As we’ve discussed before, examining similar diseases in humans and animals can sometimes expand treatment options for both.
For example, both dogs and people can develop brain tumors called glioblastomas [glē-ō-blast-Ō-măs], or gliomas [glē-Ō-măs] for short. Dogs tend to develop gliomas during middle age, but their cancer acts a lot like the respective tumor in children.
In general, gliomas are very tough to treat: they don’t respond to chemotherapy and rarely improve with radiation treatment. Now, researchers are looking at immunotherapy, which helps the body’s immune system identify and attack cancer cells. Because the immune system is very similar between dogs and children with gliomas, treatment success in dogs may be able to help kids, too.
Here’s hoping that a novel therapy may be able to extend the lives of patients, both human and canine.