Director of Colorado State University Animal Cancer Center to Speak about Stories, Experiences

Dr. Stephen Withrow, director of the internationally-recognized Colorado State University Animal Cancer Center, will share stories about his work and passion to translate groundbreaking animal cancer treatment into promising human therapies at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 2, at the university’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital Room 120. The hospital is at 300 W. Drake Road.

The evening, which is free of charge, is sponsored by Achievement Rewards for College Scientists. ARCS is a volunteer organization that provides scholarships to academically outstanding U. S. citizens obtaining degrees in science, medicine and engineering in an effort to contribute to worldwide advancement of science and technology.

Withrow, a University Distinguished Professor, is known around the world – in pet and human medicine circles – for his contributions to cancer treatments. He established the Animal Cancer Center 25 years ago and it is now the largest companion animal cancer research center in the world. The center books about 8,000 appointments a year, seeing patients from around the world, and provides an additional 5,000 consultations via the phone or email to veterinarians and patients. Dogs, cats, orangutans and bears have been examined and treated by the cancer experts at the center.

In addition to treating animals with cancer, the Animal Cancer Center has trained more veterinary oncologists than any other veterinary institution and is the only veterinary cancer group to have more than 25 consecutive years of funding from the National Cancer Institute. It has an international reputation for its collaboration with human cancer institutions such as the Mayo Clinic, the National Cancer Institute and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. In addition, the Animal Cancer Center is home to numerous clinical trials for cancer treatments, with pets participating with their owner’s approval in the quest to find new treatments and preventions for cancer. Many clinical trials are overseen by the Children’s Oncology Group because of the center’s ability to translate animal cancer treatments, innovations and knowledge into beneficial human medicine.

Among many contributions to cancer research and treatment, Withrow developed a limb-sparing technique to treat osteosarcoma, a malignant tumor of long bones in dogs. This technique revolutionized osteosarcoma treatment in dogs and has been widely adopted at human cancer centers, significantly increasing the likelihood that children diagnosed with osteosarcoma will be cured, demonstrating how canine cancer research has had a far-reaching influence on human cancer care.

As an internationally renowned expert in cancer research and treatment, Withrow is credited with changing the way veterinarians treat cancer.

The Animal Cancer Center is part of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

In addition to academic activities at Colorado State, Withrow has volunteered for 25 years as a counselor and fund-raiser for the Sky High Hope Camp for children with cancer, earning him the Ronald McDonald House Volunteer of the Year award in 2003.