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Welcome To 2017!

As we say good-bye to 2016 — so many of our friends and their families lost loved ones to cancer last year — all of us at the Puppy Up Foundation are looking forward to a healthier, happier, and cancer free 2017.

We have lots in store that we’re excited to share with you. It’s only February and we already have so many balls in the air we’re feeling like a Lab in a tennis ball factory.

This year, we are pleased to announce that funds raised through Puppy Up Nation will be going towards three clinical trials:

(1) University of Wisconsin, Madison: The effectiveness of radiation for bone cancer dogs.

(2) Purdue University: Immunotherapy for bladder cancer in dogs.

(3) University of Missouri: B-Cell Lymphoma in dogs.

We are also excited and honored to welcome our new walks for 2017: Spring, TX.; Huntsville, AL.; Fort Myers, FL.; Chicago, IL; Santa Fe, NM.; Fredericksburg, VA. — with more coming soon! Check our website frequently for news.

Puppy Up Nation is growing and if you want to start a walk in your community or volunteer for this great cause please email me at ginger@puppyup.org. The more help we have educating our communities about the early warning signs of canine cancer and the research we are supporting through the efforts of people like you, the better chance we have of improving and prolonging the lives of those we love.

Disclaimer: All comparative oncology trials funded by the Puppy Up Foundation are conducted on pet dogs with naturally, spontaneously occurring cancer, and all participating dog owners are fully involved and informed of the trial protocols and procedures.


World Cancer Day logo

World Cancer Day

This Saturday is World Cancer Day. A truly global event taking place every year on February 4, World Cancer Day unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer. It aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease.

We invite you to participate in World Cancer Day by posting a picture and an encouraging message on our Facebook page wall with #PuppyUpLove and show your love for your personal cancer heroes: survivors, caregivers, and more (human and canine).

We want to see everyday superheroes spread life and love to those affected by cancer.Tag family, friends, and fellow pet parents who need encouragement, and share the #PuppyUpLove.


(World Cancer Day is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) 62 Route de Frontenex 1207 Geneva – Switzerland. For a map of World Cancer Day tweets, check this out.)



Promising Research: New Drug To Fight Lymphoma

(Pictured: Dr. Douglas Thamm, professor of Clinical Sciences, Brittany Wittenberns, veterinary intern and Emily Janik,a first-year veterinary student, with “Jake” a black Lab in a clinical trial.)

(Photo Credit: John Eisele/Colorado State University, John Eisele/CSU Photography)

Fort Collins Firm Gets FDA Approval For Canine Cancer Drug

Jan. 4, 2017

From The Coloradoan

Fort Collins-based VetDC Inc. has won conditional approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine for a new cancer drug for dogs.

The approval clears the way for VetDC to begin marketing Tanovea-CA1 to veterinarians in the spring.

“This is a significant milestone for VetDC,” said Steven Roy, VetDC’s president and CEO. “We look forward to introducing Tanovea-CA1 to the veterinary cancer community in the months to come.”

Tanovea-CA1 is a novel small molecule drug designed to target and attack rapidly dividing lymphoma cancer cells. The drug is administered intravenously every three weeks for up to five doses.

Christine Loeffler of Denver brought her 9-year-old Golden Retriever Dane to CSU after he was diagnosed with cancer in August. The 90-pound pooch had developed a limp that steadily got worse to the point he couldn’t get out of the car. When Dane was diagnosed, Loeffler called a friend who had gotten her own dog treated at CSU for a referral.

The next day, Loeffler and Dane were at CSU getting a full workup and the option to participate in clinical trials for Tanovea.

With traditional chemotherapy treatment, Dane would have had about five months to live, Loeffler said. Tanovea came with a wide range of possibilities, including a possible cure. “The No. 1 thing for us was Dane’s quality of life, and we felt this was the best route,” she said. “Tanovea gave us the possibility of a longer life.”

Today, Dane has completed his five treatments and is in remission, Loeffler said. There’s no guarantee he’s cured and if the cancer returns he will get traditional chemo.

For now, he’s back to his old, happy self, she said. “Every day we get with Dane … we’re happy to have one more day.”

