Batman vs Cancer

August 7, 2008 at 3:26 am Leave a comment

Animal rights activists protest that we should never use animals for medical research.  I suspect that a lucky Minnesota dog and his family would disagree with that position.  From today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune:

A Minneapolis dog is the first to try an experimental treatment that could work on incurable brain tumors in people and dogs.

Batman the dog suffers from a malignant glioma.  According to the Mayo Clinic:

Gliomas (primary brain tumors) start in the brain or spinal cord tissue. They can spread within the nervous system but do not spread outside the nervous system. Gliomas can be either benign (slow growing) or malignant (fast growing). Annually, about 17,000 Americans are diagnosed with a primary brain tumor.



 The Star-Tribune reports that:

Tuesday, Batman was the first patient to get an experimental therapy that researchers at the University of Minnesota hope will cure his brain cancer, which is the same kind that Sen. Ted Kennedy has. If it works for Batman and other dogs, they say, it holds enormous promise as an effective treatment for people, too.

Batman has joined a relatively new field of research called comparative oncology, where researchers leverage what they learn from pets for both animals and people. Advances in molecular and genetic testing show that many diseases in animals don’t just look the same in humans, they are the same, said Dr. Jaime Modiano, professor of comparative oncology at the university’s veterinary school.

The approach is gaining momentum because testing experimental treatments in animals is also a lot faster and easier than testing them in people. There is no federal regulatory approval process, for one. Since dogs and most other animals don’t live as long as humans, both their diseases and treatments progress or fail seven to ten times faster.

Good luck Batman.  We hope the treatment goes well for you – and for the other people and dogs who may be helped in the future by this research.


Entry filed under: animal rights, dogs, health, minnesota. Tags: .

Doody Calls More on Comparative Medicine

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