked much about how human cancer therapies and studies are helping our best friends. Dr. Gwendolen Lorch, Ohio State University, set out to prove that human lung cancer and canine lung cancer were similar enough that the dogs could possibly benefit from the drugs that are being used to treat human lung cancer.

“The lack of good treatment options, other than surgery, has driven us to improve our understanding of the molecular basis of this cancer in dogs, in order to enhance the development of novel and rational therapies for this disease.” Dr. G. Lorch

Dr. Lorch’s research suggests that dogs diagnosed with lung cancer would benefit from precision medicine which has significantly improved the quality of life of the human lung cancer patient.

According to Dr. Lorch the funding of her grant by our supporters has allowed her team to move lung cancer therapy for dogs to the next level, like what human patients would receive. This has yet to be achieved in any other canine cancer. The initial research was published in the journal PLoS One. The research found that widely used cytotoxic chemotherapies for treatment of canine lung cancer patients are ineffective and that a new small molecule inhibitor that is currently in clinical trials for humans with lung cancer will provide a significant advancement and beneficial treatment for these patients. The fact that dog lung tumors have similar cancer gene alterations as seen in humans with lung cancer suggests that the potential use of drugs used to treat human lung cancer patients may provide new, more viable options in treatment.

A second publication on canine lung cancer genomics and therapy will be published within the next 4 months with some more exciting findings related to this research study. Importantly, this work emphasizes the translational relevance of the dog with spontaneous lung cancer as a model for human never-smoker lung cancer a cancer that predominately affects younger to middle age women.

As you can see, when we all step up and JOIN THE FIGHT we can truly make a difference in canine cancer research. Please continue to give so that researchers can continue to make advances for our dogs.

Also, you might consider becoming a CORE MEMBER. Core Members commit to giving monthly and this commitment helps further the cause in more ways than you can imagine. A Foundation that can count on funds coming in monthly is a Foundation that will have greater power to push forward the research, education and outreach efforts already underway.


Sara Nice
National Canine Cancer Foundation
This is for you – Ashby, Bailey, Casey, Duncan, Emma, Riggs and Armani