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Studying cancer in dogs to help detection and treatment in humans

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Matthew Breen loves dogs – really loves dogs – so much so that he has dedicated his professional life to them.

He just had no idea how much they had dedicated theirs to us.

Dr. Breen told us in his lab at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, “The concept of using the dog as a sentinel species to really help us understand more about what could be coming around the corner for human health has now become a reality.”

Dr. Breen was one of the scientists who helped map the canine Genome in 2005.

He has since been studying it and, since their genome resembles that of humans, much of what Dr. Breen and his team are learning can be transferred to humans when looking at diseases like cancer.

“So one of the things that we do is, we look whether we see changed in cancer in pet dogs as an early warning system to identify what potentially is going to happen in ourselves, several years down the road,” says Dr. Breen. “That, I think, is revolutionizing the way we think about dogs not just as our closest companions but as new real, biological sentinels for various disease processes.”

See the new connection Dr. Breen and his team have developed that could revolutionize the way we detect and treat some cancers in this edition of the Buckley Report.

For more information, click here.