Dogs and Kids Share a Special Connection
The bond between humans (especially kids) and our beloved canine companions is the stuff of great love stories… they fill our hearts with unconditional, selfless love - they protect, they guide and assist, they comfort, they hear a child’s secrets and don’t judge.
Dogs play with us in our yards, sleep and live in our homes, breathe the same air and eat many of the same foods. They are exposed to the same complex biological, nutritional and environmental factors that can affect our health. In fact, the genome of the dog is 84% similar to that of people. Not surprisingly, we develop many of the same diseases, including cancer.
Did you know?
There are several cancers that develop spontaneously both in dogs and kids including
- bone cancer
- certain brain/central nervous system cancers (e.g. glioma, glioblastoma)
- lymph and blood cancers
And these are often different from cancers in adult humans. How these cancers develop, “behave” and progress, and even the side effects kids and canines experience from treatment, are very similar.
Dogs — Kids’ Best Friend, Even in the Battle Against Cancer
In an incredible - but not all too surprising twist of fate, veterinary oncologists are uncovering that treating cancer in man’s best friend holds great promise not only to help dogs, but also for helping kids with cancer.:
Canine tumors share important similarities with human cancers, including biology, genetics, recurrence, and metastasis.
Cancers in dogs develop in the presence of a functioning immune system, just as in humans,
A dog’s size provides a better model for evaluating the dosing and effects of new cancer medicines in pediatric cancer patients.
Patients Helping Patients
Dogs have a higher incidence of cancer than humans/kids overall. Some pediatric cancers are rare and therefore difficult to study, but are much more common in canines. For example, osteosarcoma strikes about 25,000 dogs in the US a year, but is an orphan disease in kids (about 800 cases/year). Treating and studying canine patients with this disease will help bring new, humane treatments to them, while also helping doctors learn more about this devastating cancer for the benefit of kids with osteosarcoma.
These two incredible and precious patient populations may be best suited to help one another to find a better bath forward, and one day put an end to cancer!
We fund maximum impact research and clinical trials in comparative oncology and translational pediatric cancer research. We seek to bring canine cancer patients new, humane treatments for their cancers, while answering key questions for kids with cancer, including the fundamental biology of cancer development, metastasis, and recurrence; tumor genetics; genomics; molecular targets and signaling pathways; therapeutic responses and toxicities.
We are bringing together the best and brightest to tackle canine & kid cancer- an extraordinary network of leading veterinary oncologists (particularly experts in the field of comparative oncology) pediatric oncologists, translational researchers, immunologists and experts in genomics, as well as leading animal health and pediatric cancer organizations nationwide.
Cancer is complex, and many of the answers to today's questions will come from the next generation of medical researchers veterinary oncologists, immunologists and genomics experts. But often, these students cannot afford to pursue extensive extra study in specialty fields like comparative oncology CNK's grants are aimed at enabling them to do so, and we are committed to including these individuals in our annual symposium.