Due to the way cancer works, it is said that cancer is a disease of the old – and it certainly is the case with dogs. As a growing number of dogs easily reach their maximum life expectancy, more and more of them are succumbing to the dreaded disease.
This dark future may soon be a thing of the past, however. In contrary to present practice, researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine are hoping to take a more proactive approach.
For the first time ever, vets have developed a cancer vaccine for dogs and are now putting it through clinical trial. The hope is to stop canine cancer from ever developing in the first place, in a manner similar to how modern flu vaccines work.
The science is as such – in order to diagnose cancer in the first place, vets are already aware of the different strands of abnormal protein that are often found on the surface of cancer cells. By introducing these proteins to the immune system, they’re hoping to train the immune system to recognize and attack these protein strands – and by extension, the cancer.
As of now, there are 280 dogs enrolled in this clinical trial. The plan is for them to live at home, where the researchers will check in on them over the next 5 years.
While there’s no telling just how effective this will be, the results will surely be a breakthrough for both man and dog in terms of cancer studies!
Feature Image Source: Pixabay