Our Dogs May Get First Crack At Cancer Drugs That Aren’t Yet Approved For Humans

It’s not without some ethical issues, but on the whole, this seems like great news:

In a meeting sponsored by the National Cancer Policy Forum of the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine in Washington, D.C., [Dr. Timothy] Fan and 15 other experts in the field described the benefits of using pet dogs with naturally occurring (rather than laboratory-induced) tumors in early cancer drug trials.

“We have a lot of dogs in the United States, approximately 70 million of them, and it’s believed that about 25 percent of pet dogs will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime,” he said. “We’re using dogs to help guide drug development for people, but at the same time we’re offering new, innovative therapies that would otherwise never be available to dogs, to help them as well.”

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