A new type of cancer treatment for dogs has been used to treat and cure the disease.
Using pet dogs with an existing cancer, researchers at the Yoong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS Medicine), modified a specific type of stem cell (which can locate tumours) to carry a licensed drug that kills cancer cells in humans and triggers the immune system to fight back.
When the drug therapy was given to dogs, more than 80% reacted positively to the treatment, with no significant side effects – 20% fully recovered from their cancer and two of the animals stayed completely cancer-free.
Dogs are affected by many of the same cancers as humans, with the disease being the main cause of death in dogs when they reach the late or terminal stage.
The team now hopes that the treatment can become a standard option for dogs with cancer in the future.
Dr Ho Yoon Khei at NUS Medicine added: “Beyond results that have shown to benefit our companion animals, it is our hope to extend the therapy to human patients in the future and improve healthcare outcomes for those who have cancer – especially when they have no treatment options left.”