Promising University of Missouri cancer study needs canine participants

Owners of dogs with cancerous tumors can enroll their pets in a University of Missouri study that aims to use the body's own defenses to fight cancer.

The study’s main objective is to stimulate the immune system to combat cancer via the introduction of bacteria, the Columbia Daily Tribune said. Researchers will give tumors a low dose of bacteria, which makes the body attack the tumors because it thinks they have an infection.

If the treatment works as hoped, the dogs will successfully fight off the cancer and also build fortified immune systems that will resist tumor growth in the future, Jeff Bryan, head of oncology at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine's Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, told the Daily Tribune.

Bryan and his fellow researchers are looking to enroll approximately 30 dogs for their study.  

All breeds are eligible to participate, although larger dogs are preferred because they are easier to work with, according to the Daily Tribune. In addition the dogs’ tumors need to be either on their skin or inside their mouths.

Participating dogs will have costs of their treatment and follow-up care covered by the study, but owners will not be reimbursed for travel expenses.

Anyone wishing to learn more about the study can call 573-882-7821.

Read the full story at the Columbia Daily Tribune

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