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60 Minutes piece highlights important connection between two worlds of medicine

By November 30, 2022January 23rd, 2023No Comments


Dogs may hold key to treating cancer in humans, says 60 Minutes report

In addition to love and companionship, people and dogs share many of the same genes—and as a result, they suffer from many of the same types of cancer.

These similarities may hold the key to treating cancers in humans, says Anderson Cooper in a 60 Minutes report on the groundbreaking field of comparative oncology. In the report, Cooper examines how doctors and scientists are studying naturally occurring cancers in dogs and using what they learn to speed potential treatments to them and us.

One incredible example is work in targeting osteosarcoma. This deadly bone cancer affects an estimated 10,000 dogs each year and only about 1,000 people—mostly children and young adults. Because this cancer is so rare in humans, it can be difficult to study in large clinical trials.

However, Nicola Mason, BVetMed, PhD, professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, has worked with an experimental immunotherapy treatment in dogs, and last year the Food and Drug Administration approved a phase II clinical trial using the technique for children and young adults. Mason also oversees a national network of comparative oncology trials, funded by The White House’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

Teenager Krystie Gomes is now receiving the treatment every three weeks for recurring osteosarcoma that has spread to her lungs. After Cooper follows her through a painful treatment, he reports that her last scan showed no signs of cancer. Gomes now enjoys spending time with her new Yorkie Benny, who Cooper notes, is “one more dog that is helping her in her recovery.”

To learn more about the groundbreaking work being done in comparative oncology—including more stories of people and pets—watch the full 60 Minutes segment at: Dogs may hold key to treating cancer in humans – 60 Minutes – CBS News