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New progress for research in canine prostate cancer

October 26, 2012

Many good candidates for canine prostate cancer research have become ineligible to participate due to urethral obstruction, which poses road blocks for research. Canine prostate cancer commonly invades the bladder and urethra, which has now been solved by inserting a urethral stent. Using this minimally invasive procedure on the dogs not only relieves discomfort and increases quality of life, but provides a second chance for participation in research.

Story by College of Veterinary Medicine News

Canine prostate cancer is an aggressive disease that commonly invades the bladder and urethra and can lead to urinary difficulties. Although researchers continue to make strides toward more effective treatments for this disease, the urinary complications caused by the cancer can create significant research challenges. Sandra Axiak, DVM, ACVIM, an assistant professor of veterinary oncology at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine encountered such obstacles while enrolling subjects for a canine prostate cancer study using radioactive gold nanoparticles as a treatment. Many dogs that were otherwise good candidates for the study and that could potentially have benefited from the treatment were ineligible due to urethral obstruction. It was essential that participants be able urinate on their own, without catheterization. However, Axiak’s colleague Deborah Fine, DVM, MS, associate professor of veterinary cardiology, stepped in to assist by providing a procedure that created the opportunity for the dogs to be eligible to be enrolled in the study. The procedure involves inserting a urethral stent into the dogs. Fine’s approach is a minimally invasive alternative to major surgery. It not only serves to ease urinary discomfort and improve the animal’s quality of life, but by opening up the urethra dogs that previously were ineligible were given a second chance to participate in the study. More…