News & Publications


Publications from the Comparative Oncology Program




Several advances in the field of cancer have been made through a comparative oncology approach. Recent national attention has highlighted the comparative oncology field:​​


Comparative oncologists study naturally occurring pet cancer to:

Companion animals may represent sentinels for environmental risk factors for cancer. Furthermore, these models may be helpful for the study of agents that may prevent cancers.

The study of cancer genetics can be simplified by studies of cancer risk in breeds of dogs and within families of dogs. Cancer genes identified in dogs have been shown to be relevant in human familial cancers. This work will be enhanced with the progress of the canine genome project.

The availability of tumor samples from large populations of dogs contributes to their value to the study of cancer biology. The availability of molecular techniques and information from the canine genome project will enhance opportunities to study cancer biology that is informative for human disease in companion animals.

In addition to techniques such as chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation, approaches such as anti-angiogenesis, immunotoxins, and general immunotherapy are now being used to fight cancer. These novel treatments were tested first in animals.

  • Kurzman ID, MacEwen EG, Rosenthal RC, et al. Adjuvant therapy for osteosarcoma in dogs: results of randomized clinical trials using combined liposome-encapsulated muramyl tripeptide and cisplatin. Clin Cancer Res. 1995 Dec; 1(12): 1595-601.
  • Thrall DE, Prescott DM, Samulski TV, et al. Radiation plus local hyperthermia versus radiation plus the combination of local and whole-body hyperthermia in canine sarcomas. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1996 Mar 15; 34(5): 1087-96.
  • Andrawiss M, Opolon P, Benihoud K, et al. Adenovirus-mediated gene transfer in dog prostate: a preclinical study of a relevant model system for gene therapy of human prostatic cancer. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 1999 Jan; 2(1): 25-35.
  • Knapp DW, Glickman NW, Widmer WR, et al. Cisplatin versus cisplatin combined with piroxicam in a canine model of human invasive urinary bladder cancer. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2000; 46(3): 221-6.
  • Walsh P, Gonzalez R, Dow S, et al. A phase I study using direct combination DNA injections for the immunotherapy of metastatic melanoma. University of Colorado Cancer Center Clinical Trial. Human Gene Ther. 2000 Jun 10; 11(9): 1355-68.
  • Khanna C, Prehn J, Hayden D, et al. A randomized controlled trial of octreotide pamoate long-acting release and carboplatin versus carboplatin alone in dogs with naturally occurring osteosarcoma: evaluation of insulin-like growth factor suppression and chemotherapy. Clin Cancer Res. 2002 Jul; 8(7): 2406-12.
  • Pryer NK, Lee LB, Zadovaskaya R, et al. Proof of target for SU11654: inhibition of KIT phosphorylation in canine mast cell tumors. Clin Cancer Res. 2003 Nov 15; 9(15): 5729-34.
  • Khanna C, Vail DM. Targeting the lung: preclinical and comparative evaluation of anticancer aerosols in dogs with naturally occurring cancers. Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2003 Aug; 3(4): 265-73.
  • Bergman PJ, McKnight J, Novosad A, et al. Long-term survival of dogs with advanced malignant melanoma after DNA vaccination with xenogeneic human tyrosinase: a phase I trial. Clin Cancer Res. 2003 Apr; 9(4): 1284-90.
  • Hansen K, Khanna C. Spontaneous and genetically engineered animal models: use in preclinical cancer drug development. Eur J Cancer. 2004 Apr; 40(6): 858-80.