Comparative Oncology and Its Role in Translational Cancer Research

Traditionally, research and development for preclinical cancer drugs has relied on mice for testing, though mice aren’t able to sufficiently model cancers found in humans. This leads to success in studies completed with mice, only to fail in clinical trials with humans, causing a expensive, time-intensive process.

A newer approach, Comparative Oncology, compares cancers that spontaneously develop in animals due to normal aging processes with those that occur in humans. Because humans and dogs have lived and evolved together for thousands of years and share many environmental exposures and genetic susceptibilities, researchers can learn and improve treatments. The larger sizes of some dogs, along with anatomical and physiological similarities, helps make treatment regimens more comparable than research done with mice. Not only can these treatments help save the lives of humans, they can help improve pets’ chances of beating cancer.

Tanovea™-CA1 (GS-9291), was mentioned in the article:

“A clinical trial for pet patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma evaluated GS-9291, an anti-proliferative nucleotide analog prodrug. This trial provided proof-of-concept for launching a phase I study in human patients. Although the drug did not succeed in human trials, it has progressed into animal clinical trials for FDA approval for veterinary use (Dan Tumas, Gilead Sciences, and Dan Gustafson, Colorado State University).”

Learn more in this article by the National Academy of Sciences.