Tag Archives: bone cancer

Cena’s story

Last month, a Marine veteran said goodbye to his canine companion, Cena, who was suffering from bone cancer.

Giving Cena one last ride became a community event that Lance Corporal Jeff DeYoung hopes will help raise the profile of the dogs that serve the military, and why they deserve care.

This is their story.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

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A biological trigger for canine bone cancer?

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine have identified the biological mechanism that may give some cancer cells the ability to form tumors in dogs.

Yurtie, a canine cancer patient, in the UW Veterinary Care oncology ward.  Photo: Nik Hawkins

Yurtie, a canine cancer patient, in the UW Veterinary Care oncology ward.
Photo: Nik Hawkins

The recent study uncovered an association between the increased expression of a particular gene in tumor cells and more aggressive behavior in a form of canine bone cancer. It may also have implications for human cancers by detailing a new pathway for tumor formation.

The findings of the research have been published  in the journal Veterinary and Comparative Oncology and may eventually provide oncologists with another target for therapy and improve outcomes for canine patients with the disease.

The researchers examined cell lines generated from dogs with osteosarcoma, a common bone cancer that also affects people, with the intent of uncovering why only some cells generate tumors. After the dogs underwent tumor-removal surgery, cells from the tumors were grown in the lab.

This led to six different cancer cell lines, which were then transplanted into mice. The researchers then looked to see which lines developed tumors and which did not and studied the differences between them.

“We found several hundred genes that expressed differently between the tumor-forming and nontumor-forming cell lines,” said Timothy Stein, an assistant professor of oncology. However, one protein called frizzled-6 was present at levels eight times higher in cells that formed tumors.

“It’s exciting because it’s kind of uncharted territory,” says Stein “While we need more research to know for sure, it’s possible that frizzled-6 expression may be inhibiting a particular signaling pathway and contributing to the formation of tumor-initiating cells.”

The team’s genetic research will continue on dogs and be extended to humans.

Source:  University of Wisconsin-Madison media release

Ike the dog gets a new set of wheels

Ike in his new wagon (photo courtesy of ABC News)

Ike in his new wagon (photo courtesy of ABC News)

Ike is a 15-year old dog living in California.  He’s been diagnosed with bone cancer and so only has a few months to live.  His owner, Risa Feldman, wanted to give Ike as much quality of life as possible and the traditional hind end harnesses for helping him around weren’t cutting it.

So she went into Home Depot to ask for help and two employees there did even better.  They built Ike (free of charge) a new wagon complete with a little ramp so he can get in and out easily (the back end of the wagon lifts down to form the ramp).

Ike and Risa (photo courtesy of Risa Feldman)

Ike and Risa (photo courtesy of Risa Feldman)

Risa says the wagon will help Ike enjoy their walks along Manhattan Beach for a while yet.  Whilst Risa sits down at a local cafe for a coffee, Ike usually has an order of bacon…

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Source:  ABC News

Risk factors for bone cancer in dogs

Bone cancer in dogs is affected by a variety of genetic risk factors, researchers from Uppsala University and the Broad Institute have found.  They’ve published their results in the journal Genome Biology.
Osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, is similar in humans and dogs – although in dogs it is more common.  In the current study, the researchers compared the genome of sick and healthy dogs from three different breeds to find inherited risk factors for the disease.

“The key is that we find many different risk factors within each breed. We already knew that Greyhounds, Rottweilers and Irish wolfhounds are at increased risk of developing bone cancer and our results explain much of the increased risk”, said Emma Ivansson, scientist at SciLifeLab and Uppsala University.

Irish Wolfhound

The study demonstrated that each breed has its own risk genes, but these genes converge in common disease mechanisms.

