A Bad Hand: Random Chance May Play a Role in Cancer
February 29, 2016 – Erik Ness
Planting a Seed: Plant-Based Diets Prove Best for Patients and Survivors
February 29, 2016 – Melissa Silverberg
Brain Trust: Cutting-Edge Treatments for Glioblastoma on the Rise
March 01, 2016 – Arlene Weintraub
Single File: Living Alone With Cancer
March 01, 2016 – Theresa Sullivan Barger
Hold the Phone: Does Cell Phone Use Cause Cancer?
March 01, 2016 – Barbara Sadick
Star of TV's "The Little Couple" Shares What Having a Rare Cancer Taught Her
March 02, 2016 – Beth Fand Incollingo
Getting Warmer: Women Can Revive Sexual Function After Cancer
March 02, 2016 – Mark Hoffman, MD, and Rachel Hoffman, LMSW
On the Road to Recovery: Traveling for Cancer Treatment
March 07, 2016 – Andrew Smith
Medical Illustration: Novel Treatments for Glioblastoma
March 08, 2016 – Erin Moore
Comments From Readers on CURE's Winter Issue
March 08, 2016
HPV Vaccine Uptake Low Among Boys
March 09, 2016 – Beth Fand Incollingo
A Cancer Survivor's Menu
March 10, 2016 – Melissa Silverberg
Facing a Fierce Opponent, and Gaining Ground
March 12, 2016 – Mike Hennessy, Sr.
What Causes Cancer? Three Main Culprits
March 21, 2016 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Men and Women Use Different Strategies to Choose Cancer Treatments
March 28, 2016 – Marilyn Fenichel
Currently Viewing
Heal: The Vital Role of Dogs in the Search for Cancer Cures
March 31, 2016 – Beth Fand Incollingo

Heal: The Vital Role of Dogs in the Search for Cancer Cures

Arlene Weintraub's book explores a topic in cancer not often discussed: the drug development process and its effects on both people and dogs.
BY Beth Fand Incollingo
PUBLISHED March 31, 2016
 
What do dogs have to do with cancer research? “Heal,” which chronicles one woman’s research journey across the United States, explains that dogs get some of the same cancers as people, and, in veterinary clinical trials, have been among the first to try new types of medications that were eventually approved for both dogs and humans. Author Arlene Weintraub — a frequent contributor to CURE magazine and a lifelong dog owner — does more than share facts. She tells the stories of special dogs, their owners, the researchers who entered their lives — and her own loss of a loved one to cancer.

With the FDA now willing to consider data from clinical trials in pet dogs as it reviews cancer drugs for human use, these pets and the owners who speak for them provide vital information about efficacy, side effects and dosing. In fact, some of today’s most promising cancer treatment techniques are being developed with help from man’s best friend, including T cell immunotherapies and engineered viruses, Weintraub explains. Dogs are also contributing to cancer research through their uncanny ability to sniff out human cancers, and scientists are working on diagnostic devices that can mimic this ability.

Writing the book brought Weintraub hope as she grieved the loss of her sister to gastric cancer. “I had been writing about science for a long time, but when my sister got sick and died, I lost all hope that anything that did well in trials was going to make much of a difference,” she says. “But as I started to research this and saw what was being learned, it was very inspiring. There’s a lot of really interesting genomic work going on that can ultimately help both dogs and people.”

What will people with cancer and their loved ones get out of the book? A glimpse at a fascinating and not-often-discussed part of the drug-development process, and a message: “Clinical trials are really important for helping both dogs and people,” Weintraub says. “I really encourage readers to take the opportunity seriously if they’re offered it for themselves, a family member or a dog, because we need the participation to gain the knowledge.”
Be the first to discuss this article on CURE's forum. >>
Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the General Discussions CURE discussion group.

Related Articles

1
×

Sign In

Not a member? Sign up now!
×

Sign Up

Are you a member? Please Log In