Researchers at the Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of California-Davis are now conducting rigorous clinical trials of new treatments on animals with naturally occurring cancer with the hope they might eventually benefit humans as well as the family pet. Dogs and cats get cancer too, just like humans, and for some cancers, dog and human tumors are indistinguishable under a microscope. Surgical techniques can also easily be adapted from dogs to humans. Frustrated by the lack of treatment options for dogs with certain tumors and cancers that have spread, Drs Michael Kent and Arta Monjazeb are searching hard for new treatments to extend the lives of their patients. These studies may benefit humans and animals by finding new drugs to treat cancer in both dogs and humans.


  • Michael S. Kent, DVM
  • Arta Monjazeb, MD, Ph.D

Three key benefits of the findings

  • There are so few cancer drugs that end up getting approved for use in humans after showing early promise in lab studies in mice and rats.  Drugs that are shown to be safe to treat cancer in dogs can be used in human clinical trials.
  • Work with pets will hopefully speed the discovery of new drugs, which is important because a lot of patients still need new treatments.
  • Clinical trials in dogs that might help improve human cancer treatment are important and go over well with pet owners who understand that their animal is helping to cure cancer.