From paws to possibilities
Researchers at the U of M have found success in a treatment for a fatal cancer in canines that could someday lead to a cure for similar cancers in humans.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota developed a way to diagnose hemangiosarcoma (HSA)—a fatal cancer in dogs—before a tumor has developed. Now, they’ve developed a treatment: A drug called eBAT that is resulting in improved survival rates for dogs diagnosed with HSA, when combined with early detection.
It’s an important discovery in its own right, but as it turns out, hemangiosarcoma is similar to angiosarcoma, a rare tumor that affects humans. In many dogs with HSA and humans with angiosarcoma, the tumors will have spread before diagnosis. The survival rate is extremely short, even with aggressive treatment. Only 50% of humans diagnosed with angiosarcoma will live longer than 16 months, and the prognosis for dogs with HSA is even worse: only about 10% will be alive one year after diagnosis.
It is among the most significant advancements in the treatment of canine HSA in decades. And it could be an important stepping stone in finding a cure for angiosarcoma and other cancers in humans.
As lead researcher Dr. Jaime Modiano says, “The ultimate goal for all of us is to create a world in which we no longer fear cancer.”
Meet the people behind the story
Dr. Jaime Modiano
Professor, College of Veterinary Sciences, Masonic Cancer Center
Dr. Antonella Borgatti
Associate Professor, College of Veterinary Sciences, Masonic Cancer Center
Dr. David Largaespada
Associate Director, Masonic Cancer Center
Linda Abel and Brinkley
Participant, The Shine On Project