Dane received the Tanovea for free as part of the clinical trials, but the blood tests, scans and veterinary care have cost the family about $10,000 thus far; money well spent, Loeffler said. “I feel like we have gotten five additional months with Dane that I don’t know we would have had” without the experimental treatment. “We’re happy as long as he is still wagging his tail in the morning.”

Lymphoma is one of the most common types of cancer in dogs. Although lymphoma can affect virtually any organ in the body, it most commonly starts in organs that function as part of the immune system, such as the lymph nodes, spleen and bone marrow. The cause of canine lymphoma is unknown and signs of lymphoma in dogs vary depending on which organs are affected.

“Across the board, we saw some positive activity in up to 80 percent of all the lymphoma patients that were treated with this medication,” said Dr. Doug Thamm, a veterinarian and cancer researcher who led clinical trials at CSU’s Flint Animal Cancer Center.

The drug is approved for one-year use in dogs. The conditional approval may be annually extended with further evidence of effectiveness; full approval is possible in five years.

CSU has been pivotal in the medication’s march to market. The drug, whose active ingredient is rabacfosadine, was first developed for use in human cancer patients. Veterinarians with CSU’s Flint Animal Cancer Center have been key advisers as VetDC refined Tanovea-CA1 for use as a veterinary cancer therapeutic. CSU veterinarians also helped treated canine cancer patients whose cases contributed proof of the drug’s usefulness; there were 350 dogs treated nationwide.


TGen Dog

“Dogs Accelerate The Advance Of New Cancer Treatments For Both Pets And People”

Dogs Accelerate The Advance Of New Cancer Treatments For Both Pets And People

Tgen—Translational Genomics Research Institute

National review shows studying cancer in dogs offers ‘a unique opportunity’ for helping patients, saving time and decreasing costs

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Feb. 4, 2016 – A Science Translational Medicine review suggests integrating dogs with naturally occurring cancers into studies of new drug therapeutics could result in better treatments for our four-legged friends while helping inform therapeutic development for human cancers.

The review, conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Science, including faculty at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), hopes to close the gap between human and canine cancer research, and accelerate the knowledge developed by studying cancer in both people and pets, a field known as comparative oncology.

“We are hopeful this analysis will be useful in developing and advancing an agenda for the field of comparative oncology,” said Dr. Jeffrey Trent, TGen President and Research Director, and one of the authors of the study. “Many canine breeds develop naturally occurring cancers, such as breast cancer and melanoma, that share remarkable genetic similarities with their human equivalent. This allows us a unique opportunity to have what we learn in the human be of help to the dog, and what we learn in the dog to be of direct help to human patients with these cancers.”

Dr. William Hendricks, an Assistant Professor at TGen specializing in canine research, agreed: “It has been remarkable to see first hand the similarity in genetic changes, called mutations, between a dog with melanoma and a human patient with the same disease. Looking through the lens of genetics is giving us new targets and offering new hope for improving our treatment of humans and dogs.”

This “gap analysis” is the result of a National Academies Institute of Medicine workshop – The role of Clinical Studies for Pets with Naturally Occurring Tumors in Translational Cancer Research – held June 8-9, 2015, in Washington, D.C.

“Low cancer drug development success rates and the associated high attrition rates of new drugs, particularly late in human clinical trials, are indicative of a key shortcoming in the preclinical development path,” said Dr. Chand Khanna, a former Senior Scientist at NCI’s Center for Cancer Research, who holds both a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and a Ph.D. in Pathobiology, an interdisciplinary field devoted to basic research into the mechanisms of disease.

“Strong similarities between the biology of cancer in dogs and humans have been shown, including patterns of response to therapies and cancer recurrence,” said Dr. Khanna, the review’s senior author. “Specific types of cancer are functionally identical between dogs and humans, and in some cases the cancers can be considered indistinguishable between the species.”

Findings the authors report include:

• A limited understanding of the field of comparative oncology in the cancer drug development community.

• The value of comparative oncology can be seen not only in accelerating drug development and eventual FDA approval, but also in saving time, costs and risks to patients by providing early assessments of clinical trials that should be discontinued.

• Studying canines to answer questions about drug target biology – before and after exposure to novel treatments – should be a priority.

• Comparative oncology also should prioritize the development and validation of biomarkers in circulating blood, and guide decisions about optimal drug combination strategies.

