Jun
19
2013

A group of animal and human cancer doctors has lofty goals for its new endeavor, the National Veterinary Cancer Registry, which helps to find clinical trials for cats and dogs that have been diagnosed with cancer.

According to Dr. Theresa Fossum, founder of the cancer registry and professor of surgery at Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine, she believes the nationwide effort will hasten the discovery of better cancer treatments for pets and humans and contribute to eliminating the disease altogether, BioNews Texas reported.

Fossum said because humans and pets suffer from many similar diseases, and researchers can get trial results faster when working with animals because they develop cancer more quickly, "We will be able to decrease the cost and beat the time involved in drug discovery."

When pet owners register their pets on the registry after a cancer diagnosis, a team of veterinary oncologists will review owners' registrations in an attempt to match pets with appropriate clinical trials. As more clinical trials are conducted over time and the data is made available to the research community, knowledge about cancer treatment will evolve quickly.

The registry also introduces a social aspect to help pet owners learn and share information about cancer. According to the website, pet owners can discuss treatment options and results with others whose pets have dealt with similar illnesses. Additionally, pet owners and veterinarians can confidentially and anonymously share information about a pet's disease.  

According to BioNews Texas, the cancer registry could be just the start of big things for veterinary medical research. Eventually, additional databases will likely be created to include indications such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurological disease, and endocrine dysfunction.

Veterinarians can join the nationwide network by visiting the website and contacting the organization about getting involved.

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