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Cate Swannell
Med J Aust 2018; 209 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja18.n0511
Published online: 5 November 2018

A 10-year-old beagle with prostate cancer is helping researchers at the University of Queensland use nanomedicines to accurately diagnose and target the disease. Hoover is the first “patient” in the world to receive the nanomedicine, which the research team hopes will help track and treat his cancer, and lead to better treatment for people with the same disease. Hoover was chosen for the trial because dogs – like humans – naturally develop prostate cancer. “Nanomedicines with the ability to target specific areas can lead us to target chemotherapy drugs to where they’re needed, and kill cancerous cells with minimal impact on healthy cells,” said Associate Professor Kris Thurecht. Pre-clinical studies have been successful in treating prostate cancer in the laboratory, leading to total remission in some cases. “Validation of this science and technology in companion animals like Hoover is an exciting step forward in nanomedicine and towards human treatment,” he said.

  • Cate Swannell


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