The importance of comparative oncology in translational medicine

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2015 Feb;64(2):137-48. doi: 10.1007/s00262-014-1645-5. Epub 2014 Dec 30.


Human cancer is so complex that in vivo preclinical models are needed if effective therapies are to be developed. Naturally occurring cancers in companion animals are therefore a great resource, as shown by the remarkable growth that comparative oncology has seen over the last 30 years. Cancer has become a leading cause of death in companion animals now that more pets are living long enough to develop the disease. Furthermore, more owners are seeking advanced and novel therapies for their pets as they are very much considered family members. Living in the same environments, pets and humans are often afflicted by the same types of cancer which show similar behavior and, in some species, express the same antigen molecules. The treatment of pet tumors using novel therapies is of compelling translational significance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Immunity
  • Immunotherapy
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Translational Research, Biomedical*