Dog Genome May Provide Insight Into Human Cancer

Dr. Matthew Breen is researching the dog genome to gain knowledge of cancer in humans.


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Scientists are often in collaboration, working toward the same goal. Doctors of various specialties often do so in the treatment of a single patient or in an effort to diagnosis, treat and perhaps cure a disease. Rarely do you see doctors of completely different fields conduct research to the same end.

However, the North Carolina State University veterinary research team, led by Matthew Breen, PhD, C. Biol, FSB, is researching genomes in dogs in hopes of better understanding cancer in humans.

After assisting in the canine genome mapping, Dr. Breen and his lab team discovered “a remarkable level of similarity between the genome sequence of a domestic dog and the genome sequence of a human being.”

Breen also said in the video (above) that the similarities do not stop there. It’s also important to note that domestic dogs and humans share the same environment, which includes air, water and sometimes food. These similarities led to the conclusion that if a dog were to get cancer, the disease would behave in almost the exact same way as it does in people.

According to Breen, rare cancers in people are not allocated a lot of – if any – research time and money. However, these cancers are often common in dogs. The research his team does at his lab could provide answers to treating and possibly curing the disease in humans.

If successful, this could be a major breakthrough in cancer research.

To read more about Breen’s research, click here.

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