Animal Cancer Care
Approximately half of all deaths of dogs and cats over 10 years of age are related to cancer. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the hard work of faculty and staff, the College is steadily developing the Animal Cancer Center.
The Animal Cancer Care and Research Center (ACCR) program provides cutting-edge care to animals with cancer and conducts research in the area of oncology where humans and animals interface. This unique program leverages current areas of expertise within the University of Minnesota system, but draws heavily from the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Masonic Cancer Center. The Animal Cancer Care and Research program is a cornerstone of the Comparative Medicine Signature Program at the College of Veterinary Medicine, as well as a Developmental Research Program at the Masonic Cancer Center.
Batman Memorial Canine Brain Cancer Fund
In 2005, Drs. John Ohlfest, Ph.D. and G. Elizabeth Pluhar, D.V.M., Ph.D. initiated a canine glioma research program at the University of Minnesota (UMN) Veterinary Medical Center (VMC) with the goal of offering cutting edge therapy to dogs intended to preserve quality of life and improve long-term survival rates. Additionally, the information gained from treating dogs is used to design similar treatments for people with brain tumors. In 2008, the began regular collaboration with human neurosurgeons Drs. Steven Haines and Matthew Hunt.
After being diagnosed with a brain tumor and given a few weeks to live, Batman became the first dog to participate in an animal research study for a pioneering new treatment developed at the University of Minnesota. A charming and photogenic survivor, Batman became the poster dog for Dr. Ohlfest's brain tumor research program at the U of MN, helping to bring national attention to the study, and to raise funds for further research that has already saved over a dozen other dogs and will eventually lead to human trials for the treatment.
In the 18 months following the surgery and vaccine protocol, Batman was almost entirely back to his normal, mellow, puppyish self. Unfortunately, curing the brain tumor did not get rid of the seizures originally caused by the tumor growth. On Wednesday, January 13, 2010, Batman suffered a prolonged series of seizures (and likely a stroke) that left him with severe muscle damage and immobilized him for several days and eventually he was overcome with pneumonia on January 18. He lived longer than expected and was still cancer free when he died.
You can make a gift to the Batman Memorial Canine Brain Cancer Fund to extend the lives of many other dogs, and eventually people, diagnosed with terminal brain tumors.
Alvin S. and June Perlman Chair in Animal Oncology
After their own beloved pet was stricken with the disease and successfully treated at the Veterinary Medical Center (VMC), Alvin and June Perlman (pictured) established the Alvin S. and June Perlman Chair in Animal Oncology at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Funds from this endowment support the Veterinary Medical Center's Animal Cancer Center.
Jaime Modiano joined the College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007 as professor of Comparative Oncology holding the Al and June Perlman Endowed Chair. He earned his V.M.D. and Ph.D. (Immunology) degrees from the University of Pennsylvania through the Veterinary Medical Scientist Training Program. He completed a residency in clinical pathology and a post-doctoral fellowship at Colorado State University and at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center. He served on the faculties of Texas A&M University and the University of Colorado before moving to Minnesota.
Serving our patients
The Oncology Service offers a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic options for pets with cancer, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Staffed by a dedicated team of veterinarians, veterinary technicians and researchers, the oncology group offers loving care and expertise for pets with cancer. The Oncology Service team also helps conduct advanced research in conjunction with the Animal Cancer Care and Research (ACCR) program. The ACCR program strives to advance knowledge in cancer biology, translating and then implementing that knowledge into delivery of care to reduce the incidence of cancer and improve the outcomes for animals with cancer. The ACCR program’s groundbreaking work is also used to help human cancer patients.