CHF is Committed to Groundbreaking Regenerative Medicine Research

04/01/2013

Regenerative Medicine is changing the landscape of modern veterinary medicine. Diseases that were once thought to be incurable are no longer hopeless, and injuries that were once debilitating are now treatable. CHF intends to be at the forefront of supporting this exciting new area of research, and we have already substantially contributed to studies that will usher in treatments for craniate cruciate ligament disease and urinary incontinence.

 

Groundbreaking research is not without risk. One of the greatest concerns with regenerative medicine is the potential for the introduction of tumorigenic cells; those cells which can promote the growth of cancer. Regenerative medicine involves the transfer of stem cells that are derived from a healthy individual to the individual needing treatment, or alternately, laboratory-based expansion and reintroduction of self-derived stem cells. Stem cells are unique in their capacity to differentiate and stimulate tissue healing. Because they possess tremendous stimulatory activity there is conceivable risk for introduction of tumorigenic cells. 

 

In order to address this risk, CHF funded Dr. Douglas H. Thamm, VMD, Colorado State University, to work on a grant entitled “Ensuring That Emerging Stem Cell Treatments Do Not Activate or Exacerbate Cancer in Dogs” (1876-A). In this pilot study, Dr. Thamm will investigate the effects of canine stem cell factors on proliferation, cell death, invasion and migration of cells. This project is an in vitro study – meaning cells being investigated are derived from multiple canine tumor and blood vessel cell lines. The knowledge of whether stem cells (or their byproducts) can promote tumor growth will address a key safety concern regarding the application of stem cell-based therapies in dogs, and will inform decision making regarding stem cell use in the aged dog population who are at greatest risk for tumor development.

 

Through the funding of this grant, CHF is showing its commitment to fully supporting all aspects of canine health. As Dr. Shila Nordone, CHF Chief Scientific Officer stated, “Research is not conducted in isolation. All research is complementary, and all our funded studies work in sync to prevent, treat and cure canine disease.”

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