• There is a need to include veterinarians in clinical practice and in the pharmaceutical industry, physician and veterinary medical associations, and aligned philanthropic groups, in the discussion of opportunities presented by comparative oncology.

• Tissue samples of canine cancers stored in tissue banks and bio-specimen repositories “should now be leveraged in order to rapidly accelerate comparative oncology.”

Importantly, this review found that the knowledge of genetic alterations that drive human cancers far exceeds knowledge of those same alterations in canine cancers. More than 30,000 human cancers have been genomically profiled, while genomic sequencing data has been published for fewer than 50 canine cancers.

“Our understanding of the genomic landscape of canine cancer is widely considered to be the single largest gap currently present in comparative oncology today,” said Dr. Amy LeBlanc, Director of the Comparative Oncology Program at NCI’s Center for Cancer Research, and the review’s lead author.

Other recommendations included in the review: Veterinary schools are best positioned and prepared to successfully recruit and manage canine patients for comparative oncology studies; the successes in immunotherapy in human cancer treatments should be extended to canine clinical trials; and a centralized registry of canine clinical trials should be created, providing easy access for pet owners and veterinarians.

This “Focus” article, published Feb. 3, 2016, in Science Translational Medicine is titled: Perspectives from man’s best friend: National Academy of Medicine’s Workshop on Comparative Oncology: Perspectives from man’s best friend: National Academy of Medicine’s Workshop on Comparative Oncology.




Pup of the Month — Cinnamon

Cinnamon — Pup Of The Month

Cinnamon, a mixed large breed dog, along with her liter mates, was surrendered to a rescue-shelter from a neglectful situation when she was approximately 6 months old. There, she received basic daily care, but virtually no socialization. Unfortunately, she developed fear reactivity issues. When she was nearly 1 year old she was brought to our home as a temporary foster to provide her a break from shelter life as well as with hopes to enrich her social skills by joining our several other adopted dogs. That first night we all fell in love with her and she declared us as her humans and family! Her fear reactivity has posed some challenges to all of us, but nothing compared to the osteosarcoma diagnosis that was made when she was 9 years old.

Cinnamon was diagnosed with osteosarcoma of her left hind leg in October 2015. Staging tests did not reveal evidence of metastatic disease. The very heartbreaking decision was made to perform an amputation. She recovered much more quickly than expected, and taught us something about recovery and how to enjoy every day to the most. She began a protocol of intravenous chemotherapy and, in spite of a few bumps in the road, continued to enjoy a high quality of life.

Six months following her diagnosis, metastatic lesions were found on her CT scan that had not been seen on her prior chest x-rays. Her chemotherapy protocol was switched to a new agent. Since then, she has continued to be as happy and wonderful as ever!

Today, Cinnamon is 11 years old. She is 15 months from her initial diagnosis of osteosarcoma and 9 months from finding the metastatic spread. She is taking chemotherapy at home. She requires no analgesics or anti-nausea medications. She is eating a full diet of very nutritious foods, enjoying walks, car rides, waking up from a good night’s sleep to face rubs and rolls like a puppy in her back yard.

As osteosarcoma goes, we are not taking a single day for granted — no moment is taking for granted. God has blessed us to have these moments and we cherish every one of them!

This picture is from Cinnamon’s Fall ’16 beach trip to the Jersey Shore! She ate smoked salmon on the beach, laid on a beach blanket, made some new friends, got to eat a meal from a special dog friendly menu with her parents (humans!) at an outdoor beach bar, slept in a hotel bed, and had breakfast in bed!  Many wonderful memories that we hope to repeat this Spring!

David S. & Robin E.

Bloomsburg, PA


Additional Ways To Help

Shop our PuppyUp Store! You can find all sorts of neat gear here.

You can find just about anything on Amazon.com. When you shop there, please help The PuppyUp Foundation. If you follow this link every time you shop on Amazon, they will donate a percentage of your order to The Puppy Up Foundation. Thank you.


The Puppy Up Foundation does not endorse nor recommend any particular product, service, or treatment. We offer information strictly for educational and/or informational purposes. We believe it is the pet owner’s responsibility to do the research and draw his or her own conclusions.

We can always use your help. If you’re interested, send me an mail at ginger@puppyup.org.

Ginger Morgan