“Our results show that the pathways involved in bone formation and growth are important for the disease. Because of the great similarities between bone cancer in dogs and humans, we believe that our findings may contribute to an increased understanding of how bone cancer develops in humans”, said Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, professor at Uppsala University and Co-Director of the SciLifeLab and Director of Vertebrate Genome Biology at the Broad Institute.
The researchers are continuing to study the identified risk factors to understand more about how they affect tumor development and to see whether different risk factors respond to different types of treatment.
The researchers are continuing to study the identified risk factors to understand more about how they affect tumor development and to see whether different risk factors respond to different types of treatment. – See more at: http://www.uu.se/en/media/news/article/?id=3103&area=2,10,16&typ=artikel&na=&lang=en#sthash.H1aUoBA8.dpuf

Osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, is a rare but very aggressive form of cancer that primarily affects teenagers. Among some large-sized dog breeds the disease is much more common, but otherwise osteosarcoma in humans and dogs is very similar. In the current study, the researchers compared the genome of sick and healthy dogs from three different breeds to find inherited risk factors for the disease.

“The key is that we find many different risk factors within each breed. We already knew that greyhounds, Rottweilers and Irish wolfhounds are at increased risk of developing bone cancer and our results explain much of the increased risk”, said Emma Ivansson, scientist at SciLifeLab and Uppsala University.

The study demonstrated that each breed has its own risk genes, but these genes converge in common disease mechanisms

– See more at: http://www.uu.se/en/media/news/article/?id=3103&area=2,10,16&typ=artikel&na=&lang=en#sthash.H1aUoBA8.dpuf

Bone cancer in dogs is affected by a variety of genetic risk factors. Researchers from Uppsala University and the Broad Institute show this in a new study published in Genome Biology. – See more at: http://www.uu.se/en/media/news/article/?id=3103&area=2,10,16&typ=artikel&na=&lang=en#sthash.H1aUoBA8.dpuf

Pain management in dogs with bone cancer

A single injection eased severe, chronic pain caused by late-stage bone cancer in dogs, according to a study in the November issue of Anesthesiology. Dogs with bone cancer that received a neurotoxin injection had significantly more pain relief than those that got standard care without the injection.

“Dogs are part of the family and we do everything we can to relieve them of pain and discomfort when they are sick,” said Dorothy Cimino Brown, D.V.M., School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. “In addition to sharing emotional attachments with our dogs, humans share many of the same ailments our pets suffer when fighting cancer. By studying the positive pain relief this treatment afforded dogs, we are hopeful it may also be effective for humans.”

A radiograph of a dog's leg with a cancerous lesion. (Credit: Image courtesy of American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA))

A radiograph of a dog’s leg with a cancerous lesion. (Credit: Image courtesy of American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA))

The owners of 70 dogs enrolled their pets in this study. Half the dogs received an injection of a neurotoxin, called substance P-saporin (SP-sap), as well as standard care. The other half (i.e., the control group) received standard care without the neurotoxin injection. The average age of the dogs was between 8 and 9 years and their average weight was 90 pounds.  Multiple breeds participated in the study, including: Rottweilers, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and mixed breeds.

The evolution of bone cancer pain in dogs parallels what occurs in humans, with the frequency and intensity of pain increasing over weeks and months. As the cancer advances, both canine and human patients experience life-altering pain, which greatly affects their daily activities and quality of life. The standard treatment for dogs with late-stage bone cancer can include opioids, steroids, and palliative radiation. All of these treatments can have negative side effects.

Within six weeks of beginning the study, 74 percent (26) of the dogs in the control group needed to be “unblinded” (i.e., their status in the study revealed) and their pain relief regimen adjusted compared to 24 percent of the dogs (eight) in the group that received the injection. This was a statistically significant difference.

Other study results included a 6 percent increase in pain severity scores for dogs in the control group, while the dogs in the SP-sap group had no change in pain severity score.  In addition, the dogs in the control group had an 8 percent increase in how pain interferes with their typical activities, while the SP-sap dogs had a 5 percent improvement in this pain impact score. Finally, one dog in the control group responded with improved lameness, while 6 dogs in the SP-sap group became less lame. While these secondary study results were not statistically significant because they were only assessed two weeks after injection, they are promising.

Source:  American Society of Anesthesiologists media release