Examining social and environmental issues through the animal kingdom.
Whether human or canine, cancer claims millions of lives every year. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in dogs, and our canine companions fall prey to the same type of malignancies, at relatively the same rate as humans. "Clinical Hope" focuses on dogs diagnosed with terminal cancer––undergoing clinical trials in order to minimize their pain and extend their lives. Traditionally, the majority of cancer treatments for dogs have been derived from the human oncology field. However, this paradigm is quickly shifting with revolutionary advances in canine cancer research. Special attention is paid to "PAC-1," an anti-cancer agent originally formulated for dogs, which is now being translated to human cancer patients with aggressive malignant tumors. Throughout history, dogs have played an important role to humans for work, survival, and companionship. In the new frontier of cancer therapies, man's best friend, continues to serve humanity by functioning as an important model for progressive cancer therapies.
I would like to acknowledge the University of Illinois for supporting my project, understanding its intentions, and for granting me access to their Veterinary Teaching Hospital and Oncology unit, and university laboratories. Thank you to Dr. Paul Hergenrother, for developing a compound that gives promise and hope against a disease that takes the lives of so many. I'd like to express my deepest appreciation to Dr. Tim Fan, head of oncology and clinical trials, for allowing me to shadow your staff during their day to day operations. It was sobering, uplifting, heartbreaking, and inspirational to witness your commitment to improving the lives of our beloved pets. And I am especially grateful to Senior Veterinary Technician Rebecca Kamerer, for her cooperation, patience, and consistent efforts in orchestrating events on my behalf. It was a profound and rewarding experience.