The Flint Animal Cancer Center officially opened its doors in 2002. However, our roots in veterinary cancer care were planted in the late ’70s by Colorado State University’s Dr. Stephen Withrow, a veterinary surgeon, and Dr. Ed Gillette, a radiation biologist and veterinarian. At the time, veterinarians recognized that animals developed cancer. Because no advanced diagnostics or treatments were available, clinicians were left to make a note in the patient record and observe the outcome, which was almost universally fatal. Drs. Withrow and Gillette believed cancer could be treated in animals, much like it was in humans. They hypothesized that naturally occurring cancers, particularly in dogs, were similar to many cancers in people, making dogs a relevant model in which to study the disease in both species. They dreamed of establishing a cancer research program that studied cancer in both pets and people, an area of study formally called comparative oncology. Initially borrowing therapeutic protocols from human medicine, the duo built a successful veterinary-specific cancer care clinical and research program and went on to develop new therapies to benefit both pets and people.
Flint Animal Cancer Center's mission is to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer in pet animals, translating our research and knowledge to also benefit people with cancer.
One Cure’s founding principle is that cancer affects all creatures and that treatment breakthroughs come through collaborations between scientists and doctors who are working with pets and people. One Cure’s goal is to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer in pets. And then use our research and knowledge also to benefit people with cancer.
Funds raised through the Graham & Courtney Rahal Foundation directly benefit Dr. Dan Regan's Losartan Trial. In collaboration with the Dow laboratory in the Flint Animal Cancer Center, Dr. Dan and his team study the effects of the angiotensin receptor blocker losartan on CCR2 signaling, tumor-mediated monocyte recruitment and macrophage phenotype utilizing mouse metastasis models and dogs with naturally occurring osteosarcoma. These studies are ongoing, but initially published results from this work has led to a Phase I clinical trial of losartan in human osteosarcoma patients, in collaboration with Carrye Cost and Kelly Faulk at Children’s Hospital Colorado.