Note to Reporters: Photos are available with the news release at http://www.news.colostate.edu.
Colorado State University has raised nearly $2 million through the generosity of a significant multi-year gift from The Anschutz Foundation and several additional gifts from loyal supporters of the Flint Animal Cancer Center. These gifts bring the center nearly two-thirds of the way to its current goal of $3 million in support of the Oncology Comparative Clinical Trials Program.
The awards were announced Saturday as part of One Cure, an annual fundraising event hosted by Rick and Melissa Westerman and Meg Cowan, all supporters of CSU’s Flint Animal Cancer Center. One Cure was founded at CSU on the principle that cancer is one disease that affects animals and humans and that a cure for both can be found through collaborative research.
Among the contributors to One Cure is The Anschutz Foundation, which has been a major contributor to the center over the past several years and has helped expand cancer clinical trials for collaborative research between CSU and the University of Colorado Cancer Center on The Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora.
“The very generous awards from The Anschutz Foundation and other partners contribute greatly to our fight against cancer in animals that ultimately helps people,” said Dr. Mark Stetter, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at CSU. “Our mission at the college is to help animals, people and the planet, whether that’s through research on environmental health, infectious disease or cancer.”
“This program will leverage and strengthen collaborations between Colorado State University and the University of Colorado in a partnership to coordinate companion animal and human studies,” said Dr. Rod Page, director of the center at CSU. “We are tremendously grateful to The Anschutz Foundation and all of our One Cure friends for their ongoing support of this critical research that is bringing innovative treatments to our patients as well as improving clinical research in people.”
The Flint Animal Cancer Center is a pioneer on an international stage in the fight against cancer in pets and people and a flagship program for CSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences through its prominence in teaching, service to individuals with pets that have cancer and translational research. The facility opened in 2002 to offer ever-improving care to companion animals with cancer and to further collaborations between veterinarians, physicians and scientists working toward a cure.
The Flint Animal Cancer Center evaluates 1,800 new cancer patients a year from around the world and provides leading technologies in imaging, radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy and pain management as well as opportunities for clinical trial participation.
The clinical trials supported through One Cure would create an institutional collaboration between CSU and CU for translational and comparative clinical cancer research. The clinical trials program of the Flint Animal Cancer Center currently supports 20 to 25 trials annually. Financial support is needed to greatly increase the number of trials and enrollment with adequate facilities and resources in both Fort Collins and Denver.
The Oncology Comparative Clinical Trials Program will:
• Solidify the oncology clinical trials program hub at CSU.
• Create a strong network with veterinarians in the Denver metro region to expedite clinical research regionally.
• Expand research partnerships and resources with the University of Colorado Cancer Center on the Anschutz Medical Campus.
“We have made great strides in our battle against cancer,” Page said. “Today more than 50 percent of companion animals with cancer can be successfully managed or cured thanks to innovations discovered through clinical research.”
Highlights of the center’s accomplishments over the past several decades:
• First “limb-sparing” surgical procedures that have saved the limbs of tens of thousands of children across the world and are still in use today.
• First veterinary biorepository that provided a “library” of tissue samples from cancer patients used to unlock the mysteries of the disease. Current holdings are over 20,000 samples from 2,000 patients.
• Clinical trial at CSU for canine patients with oral cancer defines a new radiation treatment protocol that is applied to human patients.
• Clinical trial in dogs at CSU redefines chemotherapy delivery for bone cancer and leads to widespread use in child cancer patients.
• Immunotherapy delays the spread of bone cancer, first verified in canine patients at CSU and the University of Wisconsin, later used to benefit human patients.
Current areas of clinical research focus continue to be in treatment innovations including cancer immunotherapeutic strategies, novel drug therapies, advanced radiation therapy protocols and nutrition. For more information, go to www.csuanimalcancercenter.org.
To give to One Cure, go to http://www.csuanimalcancercenter.org/onecure. Supporters can also purchase One Cure pet products at www.vettext.org to help spread the message that pets and people battle cancer together and that together they can be part of a cure.