"I'm sorry. It's inoperable."
How many of you have heard these words? That diagnosis from Steve Withrow about Murphy's nasal tumor still haunts my thoughts some two years post mortem.
2 Million Dogs is funding a two year, $80,000 drug delivery study with Animal Medical Center in Manhattan and Sloan Kettering.
The first phase of the study is urogenital cancer in dogs since, at the point of diagnosis, the prognosis is pretty grim. Less than 30% of bladder cancer patients respond to traditional treatment and since surgical intervention isn't a viable option, the need for target therapeutics is essential.
We all know that dosing chemo in dogs is drastically less than that of in humans and if we can get the right drug directly into the tumor, we may achieve therapeutic drug levels at 40X the current regimen. There are other potential benefits such as cost savings but they are ancillary to our aims.
Speaking of... here's my press release statement:
"It is an honor to work with two prestigious institutions in the fields of veterinarian medicine and cancer research. 2 Million Dogs' scientific objectives in funding cancer studies are collaborative and comparative in both spirit and scope and this study is a shining example of that. Cancer touches us all. It is a cross species disease and now more than ever it is imperative for us work together to end this epidemic."
More importantly, I've come to know the principal investigator, Chick, on a more personal level and I feel he has the vision, fortitude, and fire to make significant strides in the field of comparative oncology.
Photo from left to right: Drs. Richard Goldstein and Allyson Berent; Yer Big Dog; Chick Weisse; Kate Coyne (CEO of AMC); Ginger Morgan; Nicole Leibman and Ann Hohenhaus.
YBD's Notes 1: To date, we've funded genetic or lab research with long-reaching prospects. This study represents our first foray into the clinical setting.
YBD's Notes 2: Ginger amazed Chick with the fact that the $80,000 was raised $20 at a time. To me, that's a perfect testament to the courage and conviction of all of the volunteers, city organizers, the board members of 2 Million Dogs, and all of those who keep the faith and puppy up!