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Passive Smoking and Canine Cancers
Passive Smoking and Canine Death
Cancer, in the pet population, is a spontaneous disease, It has been estimated that there are approximately 65 million dogs and 32 million cats in the United States. Crude estimates of
cancer incidence indicate that there are roughly 6 million new cancer diagnoses made in dogs and a similar number made in cats made each year.
Examples of
such spontaneous models include non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,
prostate carcinoma, lung carcinoma, head and
neck carcinoma, mammary carcinoma, melanoma, soft
tissue sarcoma, and osteosarcoma. Many factors contribute
to the value of these spontaneous cancers as
relevant models for human cancer:
1. These animals share environmental risk factors with
their human owners, suggesting their value as sentinels
of disease.
2. Recent release of the canine genome suggests significantly
greater homology between dogs and
humans than mice and humans, especially in cancer associated
gene families.
3. These cancers share tumor biology and behavior
with human cancers and, in many cases, have identical
tumor histology and response rates to conventional
4. In many cases, the prevalence of these cancers is
sufficient for clinical trials and biological studies (i.e.,
osteosarcoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma).
5. The size of dogs makes serial biopsy of tumor during
the exposure to a novel agent feasible (PK/PD studies);
furthermore their size reduces the “scale-up”
costs and allows the in-practice assessment of investigational
therapeutic delivery systems and noninvasive
imaging devices.
6. The lack of “gold standard” treatments allows early
and humane testing of novel therapies.
7. The rapid progression and early metastatic failures
associated with canine cancers allows timely completion
of clinical trials
More than 30 years ago,
optimization of bone marrow transplantation protocols
was undertaken in pet dogs with lymphoma. Since then,
the use of naturally occurring cancers in animals to better
understand and treat cancer in humans has been
referred to as Comparative Oncology. Examples of
studies using comparative approaches to cancer investigation
are presented below:
Understand Environmental Risks for Human
Companion animals may represent sentinels for environmental
risk factors for cancer. Furthermore, these
models may be helpful for the study of agents that may
prevent cancers.
* Animal model: solar dermatosis (keratosis) and solar
dermatosis with squamous cell carcinoma. Am J
Pathol. 1979 Jan; 94(1):193-6.
* Passive smoking and canine lung cancer risk. Am J
Epidemiol. 1992 Feb 1; 135(3): 234-9.
* Epidemiologic study of insecticide exposures, obesity,
and risk of bladder cancer in household dogs. J
Toxicol Environ Health. 1989; 28(4): 407-14.
* Case-control study of canine malignant lymphoma:
positive association with dog owner’s use of 2, 4
dichlorophenoxyacetic acid herbicides. J Natl Cancer
Inst. 1991 Sep 4; 83(17): 1226-31.
* Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia in dogs with spontaneous
prostate cancer. Prostate 1997 Feb 1; 30(2):
* Environmental causes for sinonasal cancers in pet
dogs and their usefulness as sentinels of indoor cancer
risk. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 1998 Aug 7; 54(7):
Genome sequence, comparative analysis and haplotype
structure of the domestic dog. Nature. 2005 Dec
* A prospective survey of familial canine lymphosarcoma.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 1984 Apr; 72(4): 909-12.
* Human, canine and murine BRCA1 genes: sequence
comparison among species. Hum Mol Genet. 1996
Sep; 5(9): 1289-98.
* A canine model of familial mammary gland neoplasia.
Vet Pathol. 1998 May; 35(3): 168-77.
* Genetic mapping of a naturally occurring hereditary
renal cancer syndrome in dogs. Proc Natl Acad Sci
U S A. 2000 Apr 11; 97(8): 4132-7.
* The domestic dog genome. Curr Biol. 2004 Feb 3;
14(3): R98-9.

There is a causative link between humans smoking and pets developing cancers of the lung , known as passive smoking .

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