Human medical and veterinary oncologists pursuing collaborative cancer research projects to benefit both people and pets have faced a significant gap in funding.

Since 1999, Animal Cancer Foundation has supported these collaborative cancer researchers seeking to improve clinical trial design, accelerate drug development, and improve outcomes for pets and people, a field known as comparative oncology.

Canine Cancer Genome Project (CCGP) sponsored by the Blue Buffalo Foundation – convened Scientific Advisory Council specifically for this project award.  Reviewed Letters of Intent from applicant laboratories, solicited applications from narrowed field, conducted panel interviews with finalist laboratories, sent follow up questions from the council to the finalist laboratories for completion July 9, 2019.  Anticipate Phase I award January 2020.

ACF Comparative Oncology Grant AwardDr. Cordula Gabriel, University of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. Sabine Taschner-Mandl, St. Anna Children’s Hospital, Children’s Cancer Research Institute, both of Vienna, Austria, to collaborate to investigate a new therapeutic strategy for bone cancer (osteosarcoma), Synergistic effects of proteasome inhibitors and Auranofin in canine and human osteosarcoma.

ACF Research Grant Award in honor of Cheryl A. London, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Oncology), The Anne Engen and Dusty Professor of Comparative Oncology, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, Clinical Trials Office to help support ongoing clinical trials half of which evaluate therapeutics or diagnostics for cancer with the goal of improving outcomes for both pets and people.  This gift represents the second of two grants made to the Clinical Trials Office.

Sponsor, Veterinary Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, meeting, April 2019, New York City

ACF welcomes Wendy Lee, Director of Marketing

Canine Cancer Genome Project (CCGP) sponsored by the Blue Buffalo Foundation – inaugural $1 million matching gift – to map the genomes of the seven most common canine cancer tumors and place the datasets in the public domain for use by all cancer researchers.

Request for Proposals for this special project have been distributed and are being evaluated as of Fall 2018.

ACF Comparative Oncology Grant Award, Cheryl London, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Oncology), Research Professor, Tufts Medical School and Heather Gardner, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology), PhD Graduate Student (Genetics), Sackler School, Tufts University, Interrogating the regulation, function and therapeutic potential of monocarboxylate transporters in osteosarcoma

  • ACF Welcomes Director of Development, Dorian Stern
  • Sponsor, Veterinary Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group meeting, March 2018, New York City

ACF Comparative Oncology Grant Award, Joshua Schiffman, MD, MS, Professor Department of Pediatrics; Adjunct Professor Oncological Sciences, Huntsman Cancer Institute and School of Medicine University of Utah; Matthew Breen, PhD, CBiol, FSB, Professor, Genomics, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University; Avi Schroeder, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel,  Elephant p53 (EP53) nanoparticle therapy for canine osteosarcoma and histiocytic sarcoma.

  • Sponsor, Tufts Cancer Symposium
  • Sponsor, Veterinary Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group meeting, March 2017, New York City

ACF Comparative Oncology Grant Award, Stephen Ramsey, PhD, Physics, Assistant Professor, Oregon State University-Ramsey Lab, and Shay Bracha, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Oncology), OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, Uncovering Driver Mutations and Predicting Responsiveness to Carboplatin Therapy in canine bladder cancer through an omics-based comparative oncology approach.

PUBLISHED:  Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2017; 00-00

ACF Comparative Oncology Grant Award, (with support from Petco Foundation & Blue Buffalo), Nicola Mason, B. Vet.Med., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and Avery Posey, Ph.D., Instructor in Cellular Immunotherapy, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Optimization of Re-directed T Cell Therapy for Relapsed Canine B Cell Lymphoma.

  • Sponsor, Veterinary Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group meeting, April 2016, New York City
  • Sponsor, Bark for Life – Port Washington, Long Island, June 4, 2016

    • Sponsor, National Academy of Science – Institute of Medicine workshop, The Role of Clinical Studies for Pets With Naturally Occuring Tumors in Translational Cancer Research.
    • Sponsor, Veterinary Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group meeting, April 2015, New York City
    • Sponsor, Veterinary Cancer Society Conference, “State of the Art” speakers series


ACF Comparative Oncology Grant Award, Ryan Roberts, MD, PhD, Senior Fellow, Nationwide Children’s Hospital with Helene Le Pommellet, DMV, Resident, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Resection of primary osteosarcoma terminates self-seeding and facilitates metastasis.

PROCEEDINGS: AACR Annual Meeting 2018; April 14-18, 2018; Chicago, IL, Abstract #4202, published July 2018

ACF Comparative Oncology Grant Award (with Petco Foundation & Blue Buffalo), Kristen Weishaar, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Oncology), Director of Clinical Trials, Colorado State University Flint Animal Cancer Center, Phase I Evaluation of Auranofin in Dogs with Lymphoma.

ACF Comparative Oncology Grant Award, Elizabeth McNiel, DVM, PhD, Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and Molecular Oncology Research Institute, Tufts Medical Center, EZH-2: A New Target for the Treatment of Canine Bladder Cancer.

