AUG 20, 2019 5:10 PM PDT

Treating dogs with human breast cancer drugs

Did you know that dogs get lung cancer? New research published recently in the journal Clinical Cancer Research shows how dogs with cancer are benefiting from neratinib – a drug that has been used to treat human breast cancer. That’s because researchers have discovered that the same gene that causes a certain kind of breast cancer – HER2 – also is behind canine lung cancer.

The research comes from the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of the City of Hope, and The Ohio State University and could have noteworthy implications for humans as well as our furry best friends.

According to the report, almost 40,000 dogs develop the most common type of canine lung cancer, called canine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (CPAC) in the U.S. every year. It is an aggressive cancer that is clinically similar to human lung cancer among never-smokers; there is currently no treatment for the disease.

"These results are the first example of our efforts to adapt genomics tools from the human world, such as gene sequencing and liquid biopsies, to generate novel insights in canine cancers, with mutual benefit for both," said one of the authors, Dr. Muhammed Murtaza, Assistant Professor and Co-Director of TGen's Center for Noninvasive Diagnostics.

The authors are quick to say that no dogs were harmed in their research; they looked only at dogs who already had the cancer naturally occurring in their bodies. The recurring mutation they found in CPAC can be inhibited by neratinib.

"With colleagues at Ohio State, we found a novel HER2 mutation in nearly half of dogs with CPAC. We now have a candidate therapeutic opportunity for a large proportion of dogs with lung cancer," said senior author, Dr. Will Hendricks, who is an Assistant Professor in TGen's Integrated Cancer Genomics Division as well as Director of Institutional Research Initiatives.

Can a human breast cancer drug save our furry friends? Photo: Pixabay

Dr. Wendy Lorch, an Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, is charged with the task of conducting the study's clinical trial. She commented: "This is the first precision medicine clinical trial for dogs with lung cancer. That is, the selection of cancer therapy for a particular patient is based on the genomic profile of the patient's tumor and matched with agents that are known to specially target the identified mutation.”

The study also has significant implications in the field of translational cancer research, meaning it could help for dogs as well as humans with lung cancer who never smoked.

Sources: Science Daily, Clinical Cancer Research 

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
JUN 24, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Test Lets Cancer Patients Track Whether Their Treatment Is Working in Real Time
JUN 24, 2021
Test Lets Cancer Patients Track Whether Their Treatment Is Working in Real Time
Researchers from Singapore have created the ExoSCOPE, the world’s first blood test for tracking whether or not a p ...
JUN 26, 2021
Cancer
Immunotherapy Drug Shows Promise for Obese Patients with Breast Cancer
JUN 26, 2021
Immunotherapy Drug Shows Promise for Obese Patients with Breast Cancer
Research shows that obese patients with cancers including ovarian and melanoma may respond better to a certain kind of i ...
JUN 27, 2021
Cancer
Are e-cigarettes actually helpful for smoking cessation?
JUN 27, 2021
Are e-cigarettes actually helpful for smoking cessation?
New research published in The Lancet Public Health reports on a study that looked at interventions targeting e-cigarette ...
AUG 19, 2021
Immunology
Immune Enzyme Kills Viruses but Makes Tumors Stronger
AUG 19, 2021
Immune Enzyme Kills Viruses but Makes Tumors Stronger
Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novel Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde describes a man who is a kind, respect ...
AUG 29, 2021
Cancer
Blood Test over 90% Accurate in Detecting Lung Cancer
AUG 29, 2021
Blood Test over 90% Accurate in Detecting Lung Cancer
An AI-powered blood test was able to correctly detect the presence of lung cancer over 90% of the time in patient sample ...
SEP 16, 2021
Technology
Scientists Create Tiny Replicas Of The Pancreas To Study New Drugs
SEP 16, 2021
Scientists Create Tiny Replicas Of The Pancreas To Study New Drugs
Pancreatic cancer it’s often hard to diagnose in its early stages, resulting in patients having more advanced canc ...
Loading Comments...