Experimental brain cancer drug being tested on dogs could hold promise for people

National News

Glioblastoma is the deadliest brain cancer in people. It’s the cancer that claimed the lives of Senators John McCain and Ted Kennedy. Now an experimental drug being tested on dogs could hold promise for people.

Emily, a 10-year-old Portuguese Water Dog, is Laura Kamienski’s everything. When she was diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer earlier this year, her owner was devastated.

“I sobbed. I sat in the middle of the exam room and sobbed.”

Emily has Glioblastoma and was given just three months to live. It’s a tough cancer to treat and options are limited.
so Kamienski enrolled Emily in a new clinical trial at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech.

A drug is injected directly into the tumor, getting right to the cancer while leaving healthy brain tissue undamaged.

“We watch the entire treatment on MRI so we can watch the drug cover the tumor. And so we know we’ve achieved the treatment goals of actually targeting all the cancer cells,” said Dr. John Rossmeisl.

Researchers said results are so promising the National Institutes of Health is now helping fund the trial hoping it can lead to a breakthrough for people.

It’s been six weeks since Emily’s first treatment.

“She hasn’t had a seizure since last time,” said Kamienski. “She’s herself.”

MRI’s show her tumor is shrinking.

“The black spot means the tumor… that actually means the tumor is dying. That’s what we want to see,” said Dr. Rossmeisl.

“The only way this could have been better if it was totally gone. This is really good news.”

And maybe someday, that same treatment help save people trying to beat this cancer too.

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April 29 2021 05:00 pm

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