PUBLISHED: Analyses of publicly available genomics resources define FGF-2-expressing bladder carcinomas as EMT-prone, proliferative tumors with low mutation rates and high expression of CTLA-4, PD-1 and PD-L1 in Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy, 2017; 2; 16045, online 2017 Mar 17.

  • Sponsor, Veterinary Cancer Society Conference, “State of the Art” speakers series
  • Sponsor, Veterinary Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group meeting

ACF Comparative Oncology Grant Award, Deborah Knapp, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM (Oncology), Purdue University, Exploiting Folate Receptors to Transform Bladder Cancer Therapy.

Sponsor of the National Institutes of Health – National Cancer Institute, Comparative Melanoma Tumor Board meetings co-chaired by R. Mark Simpson, DVM, PhD and Stephen Hewitt, MD, PhD, The Dog As Surrogate Clinical Model for Human Malignant Melanoma.

The purpose of the meetings is to bring together human and veterinary pathologists to compare and contrast the histiologic features and pathobiology of mucosal melanomas in humans and dogs.  By addressing mucosal melanoma in the context of multiple species, the board will seek consensus analysis aimed to further progress in melanoma research and to assess the utility of the dog as a preclinical model for mucosal melanomas in people.

The meetings resulted in a consensus opinion published in the journal Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research, 2014 Jan; 27(1)37-47.

  • Matthew Vuolo, Esq, becomes president.
  • Sponsor, Veterinary Cancer Society Conference, “Raising the Stakes Against Cancer”
  • Sponsor, Greenwich Kennel Club, Pet Cancer Awareness Campaign
  • Sponsor, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society-LI, Canines for a Cure
  • Dr. Gerald Post is the first veterinary oncologist invited to present, Society for Melanoma Research, “Cancer With a Bark:  An Overview of Canine Melanoma” (2012)
  • Workshop Sponsor, Society for Melanoma Research Congress, Nov. 2013, Sporadic Melanoma in Dogs as a Preclinical Model for Human Melanoma.
  • Sponsor, Greenwich Kennel Club Show, Pet Cancer Awareness Campaign
  • Sponsor, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – LI, Canines for a Cure

Grant award to Nicholas Duesbery, PhD, Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), Canine Hereditary Cancer Consortium, From Bark to Bedside, to enable purchase of laboratory robot for collaborative research program.  Pharmacological Inhibition of MEK Signaling Prevents Growth of Canine Hemangiosarcoma published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; 12(9): 1701-14

Grant award to Melissa Paoloni, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (Oncology) for a collaborative study undertaken by the National Cancer Institute – Comparative Oncology Program & Purdue University, Validation of a Personalized Medicine Approach in Dogs with Cancer.

Grant award to Daniel Lindner, MD, PhD of the Cleveland Clinic for Treatment of Naturally-Occuring Canine Tumors with Nitrosylcobalamin.

  • David C. Levine, MD, FACS is elected president of the board.
  • Barbara Cohen joins the organization as Executive Director.
  • Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) hosts 1st California VPI – K9K Pet Cancer Awareness Walk, inaugurating a decade of support for Animal Cancer Foundation.

The board of directors revitalizes the mission and vision statements of the organization:  Animal Cancer Foundation develops and supports research that advances the prevention and treatment of cancer for people and pets.  The organization is committed to furthering research in comparative oncology to advance the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancers that occur in people and pets and will be a pre-eminent resource in educating the the public and scientific communities.

Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation and Purdue University participate with ACF in a study of the high incidence of osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in Rottweilers resulting in publication of Endogenous Gonadal Hormone Exposure and Bone Sarcoma Risk in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention (Nov. 02) and Cancer Clues From Pet Dogs in Scientific American (2006).

Collaboration with SUGEN*, then an independent company, and Cheryl London, DVM, Dipomate ACVIM (Oncology), PhD, then at UC Davis, in advanced biotech research initiatives designed to benefit pets and people.  Palladia, the first veterinary specific cancer drug approved by the FDA, is a result of this early research.

Collaboration with The Rogosin Institute, a non-profit medical treatment and research initiative at the New York Weill-Cornell Medical Center on the initial research into the use of macro-beads in cancer treatment.  Results are eventually published in the journal Cancer Research (Feb. 1, 2011).


Animal Cancer Foundation, The Ruth & Sam Newman Initiative, is incorporated in California, October 1999, and is granted 501(c)(3) status.  The foundation is the vision of Gerald S. Post, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (Oncology) and is named in memory of his grandparents “two people who cherished life and whose love, compassion and understanding of all things human and animal  will always be remembered.”  The mission of the organization is to find a cure for animal cancer, increase public understanding of pet cancer, and to foster collaboration between human and veterinary oncologists.  This is the first national foundation supporting comparative oncology.

Dr. Norman Orentreich, Orentreich Foundation for the Advancement of Science, lends his vision and support to Dr. Post in the creation of Animal Cancer Foundation.