ACF Awards Annual Comparative Oncology Grant

Barbara Cohen, August 30, 2018

Animal Cancer Foundation - ACF Awards Annual Comparative Oncology Grant

ACF is pleased to announce that its 2018 Comparative Oncology Research Grant has been awarded Cheryl A. London, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Oncology) research professor at Tufts University School of Medicine and Cummintgs School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, and Heather L. Gardner, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology), PhD candidate in genetics at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts.

The award supports a two-year study of the regulation, function and therapeutic potential of monocarboxylate transporters in canine osteosarcoma (bone cancer).  The researchers hope that data from this study will advance understanding of the metabolic coooperation between osteosarcoma tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment, faciliating the development of more effective therapeutics to treat this disease.

Osteosarcoma is one of the most diagnosed cancers in dogs and their tumors are almost identical to pediatric osteosarcoma patients.  Animal Cancer Foundation has been funding this branch of cancer research, comparative oncology, annually since 1999, creating opportunity for pet dogs to participate in clinical trials of treatments designed to help them, while also offering hope for translation to people with cancer.

Dr. London, who is a recognized trailblazer in the field of comparative oncology, has studied early-stage therapeutics for pet dogs in collaboration with biomedical and pharmaceutical companies to discover win-win treatment options.

According to Dr. London, who also serves on the ACF Scientific Advisory Committee, "Cancer cells can thrive in many types of microenvironments.  Our work seeks to understand some of the genetic expression in these microenvironments, to find better ways to change the environments and reduce the occurence of cancer.  We hope that our work will have direct implications for treatment of both dogs and people with osteosarcoma."

More breakthroughs are reachable, as ACF continues to support innovative research including the groundbreaking Canine Cancer Genome Project (CCGP) sponsored by the Blue Buffalo Foundation and Animal Cancer Foundation to map the seven most common canine cancer tumors and to place the datasets in the public domain for use by all cancer researchers.

According to Barbara Cohen, Executive Director of ACF, "We congratulate Dr. London and Dr. Gardner on receiving this award.  Dr. London's tremendous career-long commitment to advancing comparative oncology, demonstrated by her volunteer work on the scientific advisory council for CCGP and by the excellence of her research studies, will help all of us - pets and people - live longer, healthier lives."