With the passing of John McCain this past weekend, it can be easy to worry about brain cancer and it's affects on humans and our dogs. And it turns out, there's plenty of connection between the types of brain cancer pups suffer from and the ones that humans suffer from. That's why new research into pup's brains can end up helping humans.
At Virginia Tech, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, researchers began looking into glioblastomas in dogs (the same brain cancer that afflicted both Ted Kennedy and John McCain) and possible clinical trials that could help lengthen a pup's lifespan.
Currently, there aren't many options available for dogs who suffer from glioblastomas. However, the researchers at Virginia Tech are looking to change that. Clinical trials involve injecting the newly-developed medicine directly into the cancerous tumor. This works by specifically targeting the tumor instead of the brain tissue around it. While the treatment is being injected, researchers watch the process through an MRI to ensure that the cancerous cells, and only the cancerous cells, are being properly saturated with the injection.
Trials are in the very limited stage, but so far, one owner reports that her beloved ten-year-old Portuguese Water Dog, Emily, is "herself" again. This shows in the pup's personality and brain scans, which prove that the tumors are shrinking.
Researchers hope that these new studies into dogs' brain tumors will not only help owners get more time with their pups, but possibly give insight into how this treatment might help the owners themselves in the future.
Here's to a healthier future for both dogs and humans!