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Researchers hope treatment for dogs with cancer could help people

Updated: Thursday, June 26, 2014 |
Researchers hope treatment for dogs with cancer could help people story image
PHILADELPHIA (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A groundbreaking new treatment, prolonging the lives of dogs with cancer, may someday help people with cancer.

Denali is back at work as a therapy dog at New York Methodist Hospital, six months after he was diagnosed with an aggressive type of bone cancer, called osteosarcoma.

He received an experimental vaccine at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine.

Most dogs with the disease die within a year of diagnosis, but many who received the vaccinations are still alive two years later.

"So, the concept of the vaccine is to educate the immune system, to recognize tumor cells and kill them," said Nicola Mason, Assistant Professor with the Penn Vet School.

Scientists hope the research could one day be used to treat children with osteosarcoma or women with breast cancer.

The vet hospital is still looking for six more dogs to take part in the trial.
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