Arizona State University’s Center for Innovations in Medicine is launching a clinical test trial that will test a cancer vaccine on hundreds of U.S. dogs. “The main focus of this trial is to see if this vaccine can delay or even prevent a wide variety of cancers that older dogs are susceptible to getting,” says Stephen Johnston, Director of the Center for Innovation.
Concordant to many scientific studies and general veterinarian data, cancer is the leading cause of death in healthy adult dogs. In fact, there are many similarities between human and canine cancer development mainly because we share a very similar environment with our dogs. Typically, the environmental variables such as the air we breathe, water we drink, stressful stimuli we’re exposed to, and chemicals present inside and outside of our homes should exert the same influence on human and canine DNA. Therefore, we may be able to learn from results of this dog cancer trial, and apply the positive findings toward human cancer prevention and treatment.
The primary goal of “Vaccination Against Canine Cancer Study” is to see if cancer can be prevented entirely from forming, and if it can’t, then the secondary goal is to see if it can be delayed. For dog patients that are selected to participate in this study, half of them will be given the vaccine while the other half will be given a placebo as control.
Vaccine trials take a long time to be thoroughly tested and understood, and if it works as planned, this will be a big step in the right direction. Obviously, it will take even longer to gather this research information and apply it for human studies. Regardless, this is another brave new effort in our battle against cancer.