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Helping People and Dogs with Cancers


puppyup Companions Against Cancer Foundation is committed to discovering the common links between canine and human cancers and the causes of these cancers through comparative oncology research.

Historically, to help develop and understand the potential of human cancer treatments the gold standard model were rodents. I never understood this, since cancers that we get must be induced in rodents, their environment (in a laboratory) isn’t anything like ours; their lifespan isn’t anywhere close to ours and while we are both mammals we’re not, in many ways, very much like rodents.

I always thought dogs would be a FAR better model Many cancers are identical in dogs as in people; since cancers often have environmental component living where we live does matter; dogs don’t live as long as we do but live far longer than rodents and in many ways we’re closely aligned genetically to do (far more so than rodents, anyway).

By looking as say osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in dogs (not an uncommon cancer in many larger breeds), we’re developing new ways to treat children with the same cancer. That’s right, little kids, sadly, get this cancer too often. By helping dogs, we’ve already begun to save children.

However, using dogs as models has it’s downsides. For starters, testing drugs does require more approval than for lab animals (and that’s a good thing). It also requires cooperation across various disciplines  including human researchers and veterinary researchers – and both sides are generally enthusiastically on board. One stumbling block is money. and that’s where puppyup comes in. A part of their mission is to raise funds.

Learn more at a casual luncheon Saturday June 24 noon to 2p.m. at Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, 1120 N. State Street, Chicago. Among the speakers is founder Luke Robinson – and you’ll see how and why he began puppyup. Several veterinarians will speak, and I will too. I am convinced this is the way to go – to help people and to help dogs.

Yes, donations, welcome – of course. But this event is about information, and answering your questions. No fee to partake but spaces are filling up so RSVP by June 23 to Karen [email protected] Or call 301-221-9754. And, yes, pizza is included.

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