The Puppy Up Foundation recently donated an additional $92,000 to Princeton University in support of their research on mammary tumors in dogs. The research combines the efforts of Dr. Karin Sorenmo, Associate Professor of Oncology at the Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Olga Troyanskaya, computational biologist, of Princeton. Dr. Sorenmo established the Shelter Canine Mammary Tumor Program, where she treats shelter dogs with mammary tumors and then studies tissues to apply that knowledge to understand how breast cancer metastasizes in women. This approach is known as comparative oncology, where disease in an animal species is used to study the same disease in humans.
In the case of dogs and humans, the types of cancers that both species develop are the same. Just as mammary tumors are the most prevalent cancer in intact female dogs, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Dr. Sorenmo’s program provides the shelter dogs with the high quality treatment that they need to survive, in addition to providing valuable information for her research.
According to The Puppy Up Foundation, this is the first study of its kind for dogs or humans. I love that they are helping shelter dogs, since so many dogs wind up in shelters when owners learn they have cancer and are unable to care for them. At least now, they are getting the treatment that they need. And then hopefully, they will be adopted when their treatment has completed.