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A nationwide clinical trial goes to the dogs

Narrator:    This is Science Today. At the Center for Companion Animal Health at the University of California, Davis, researchers have been conducting nationwide clinical trials that test novel cancer drugs in dogs. Michael Kent, an assistant professor in medical and radiation oncology, says these trials not only benefit canines, they offer insight into devising improved, safe cancer treatments for humans.

Kent:        This is translational medicine at its best. And it's also the concept of one medicine. It's realizing that a dog with a disease that naturally occurs is very similar to a human with the disease. And we do have less regulation, but we do put ourselves in the same kind of strict requirements that are required for a human trial and to make sure that it's safe to give to our patients.

Narrator:    Kent explains that these trials are not offered as a first-line treatment, but rather to dogs that are not responding to standard chemotherapy treatment or have owners who can't afford it.

Kent:        So, we don't know if this is going to be a more effective treatment or not. To find that out is going to take a couple of years, but it's important that we take those first steps to find out or we can't advance.

Narrator:    For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.