1. Why Veterinarian’s Refer

    I just finished reading a really good article, the first of its kind in the veterinary literature. The article talked about why veterinarians in Ontario Canada referred dogs with either osteosarcoma or lymphoma to a veterinary oncologist. The main findings were that there were multiple factors associated with their decisions. One of the most significant factors was the veterinarian’s confidence in the referral center. We at The Veterinary Cancer Center in Norwalk, CT certainly believe this and we try everyday to ensure that our referring veterinarians have confidence in us. Two of the other factors that influenced whether a referral was made were the general health status of the dog and whether the client had a strong bond to their dog. Assessment the health status is certainly important and is generally a very objective measure. On the other hand, the measure of a client’s bond to their dog is much more subjective and sometimes quite difficult to measure. Yet despite this, a veterinarian’s assessment of the strength of this bond was a very influential factor in determining whether they referred or not.

    This article just talks about dogs and only two forms of cancer, it would be very interesting to see if these trends are the same for cats and for all other cancers.

    The Veterinary Cancer Center has built its reputation on earning the communities trust and confidence every day. With this article in print, we now have proof of how important this truly is.

  2. Dogs are Much More than Man’s Best Friend!

    Have you ever been told you look just like your favorite pet?  The similarity is more than just skin deep; recent studies comparing genetic similarities between dogs and people are demonstrating that we look a lot like our pets on the inside as well, sharing genetic pathways for developing disease.  In a study published recently in Oncogene, researchers at the University of Georgia and the National Cancer Institute/NIH showed that the genes involved in colorectal cancers “look” similar in both dogs and people, highlighting that the study of canine cancer enhances the development of novel treatment therapies for all.

    The study is one of the first reports looking not only at genes as a whole, but more specifically at comparison of driver and passenger genes to determine if they behave similarly in human and canine cancer. This novel approach builds upon the knowledge of both the dog and human genome-both of which have been previously sequenced.  Researchers know that driver genes are those genetic elements responsible for the initiation and progression of the cancer, while passenger genes are mutations that don’t contribute to the development of the cancer but have appeared during the growth of the tumor. Using this novel method of analysis, the authors have concluded not only that the driver genes in both species, dogs and people, function differently from the passenger genes; importantly they also show that the driver genes in both species code for proteins that similarly function to regulate cell proliferation and cell death.

    Discovering this shared distinction of driver from passenger genes allows researchers to develop therapies in the dog that are specifically targeted to interrupt the signal causing the cancer to develop and grow.  Because dogs and humans share the same environment, are exposed to the same carcinogens, and develop cancers spontaneously (rather than being induced –as in the rodent model,) the discovery of driver genes in dogs establishes the relevance of the canine cancer research model to enhance the development of more effective targeted therapies.


    Barbara Cohen, Executive Director                                           Gerald Post, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)

    Animal Cancer Foundation                                                           The Veterinary Cancer Center                                                       

  3. Pawtriots Win VetOlympics 2013

    Sincere thanks to our competing veterinary hospital teams for making the 1stAnnual VetOlympics a success!

    The efforts of all our Connecticut and New York teams allowed us to raise needed funds for Animal Cancer Foundation’s efforts to cure pet & human cancer.

    Opening ceremonies included remarks by lead sponsors Bank of America.  Costumed teams then took the field in games of physical and mental challenge to decide who would be crowned “The Greatest Veterinary Hospital in the World.”  Each teams showed agility, strength, and spirit as they battled for points in team building events like “The Stream Crossing”, “The Human Knot”, “The White Lie”, “Minute to Win It”, and “Puzzle”.

    After these five fierce events hospitals joined forces with other hospitals and begin the eliminations process of Tug of War. Each team fought for their very lives, but in the end only two teams were left standing – the Pawtriot’s and Shore-Thang 2. This two powerhouses stood ready for victory with hands scared from previous battle, their knuckles white with the anticipation of the task at hand. It had begun!

    The match went on for what seemed like hours with Shore-Thang 2 starting to dominate – it looked like all was lost for the Pawtriots. Then the gods smiled down upon them and granted them the strength of a 100 warriors and they took back what they had laid claimed to days before the match. It was over – Shore-Thang 2 sat crumbled upon the grass beaten but not defeated. They noted with pride and satisfaction that they had fought so valiantly against such worth opponents and vowed they will be back next year to win!

    The Pawtriots were crowned “The Greatest Hospital in the World”, with Shore-Thang 2 as runners- up, and The Angry Birds pecking their way to third. See a complete list of winners below or click here to see the epic photos!

    Top finishers received gift cards from sponsor PetValu, gleaming trophies, and bragging rights!  All participants dined on refreshments provided by Stop & Shop & Subway, Vinny’s Ale House and took home wag bags from PetValu as trophies of their conquest.

    Click here to see photos of this epic battle!

    Specialty Awards

    Best Team Spirit: Got Hope?” – Georgetown Veterinary Hospital

    Best Costumes: Angry Birds” – South Wilton Veterinary Group

    Fieriest Team: Shore-Thang 1” – VCA Shoreline

    Feat of Strength Team: Pawtriots” – Manchester Veterinary Clinic

    Winners Circle

    3rd Place Winner from Points: Angry Birds” – South Wilton Veterinary Group

    2nd Place Winner from Points: Shore-Thang 2” – VCA Shoreline

    1st place winner from the Points: Pawtriots” – Manchester Veterinary Clinic

    Novelty Awards

    Best Team Name: Pawtriots” – Manchester Veterinary Clinic

    Biggest Baby Award:Hailey” – Norwalk Animal Hospital


    Thank you to the VetOlympics Sponsors!!

    Premier Great Dane Sponsor Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, The VCC

    Labrador Sponsors PetValu

    Chihuahua Sponsors Canine Company, Vinney’s Ale House, Stop & Shop, and Subway.