truth about cats and dogs
London is used to the surprised look she gets when she tells people
she's a cancer specialist. As an assistant professor of veterinary
medical oncology at UC Davis, London divides her time between research
and clinical practice. "I only treat cancer patients,"
about when you realize she's talking about cats and dogs.
why not? Cancer is, after all, an equal-opportunity disease, affecting
not only humans but dogs, cats, mice and chickens. Patterns in animal
cancer often show up in similar forms in humans.
lot of my colleagues are surprised to find out that other animals
get cancer," says London, a graduate of Tufts Veterinary School
and Harvard University who holds a Ph.D. in immunology. "If
we can understand the biology of tumors in dogs, it helps us understand
the biology of tumors in people."
are valuable in this pursuit for many reasons. If they live past
10 years, 50 percent of dogs will develop tumors. Because they live
a shorter life than we do, researchers can see the progress of the
disease without the 40-to-60-year incubation period often needed
for many human cancers. And new chemotherapy drugs can be used on
dogs as soon as they are available.
and cats live in our environment and are exposed to the same carcinogens,
so they serve as sentinels alerting us to toxins in the environment,"
London points out.
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London, an assistant professor of veterinary medical oncology, with