Animal Cancer Foundation (ACF) has received a US$1 million donation from The Blue Buffalo Foundation. ACF is a US non-­profit organization supporting comparative oncology research that studies the similarities between naturally occurring cancers in people and pets to help find cures for both species.

The grant will provide funding for the Canine Cancer Genome Project, which will map the tumor genomes of the most common canine cancers, a missing piece of information that cancer researchers could utilize to benefit both pets and people.

The initiative arose as a result of a review conducted in 2015 by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science and supported in part by Animal Cancer Foundation that highlighted the value of comparative oncology and the inclusion of veterinary oncologists in accelerating cancer drug development.

Animal Cancer Foundation has assembled a scientific advisory council composed of experts in cancer genetics, drug development and comparative oncology to author a request for proposals for genomics laboratories capable of generating, analyzing and hosting the resulting data in the public domain, allowing researchers across disciplines access to refine clinical trials improving efficiency of drug development for all.

Cancer in pets and humans

According to ACF, one ­in ­four dogs develops naturally occurring cancer in its lifetime compared with one in three women and one in two men. Common cancers in pets are also very common in people, particularly children.

Understanding the genetic makeup of canine cancer tumors, and comparing their genetic makeup to those of people with cancer, may allow researchers to discover additional targeted drug therapies and the least toxic doses of those therapies that are most effective in curing the individual, whether canine or human.

Animal Cancer Foundation has pledged to raise an additional US$1 million in support of the Canine Cancer Genome Project. The fundraising effort launched October 1, 2017 and is supported by Blue Buffalo Foundation, which has partnered with ACF to supplement the reach of the organization, especially during the US Pet Cancer Awareness campaign in May 2018.

More on the Pet Cancer Awareness campaign

To kick off Pet Cancer Awareness Month in May 2017, the Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo Foundation announced a total of US$11 million in contributions for pet cancer research and treatment since the annual campaign began in 2010.

The 2017 goal was to provide more than US$2 million in additional grants to support pet cancer treatment and research initiatives.