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Hope for K-9 Bone Cancer

A primary problem in treating dogs with bone can- cer (osteosarcoma) is it often develops resistance to    chemotherapy .    Through    a    Morris    Animal    Fou n- dation-funded study, Dr. G Neal Mauldin is using gene therapy to stop the growth of cancerous bone tumors.

Typically, cancerous tumors grow slowly. However, if they form new blood vessels—a process called angiogenesis—the resulting influx of nutri- ents and oxygen causes rapid growth. Using a non- toxic form of therapy specifically targeting the blood vessels, Dr. Mauldin is trying to block the blood supply to tumors, halting their growth and sending cancer into remission.
In this Louisiana State University study, the in- vestigators worked with small animal models. In nine to 18 months, they plan to start clinical trials specifically for dogs with bone cancer. Dr. Mauldin thinks this type of gene therapy could prove effec- tive in other small animals as well. “The genes we’re working with now are part of the normal makeup of just about every species,” he says. To learn more about this and other canine health studies, please visit MorrisAnimalFoundation.org.

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