An English Mastiff at his weekly hydrotherapy session.
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 this project, the interdependent relationship between the two species––human and canine, is something to behold and contemplate.
Cytology evaluation of a tumor showing cancer cells.
A Rottweiler with bone cancer, undergoing an x-ray to see if cancer has spread to his lungs.
Measuring tumors growing beneath the skin on an older dog.
Taking a bone biopsy.
A German Shepherd takes a walk on a Tek Scan-a computerized gait analysis that monitors whether her bone pain is being controlled effectively. The device measures how well a dog is able to use the affected leg following therapy.
Blood and urine samples collected from dogs undergoing new investigational therapies, are frozen for future evaluation.
A cell culture lab experiment, invesigating the activation of tumor cell death with a novel cancer agent.
A technician comforts a beagle receiving chemotherapy.
Measuring improvements in bone strength in a patient with bone cancer. The white region of fur, is an area previously treated with radiation therapy to improve pain control.
Surgeons removing a segment of bone, from the front leg of a dog with bone cancer.
Prepping for chemotherapy treatment.
Hank is reunited with his owner after a long day of treatment.
Preparing a dose of PAC-1, concealed in a meatball.
An investigator soothes a lighty sleeping St. Bernard, by gently covering his eyes before a scan.
Dr. Tim Fan conducts the clinical trials at The University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital. His retired research dog Hoover, often accompanies him to work.
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.
CLINICAL HOPE 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 wit...
WITH GRATITUDE I would like to acknowledge the University of Illinois for supporting my project, understanding its intentions, and for granting me a...