U OF M
COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE INTRODUCES COLLABORATIVE CANCER
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (February 27, 2009) - The University of
Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, in conjunction with the
University's Masonic Cancer Center, has established a new Animal
Cancer Care and Research (ACCR) program.
This collaboration is
unique in the United States because it incorporates the ACCR program
into the Masonic Cancer Center, one of only 41 National Cancer
Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United
"We believe it will
become the premier model for animal cancer care and research,"
says Dr. Trevor Ames, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Within five years Ames
says he expects the University of Minnesota to be recognized as the
best institution in the country for conducting research in
comparative oncology and providing care for companion animals with
have already made significant discoveries," says Ames. "One
particularly noteworthy finding is that many cancers in the dog are
caused by the same genetic abnormalities found in humans."
The mission of the ACCR
program is ambitious: To advance knowledge in cancer biology that
can be translated and implemented into treatment that will reduce
the incidence of cancer and improve the outcome for animal and human
"The ACCR program is
a key part of our Comparative Medicine Signature Program at the
University," says Dr. Robert Washabau, who chairs the
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences. "Cancer claims the
lives of animals as well as humans, and research into the causes and
treatments of cancer is often applicable across species."
The ACCR program draws
its expertise primarily from scientists in the College of Veterinary
Medicine and the Masonic Cancer Center, but ACCR scientists also
work closely with the Medical School, School of Pharmacy, and School
of Public Health.
"Great synergies can
be achieved when veterinarians, physicians, and scientists with
complementary expertise join forces to tackle the types of cancer
shared by dogs and humans," says Dr. Jaime Modiano, director of
the ACCR program. "ACCR researchers are currently working to
define breed- and disease-specific 'Achilles' heels' in dogs. These
findings could then be translated into more effective and less toxic
cancer treatments. The implications could reach far beyond dogs and
Modiano's laboratory is
one of three research labs involved in the program. Modiano holds
the Alvin S. and June Perlman Endowed Chair in Animal Oncology and
is a member of the Masonic Cancer Center's Genetic Mechanisms of
Cancer and Immunology research programs.
ACCR scientists work on
research in genetics, cancer prevention, stem cells, metastasis, and
cell signaling. Many of these basic research findings are readily
translated into cancer care including diagnostics, treatments, and
quality of life.
"We can learn more
about cancer by working together," says Douglas Yee, M.D.,
director, Masonic Cancer Center. "This program will advance our
understanding of cancer in both animals and people."
For more information on
the Animal Cancer Care and Research program please download a PDF of
the ACCR newsletter, Synergy, at: