Cancer research for dogs could help children

Cancer research for dogs could help children

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by Cathy Marshall, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on March 4, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 5 at 1:02 PM

PORTLAND -- A Portland Doctor is looking for dozens of dogs with cancer for research which could benefit children.

“The most common bone tumor in dogs is the same for kids. The biology is really similar,” explained Dr. Charles Keller at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.

Dr. Keller is working in conjunction with veterinarians at Oregon State University and Colorado State University.

His approach is getting the support of the Trey Foote Foundation. “We do believe he is the future of childhood cancer medicine. He’s trying a new approach,” said Amanda Foote.

Her brother Trey died of osteosarcoma, which is a type of bone cancer. His picture hangs in Dr. Keller’s lab.

“We want to find a way to personalize treatment when there’s a relapse of a tumor,” remarked Dr. Keller.

More: On Dr. Keller's research

His research on personalized treatment involves testing dozens of drugs on a tumor from a dog to determine which drug is most effective, “It’s always a guess whether a drug will help a patient live longer. We want to make it an educated guess,” added Keller.

A dog named Wally was the first animal treated in the trial. “The prediction is that 5% of the dogs will live past 24 months. Wally lived to 29 months. He beat the odds but we have some hits and some misses,” said Keller.

Dr. Keller hopes to find more than 40 dogs with osteosarcoma to be part of the clinical trial.

It’s research Amanda Foote believes her brother would have appreciated, “He was a huge animal person. Our fluffy dog Duke was like his best friend,” she said.

 

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