(07/22/13) - A new drug that is helping dogs survive brain cancer, could also one day save people! Every year, more than 13,000 Americans will be diagnosed with a Glioblastoma, the worst kind of brain tumor. There is no cure and few treatments. On average, people only have 15 months to live after diagnosis. But that could change, with a little help from man's best friend.
Looking at Petey now, it's hard to imagine that a couple years ago, a large brain tumor called a Glioma almost cut his life short.
"They said he's basically probably got less than two months to live," says Alexander Frame, Petey's human.
Frame enrolled Petey in a clinical trial testing a drug already used to treat colon cancer in humans.
Veterinarian, Simon Platt, of the University of Georgia, pumped the drug directly over the area in Petey's brain where the tumor was removed, "it tries to block the tumor feeding on the rest of the body."
This stops the tumor's "fingers" from growing throughout the brain, blocking the cancer from coming back.
Petey's last MRI shows no tumor. Because canine tumors are very similar to those found in humans, Dr. Platt hopes humans will have similar results with this treatment.
"We thought that's great, we can help dogs out. To believe that then it would go that next step and actually help people out is extraordinary," Platt says.
Although the drug needs more testing before it can be tried out in humans, it's done wonders for Petey.
"At this point, I'm hopeful that, that, he'll have a full life," says his happy dog dad.
Dr. Platt received a three year grant from the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation. The next clinical trial will include around 15 dogs, and if the results are as promising as those from the first trial, human testing could be right around the corner.
ABC12 Main Station