Colorado State University's Flint Animal Cancer Center is leading a clinical trial of a vaccine that might prevent all canine cancers, and about 800 people have enrolled their dogs in the placebo-controlled study, writes Foundation for Biomedical Research President Matthew R. Bailey. Research in animals has yielded vaccines for feline leukemia virus and treatments for canine arthritis, and research is underway on treatments for feline kidney disease, feline infectious peritonitis, canine epilepsy, feline oral squamous cell carcinoma, canine brain tumors and other diseases that affect pets and the people who love them. "Impeding this research, as some so-called animal rights activists would have us do, would be a disaster for pets and people alike," Bailey writes.
An innovative new drug recently restored the vision of a dog with lymphoma whose owner enrolled him in a clinical trial, an experimental treatment extended the lifespan of almost 70% of dogs with osteosarcoma in another clinical trial and a different treatment cleared left ventricle blockage in cats, and treatments for animals could also be used to save human lives, says Foundation for Biomedical Research President Matthew R. Bailey. These are only a few examples of treatments tested on animals that will save animals' lives and highlight why opposition to animal studies is misguided, Bailey notes.
Researchers at Purdue University and the Indiana University School of Medicine are developing a therapy that reversed type 1 diabetes within 24 hours and allowed mice to maintain insulin independence for at least 90 days. The treatment consists of islet cells in a collagen solution for subcutaneous injection, and the formulation will be tested in diabetic dogs, possibly using pig islet or stem cells.
An experimental gene therapy reversed loss of night vision in six dogs with an inherited retinal disorder, and the treatment may offer hope for people with rhodopsin gene mutations, which cause about 20% of retinitis pigmentosa cases. The therapy, described in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, disables both the normal and mutated copies of the gene and substitutes a healthy copy of the gene to make the light-sensing protein.
Transplants of healthy, corrected stem cells transplanted into the nasal airways of mouse models of cystic fibrosis resulted in continued reproduction of healthy cells, researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia reported in the journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy. The study team is seeking to develop a gene therapy for cystic fibrosis similar to bone marrow transplants used to treat immunodeficiency disorders.
Australia's Tasmanian devil population has been devastated by a facial tumor disease, and scientists have identified a similar but distinct contagious cancer that may pose a greater threat. Research on the emerging cancer may aid the development of an effective vaccine, could reveal how cancers avoid the immune system and, because contagious cancer cells are similar to organ transplants, might lead to new methods of preventing transplant rejection, researchers write in eLife.
Harvard Medical School's partnership with Franklin Park Zoo teaches medical students about One Health concepts, has spawned research projects and offers real-life experience performing procedures. The first student in the program describes his experience in a JAMA article.
Animals are the primary beneficiaries of animal research, which has yielded vaccines, surgical procedures and drugs that prevent disease and help sick animals, Foundation for Biomedical Research President Matthew R. Bailey writes. "The success several animal rights activists have had shutting down animal research projects this year hardly represents a victory for animal rights," Bailey writes.
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The Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) is the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit dedicated to improving human and animal health by promoting public understanding and support for biomedical research. Our mission is to educate people about the essential role animal research plays in the quest for medical advancements, treatments and cures for both people and animals.