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Published: Feb 09, 2012

A group of veterinarians in Texas has created a Veterinary Cancer Registry to help advance the knowledge of cancer in our pets and possibly help people affected by cancer at the same time.  This well respected group is suggesting that many times it is more useful—for both animals and humans—if the testing of cancer therapies would be done on dogs and cats instead of mice, The Associated Press reports.  While mice will always play a large role in research, dogs and cats get many of the identical kinds of cancers that affect people and these cancers tend to run their course faster in dogs and cats.  By working together with human cancer researchers, new therapies will be offered to our pets and in the process may help determine which therapies may work best in humans.

When a pet is diagnosed with cancer, the owner is encourage to register their pet at  Registry staff will contact the pet’s veterinarian for additional information and then look for potential research matches.  The goal is to help sick cats and dogs while also discovering more about how the disease could be treated in humans.

Currently, the standard treatment for most cancers in pets is surgical removal of the lump, and sometimes part or the entirety of the affected organ, according to VCA Animal Hospitals. Other treatments include radiation and chemotherapy.

According to ABC News, one dog has already appeared to benefit from a clinical trial using a new treatment for bone cancer. It is hoped that these novel therapies will not only help additional dogs, but may someday also help children with the same condition.

The AP reports that about a fourth of the 77.5 million owned dogs in the U.S. will develop cancer, and owners are increasingly willing to do whatever it takes to save them.