The Animal Cancer Care and Research (ACCR) program brings together researchers from different disciplines across human and veterinary medicine, who strive to learn more about the area of cancer where humans and animals interface. Their discoveries lead to better ways to treat and prevent cancers in both humans and animals.
Research for the ACCR program is conducted primarily through three University laboratories: The Modiano Lab, the Kassie Lab, and the O'Brien Lab.
The Modiano Lab is interested in understanding basic differences between normal cells and tumor cells. Its ultimate goal is to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with cancer in humans and animals. As researchers learn more about how cancer cells differ from normal cells, they can exploit these differences to improve diagnosis and treatment and to devise better methods of prevention.
The mortality rate from cancer is high because most cancers are diagnosed at an advanced stage — the tumor has already metastasized to distant sites, decreasing a patient’s chance of survival. Two potential approaches to reduce cancer mortality are the use of chemopreventive agents, naturally occurring or synthetic compounds that stop or reverse the production of new tumors, and early diagnosis. The Kassie lab focuses on the identification and development of cancer chemopreventive agents and markers for the early detection of cancer.
The O’Brien lab has been involved in the development, characterization, and translational applications of adult stem cells including mesenchymal stem cells and multipotent adult progenitor cells and in the development of induced pluripotent stem cells in large animal species. More recently, in collaboration with the Modiano lab, the O’Brien lab has become involved in the characterization of cancer stem cells in canine non-Hodgkin lymphoma.