Spontaneously occurring tumors of companion animals as models for human cancer

Cancer Invest. 2000;18(8):781-92. doi: 10.3109/07357900009012210.


Spontaneous tumors in companion animals (dog and cat) offer a unique opportunity as models for human cancer biology and translational cancer therapeutics. The relatively high incidence of some cancers, similar biologic behavior, large body size, comparable responses to cytotoxic agents, and shorter overall lifespan are the factors that contribute to the advantages of the companion animal model. The tumor types that offer the best comparative interest include lymphoma/leukemia, osteosarcoma, STS, melanoma, and mammary tumors. With the increase in new therapeutic agents (traditional chemotherapy, gene therapy, biologic agents, etc.), the companion animal model can provide useful populations to test new agents where efficacy and toxicity can be examined.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Domestic*
  • Breast Neoplasms / veterinary
  • Cat Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cats
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Hemangiosarcoma / veterinary
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / veterinary
  • Melanoma / veterinary
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / veterinary*
  • Osteosarcoma / veterinary
  • Sarcoma / veterinary
  • United States / epidemiology