There’s exciting, ground-breaking research on brain tumors in dogs being done by G. Elizabeth Pluhar, DVM, PhD and John Ohlfest, PhD and their colleagues at the University of Minnesota.
The Canine Brain Tumor Clinical Trial Program they direct seeks to further cutting edge brain tumor treatment using dogs with naturally-occurring brain tumors — the same tumors that humans get. Their goal is to offer therapy intended to preserve quality of life for the dogs and improve long-term survival rates. Additionally, they use the information gained from treating dogs to design similar treatments for people with brain tumors.
Brain tumors occur in dogs more frequently than they do in humans: 20 per year per 100,000 canine populations at risk compared with 18.1 per 100,000 humans. Canine glioma, an aggressive type of brain tumor, occurs most frequently in brachycephalic breeds (those with a broad, short skulls) such as Boxers and Boston terriers, although the tumors occur in other breeds, as well. Researchers have found that there are a number of similarities between canine and human brain tumors.