I may be dating myself, but there was an old TV commercial from the 1970s (and thanks to YouTube you can watch it below) that featured people in a restaurant talking about investing. And when one of the men at the table mentions that his broker is E.F. Hutton, the entire restaurant, including the waiters, go silent and listen for what the gentlemen is going to say. The catchphrase of the advertising campaign associated with the commercial is “When E.F. Hutton talks, everyone listens."
For me, I feel the same reverence for certain scientific figures. One of which is Dr. Ned Sharpless, the head of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). He spoke at a recent meeting entitled, The Role of Companion Animals as Sentinels for Predicting Environmental Exposure Effects on Aging and Cancer Susceptibility in Humans: A Workshop, held in Washington, DC Dec 1-3, 2021.
Dr. Sharpless gave the opening presentation and he made the statement
“...for the study of a cancer, whether that be a dog or human, or any model organism, the characterization of the somatic genome of the tumor is the state of the art and you have to do that…” he then went on to say, “the same is true in clinical medicine, if you take care of patients with advanced cancer, …the molecular characterization should be a must because it just so critical in understanding the biology..”
(You can watch and hear his remarks below, The Role of Companion Animals as Sentinels for Predicting Environmental Exposure Effects on Aging and Cancer Susceptibility in Humans A Workshop | National Academies).
The meeting that kicked off this national discussion was held in 2015 (The Role of Clinical Studies for Pets with Naturally Occurring Tumors in Translational Cancer Research A Workshop | National Academies) and really set the stage for the meeting that took place in December.
Three things to note here, first, companion animals, in particular dogs, are playing an increasingly important role in the national discussions of both cancer and aging.
Secondly, the importance of genomic sequencing of cancer is increasingly being seen as equally as important as histology.
And lastly, I am so proud that FidoCure ® was mentioned during this workshop in December as a partner that is working to bring state of the art genomic sequencing to the forefront and rapidly increasing our understanding of the biology of canine cancer.