Research Topic

Emerging Translational Opportunities in Comparative Oncology with Companion Canine Cancers

About this Research Topic

There is an increasing interest in studying canine cancers in order to facilitate human cancer research. One of the main benefits of including dogs with cancer in the research continuum is that the novel therapeutics studied in these cancers are very similar to human cancers. Canine subjects are also offered ...

There is an increasing interest in studying canine cancers in order to facilitate human cancer research. One of the main benefits of including dogs with cancer in the research continuum is that the novel therapeutics studied in these cancers are very similar to human cancers. Canine subjects are also offered state of the art care and may benefit from these therapies. Importantly, information gained from canine trials can be used to inform human clinical trials.

Similarities between canine and human tumors include:
- Size, growth kinetics, and metastatic propensity,
- Tumors that develop in aging outbred dogs with a variety of comorbid conditions,
- The natural site of growth,
- Mutational landscape of certain tumors, in terms of driver mutations, at least in some tumors – others are currently being defined,
- Certain canine cancers occur in much higher frequency than their human counterparts.

This current wave of interest in canine cancers came from a workshop, sponsored by the National Institute of Medicine, in 2015. Subsequently, there have been a number of single reviews and opinion pieces about the subject. Importantly, the NCI took notice. The NCI sent out calls for grants involving these models, including Cancer Center Supplement Grants focusing on genomics, and a Cancer Moonshot initiative that led to awarding 10 grants to conduct canine immunotherapy trials.

The NCI has facilitated a Canine Clinical Trial network for several years and a substantial number of high-quality trials were conducted through this venue. A second clinical trial consortium is being organized using partnerships between NCI designated Cancer Centers and Affiliated Colleges of Veterinary Medicine. There has been very strong interest from philanthropy and the pharmaceutical industry to foster further development of infrastructure for the conduct of multi-institutional trials. Substantial investments have been made in this effort.

This article collection aims to serve as a comprehensive overview of key areas of research focus and future opportunities in Canine Comparative Oncology. A compilation of topics in this broad and emerging discipline has not been done before. We believe that this roadmap will provide very valuable information for future research and clinical trials. We welcome original research and review articles that cover the following broad themes involving canine cancer:

1) Cancer genetics, tumor biology, pathology, and host-tumor interactions,
2) Cancer imaging,
3) Immunology and immunotherapy,
4) Radiation oncology,
5) Therapeutic strategies for osteosarcoma metastases and other metastases, and strategies in Experimental Therapeutics, including targeted agents,
6) Lymphoma and leukemia,
7) Brain cancers,
8) Bladder cancer,
9) Soft tissue sarcomas.


Keywords: Canine oncology, epidemiology, genomics, experimental therapeutics, imaging


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