View Full Version : Studying Disease in Dogs to Help Humans

10-28-2010, 03:58 AM
October 25, 2010, 2:43 pm Studying Disease in Dogs to Help Humans

By TARA PARKER-POPE ( Cushing’s disease is a rare condition in humans, but common in dogs. As a result, scientists are now hoping that a unique collaboration between veterinarians and human doctors will unlock clues for treating the disease.
Dr. Adam Mamelak, a neurosurgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, has collaborated with veterinarians in Los Angeles to teach them a brain operation commonly performed on human Cushing’s patients.
What Dr. Mamelak has gained from teaching the procedure to veterinarians is access to tissue samples from the treated dogs. That’s significant because Cushing’s afflicts only one in a million humans, making it a difficult disease to study. By contrast, it afflicts about 100,000 dogs a year in the United States. The canine tissue samples are enabling him and his colleagues to develop drugs to one day treat Cushing’s disease in both humans and dogs.
To learn more about the unique collaboration, read the full report, “They Fetch, They Roll Over, They Aid Tumor Research,” ( and then please join the discussion below.