ACF Announces Comparative Oncology Grant Award Winners for 2016

Barbara Cohen , January 13, 2017

Animal Cancer Foundation - ACF Announces Comparative Oncology Grant Award Winners for 2016

(Pictured:  Sheba with Dr. Nicola Mason)  ACF's Board of Directors is pleased to announce the presentation of two comparative oncology grant awards for 2016 that were made possible by the generosity of our donors and benefactors.

The first award was presented to Nicola Mason, B.Vet.Med., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine and Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania and co-investigator Avery Posey, Ph.D., Instructor in Cellular Immunotherapy, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, to build on thier current work leading to the first clinical trial evaluating the safety and therapeutic effect of CD20 targeted CAR T cell therapy in client-owned dogs with relapsed B cell lymphoma. Non Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) is the most common hematopoeitic cancer in dogs and the most common subtype is Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphomas.  Veterinary oncologists are able to use combinations of cytotoxic agents to achieve clinical remission in about 75% of dogs; however,, 85 to 90% relapse with lethal, drug-resistant lymphoma with 6 to 9 months of treatment.

Dr. Mason explains that the ongoing work at Penn Vet seeks a cure for canine B-cell lymphoma by using immunotherapy, treatment currently also being used in people, "This award supports our ongoing work developing genetically re-directed T cells to provide complete and durable remission in dogs with B cell lymphoma and continues the strong collaboration between the Schools of Veterinary Medicine and Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania."

A second ACF comparative oncology grant award for 2016 was presented to Stephen Ramsey, PhD; Assistant Professor, Oregon State University, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Department of Biomedical Sciences and co-investigator Shay Bracha, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Oncology), Assistant Professor, Oregon State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, for a study of driver mutations in canine bladder cancer.  According to Dr. Ramsey and Dr. Bracha, "The grant will enable us to leverage the power of genomics technologies and comparative oncology to develop predictive models of how a canine malignancy will respond to chemotherapeutic treatment, based on the tumor's molecular profile."

ACF's board co-Presidents Matthew Vuolo and Annie Selkovits Taylor sited the continuing support of the Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research in making possible the funding for the second grant in 2016, with Taylor noting, "collaboration of resources and information is key to solving the puzzle of cancer treatment, and we are proud of how we have come together in support of these wonderful teams of researchers."

For more information, visit:

Penn Vet

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Petco Foundation

Blue Buffalo Foundation