ACF is dedicated to funding innovative comparative oncology research to further the development of improved cancer diagnostics and treatments for pets and people. Our pets are diagnosed with cancer at an alarming rate, with up to 60% of many breeds developing cancer in their lifetime. Cancer is also one of the most common causes of death in people. The most common cancers in our pets – lymphoma, bone cancer, breast cancer, bladder tumors, leukemia, brain tumors and sarcomas – are also very common in people, particularly in children. Veterinary oncologists and medical researchers studying pet animal cancer are perhaps the single most untapped source of relevant clinical data in the fight against cancer in people. Why? Because for the first time in history the genomes of the dog, cat and human have been sequenced and this information can be utilized to investigate the similarities in the genetics of cancer in these “large animals.” These three species- dogs, cats and humans – are the only species to get spontaneously occurring cancer in the millions of cases per year. Unlike laboratory based mouse and rat studies, these comparative oncology clinical trials are conducted by the pet’s own veterinarian, an emphasis is placed on protocols that are designed to maximize both the quantity and quality of the pet’s life, and meaningful results for both pets and people can be obtained in a one to two year period.
The Blue Buffalo Foundation For Cancer Research made a grant to the Animal Cancer Foundation. This grant has been used by the Veterinary Cooperative Oncology Group to facilitate the sharing of research results between the universities, clinics and veterinary oncologists who are conducting studies on the prevention and treatment of pet cancer.
“Blue Buffalo’s grant will be of immediate benefit to dogs and cats with cancer,” said Dr. Gerald Post DVM, ACVIM, Chairman of the Animal Cancer Foundation and member of the Veterinary Cooperative Oncology Group. “In the past we have not been able to share research data as quickly as we’d like to, and the grant from Blue Buffalo will help us build the infrastructure we need to insure that the pets we are treating for cancer will benefit from the learning of the entire research community.”