The incredible survival story of one dog could become the source for a new brain cancer treatment for humans.
Emily is a 10-year-old Portuguese water dog and she was diagnosed with brain cancer at the beginning of the year. Her owner, Laura Kamienski, felt devastated upon hearing the news but was not yet ready to just give on her longtime friend.
Even though treatment options for glioblastoma are very limited when it comes to animals, Laura did not lose hope and when she heard about the medical trials at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, she knew they had to try.
The procedure was risky and involved injecting the drug directly into the tumor, in order to protect as much of the healthy tissue as possible.
Dr. John Rossmeisl, a neurologist at Virginia Tech, explained that every step of the proceeding is carefully monitored on the MRI to ensure the drug covers all of the tumors and the patient’s vitals are within normal levels.
The results were so spectacular that the National Institutes of Health are now helping with the funding for the trial and are closely following the situation.
Six weeks after the surgery, Emily is back to her old self. Subsequent MRI scans have shown that the tumors have shrunk and are dying off, and Laura is happy and grateful to have her friend healthy.
While the treatment does not represent a cure, it could be an important step ahead in cancer treatment. Scientists are currently looking at ways of improving the method, and maybe one day, mirror the results with human trials.