Comparative oncology is the term used to describe clinical research that bridges studies of naturally occurring cancers in more than one species: people and dogs in this case. Data from the study of cancers in companion animals are particularly valuable for providing solutions to important translational questions about cancer biology and product development in humans that may not be possible to address with traditional models (e.g. mouse). Due to many shared environmental and lifestyle factors with humans, companion animals can provide an additional avenue for exploring the impact of these factors on cancer incidence and progression.
Following a significant rise in interest regarding the potential value of spontaneous cancers in companion animals toward improved development of therapeutic approached to human and animal cancer, a group of leading academic comparative oncologists and scientists are forming a research consortium designed to fulfill some of the clear mandates required to advance the discipline. The V Foundation for Cancer Research has generously committed to serve as the fiduciary agent, funding partner and grant coordinator to support fundamental and translational research to more fully characterize there cross-species opportunities.
- Accelerate coordinated translational innovation in cancer diagnosis, care and prevention between human and veterinary research enterprises.
- Investigate scientific knowledge gaps in fundamental and applied cancer medicine through the inclusion of companion species with spontaneously arising cancers.
- Ensure that the application of discoveries benefits both human and companion animals.
- Expand financial resources and develop research tools needed to facilitate collaboration between human and veterinary oncology therapeutic development stakeholders.
- Provide infrastructure that facilitates novel clinical testing of prognostics, diagnostics, and therapeutics.
- Foster Public/Industry/Philanthropic understanding to facilitate product development.
- Assemble expertise to identify, prioritize, and fund knowledge gap research.
- Advocate for and promote public funding, government funding and regulatory policies that support the mission.
- Raise public awareness and support for cancer research for all family members.
- Create a data platform for cross-species modeling.
- Overcome silos between cancer research disciplines.
- Membership is based upon partnering academic institutional programs where an NCI Comprehensive Caner Center and academic veterinary oncology program have a formal affiliation. Since collaboration between human and veterinary scientists is the stated goal of the consortium, only paired institutions will qualify as members. Members are invited to join based upon proven scientific excellence in programs and infrastructure with strong evidence of collaboration.
- Membership in this consortium will allow participation in a multi-institutional network of NCI Designated Cancer Centers with strong veterinary expertise, infrastructure and commitment to integrate research and clinical trials for human and companion animal translational benefits as well as access to new sources of financial support and engagement with the pharmaceutical and Biotech industries.
More information about our partnership with the Jimmy V Foundation is included in this press release.