Many thanks to the reader who sent this link to an article about some exciting news in the treatment of canine bladder cancer, an illness that afflicts Scottish Terriers disproportionately.
Trial participant Duff, as his owners Charlotte and Wayne Rowell call him, is a 10-year-old Scottie from Houston with bladder cancer.
“The day Duff was diagnosed with transitional cell carcinoma, I got on the Internet, and I found this clinical trial,” Charlotte says as the pooch happily surveys the waiting room aromas at the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Small Animal Clinic. Duff’s “brother” Mac, the Rowell’s West Highland terrier, is along for moral support, clicking across the tile and grinning at staff members. “I gave Wayne a Scottish terrier as a wedding gift 43 years ago. We just love them.”
As happy as Duff seems, the experience hasn’t been all Milk-Bones and chew toys. When he first arrived at the facility, researchers drew blood, took X-rays, examined his pelvic area ultrasonically and performed an abdominal CAT scan. The day he was declared eligible for the trial, he began intravenously receiving first Tavocept, then saline, then Cisplatin. If the treatment works, Duff will be able to withstand larger doses of chemotherapy, ultimately slowing tumor growth — or even stopping it — and extending his life.
Although most drugs are tested on animals during the early stage of development, it is unusual for a drug in the final phase of human testing, such as Tavocept, to circle back to animals. But at Mizzou, where the One Health, One Medicine initiative champions the convergence of human and animal health, the study is an example of one such round trip.
Good luck, Duff. We’re rooting for you and Tavocept!