Colorado State University Animal Cancer Center Receives $3 Million from Shipley Foundation for Oncology University Chair

A $3 million gift to Colorado State University’s Animal Cancer Center has secured the Shipley University Chair in Comparative Oncology. The university chair, which will be filled through an international search at a later date, helps to support translational research between animal and human cancer treatments and prevention.

The Shipley Foundation has had a long relationship with the Animal Cancer Center, dating back at least 10 years when the family became interested in the center’s educational efforts to raise awareness that dogs and cats get cancer, too, and what human medicine can learn from comparing cancer behavior and research across species.

“This latest gift is a culmination of 10 years of friendship between the Shipley family and the Animal Cancer Center as well as the Shipley family’s commitment to finding creative and groundbreaking tools to beat cancer,” said Dr. Rod Page, director of the Animal Cancer Center. The Animal Cancer Center is part of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “Three generations of the Shipley family have shared and supported our vision that understanding the connections between cancer in people and cancer in pets collectively helps all species.”

In 2000, Charles and Lucia Shipley made a $1 million gift to establish the Shipley Natural Healing Center, and their foundation also provided an additional $1.2 million to support its programs.

“My parents were proud of their association with the Animal Cancer Center, and they were happy to support the research being conducted under our family’s name by Dr. Elizabeth Ryan and others at the center,” said Richard Shipley, president of the Shipley Foundation. “This chair will be a lasting memorial to their lifelong refusal to be satisfied with conventional measure to solve problems.”

Charles Shipley died in 2004; Lucia Shipley died earlier this year.

The Animal Cancer Center is the largest center of its kind in the world. Veterinarians there treat about 1,500 pets each year from around the globe for various forms of cancer and compare information and research results with many human cancer programs including the Mayo Clinic is Scottsdale, Ariz., and the University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Among many noted accomplishments, the Animal Cancer Center:
– is known internationally for pioneering limb-sparing surgery and live-saving medical techniques for human and animal cancer patients;
– is a lead institution with the National Cancer Institute in developing national collaborative programs in clinical trials and tissue archiving for companion animals and translating these findings to human health;
– pioneered radiation therapy in animals with cancer and continue to develop new treatments including stereotactic radiosurgery and intensity modulated radiation therapy; and
– is the first institute to establish a cancer biology Ph.D. graduate program dedicated to veterinarians.

Animal Cancer Center faculty helped found the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine specialty in oncology, the Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncology and the American College of Veterinary Radiation Oncology.

The center also has received more than 25 years of funding from the National Cancer Institute, one of the very few veterinary medical groups in the country to do so.