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Dog Bone Cancer Vaccine May Help Against Breast Cancer

Can a vaccine developed for dogs lead to better breast cancer treatment?

The life of an American bull dog named Sasha has been extended and possibly even saved with the help of an immunotherapy drug, according to ABC News. The animal has osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer. She was expected to only survive a few months after undergoing chemotherapy and losing her leg. However, the clinical trial was successful, as she has lived 606 days. Now researchers are looking into other applications for this drug.

"Osteosarcoma is a very aggressive bone tumor and it occurs in both dogs and people," Dr. Nicola Mason, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, told the source. "There is a marked similarity in tumors between dogs and humans that makes this research even more exciting."

If developed into a vaccine, it could help treat those with breast cancer. The clinical stage biotechnology company Advaxis is working to isolate the her2/neu genetic marker that is found in both osteosarcoma and breast cancer cells.

Presently the drug may delay or prevent this type of bone cancer in dogs. If research continues on a positive note, human trials could begin in a couple of years.

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