“I created the Puccini Foundation in 2007 after my cocker spaniel, Puccini, was stricken with melanoma,” said Linda Cohen Wassong, founder at Puccini Foundation. “Puccini participated in clinical trials in 2006 as part of a unique partnership between veterinarians at The Animal Medical Center and human oncology researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Puccini’s quality and quantity of life was extended, so I immediately saw it as a science of future generations. This very treatment went on to become the first and only USDA-approved, therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of cancer in animals or humans. It’s time for physicians and patients to join veterinarians and start thinking beyond just humans. We humans need to start thinking about the chemicals we use in our lawns, clean our homes, and spray on our pets. The DNA damage to our animals will also ultimately cause further DNA damage to us. The massive number of cancers in our pets should be a warning sign for us to act now.”
“Comparative Oncology studies cancers in animals like dogs, cats, horses, and other animals,” Ms. Wassong continued. “We use those findings to develop cancer treatments and cures that can benefit people and animals as well. There is a significant biological and environmental commonality between people and pets. The gap has narrowed in the lag between animal and human medicine. Comparative Oncology will help us uncover these treatments faster because of animals’ shorter life spans, the cancer in domestic animal closely resembles cancer in humans, we have a high incidence of cancer providing the potential population for research, and the animal size allows for refinement of surgical techniques that may also be effective on humans. We have several examples of comparative oncology successes on our website at http://puccinifoundation.org/
About Puccini Foundation: Wassong’s dog, Puccini, died from canine cancer. People and pets share many of the same cancers. The Puccini Foundation was established to help find treatments and cures for animal and human cancers. Wassong has channelled her pain and sadness in dealing with canine cancer into something positive — this foundation — and honored the strongest of human-animal bonds. It's her way of giving thanks for all of the time and happiness she shared with Puccini. The Puccini Foundation is dedicated to the hope and promise of a future for pets and people, cancer free. For more information, to get involved or to make a donation please visit www.PucciniFoundation.org.