Over the past 10 to 20 years a deeper devotion with pet animals has also developed and in many cases animals are considered to be an equal part of the family. In some cases they may be the only companions an individual has.
Breakthroughs in the treatment of human cancer have received a lot of exposure through the news media, popular press, and web site information services. This has exposed pet owners to the treatment options available and promotes an atmosphere of optimism. Many owners need the psychological satisfaction of knowing that everything medically possible has been done to increase the quality and length of life of their pet.
As a result, the availability of quality health care to animals is of increasing importance to owners, and they are more often requesting state of the art therapies for their animals, such as radiation therapy.
The work of the Foundation has never been more important.
How companion animals can help solve cancer in humans
Companion animals have provided some important results, which have been successfully translated to improve the care of human and animal patients and expand our knowledge of malignant disease.
Tumour models are chosen which are comparable to human tumour counterparts where the animals can be treated with methods applicable to human cancer therapy. Studies in companion animals can provide indications of therapeutic gain much more rapidly than can be done in humans alone. They can also help define human trials, determine optimal dose, sequence, and frequency of treatments and help identify factors that influence response to treatments.
Most companion animal owners are highly committed and are actively seeking innovative and promising new therapies for their pets. When involved in comparative oncology research programs, animal owners are responsible for continued care and adherence to follow-up examinations. Generally, compliance with treatment and recheck visits is exceptional.
Our work is scrutinised. Trials are under strict Animal Ethics review. Studies and designed to effectively answer the questions asked by ensuring the numbers treated provide the necessary statistical power and that there are suitable controls. Above all we maintain the best quality of care for all our patients. Success in the work we do is a win for the patients, a win for future animal patients and a win for humans with similar cancer.