Dogs in Cancer Research Book

Available now: Heal: The Vital Role of Dogs in the Search for Cancer Cures (ECW 2015).

Gold medal winner: 2016 Independent Publishers Book Awards

From the publisher:

Drawn from extensive research, on-the-ground reporting, and personal experience, this book explores the fascinating role dogs are playing in the search for a cure for cancer. Learn how veterinarians and oncologists are working together to discover new treatments — cutting-edge therapies designed to help both dogs and people suffering from cancer. Heal introduces readers to the field of comparative oncology by describing several research projects aimed at finding new therapies for cancers that are similar in dogs and people, including lymphoma, osteosarcoma, breast cancer, melanoma, and gastric cancer.

Weintraub, who lost her sister to gastric cancer, also writes about the emerging science behind the remarkable ability of dogs to sniff out early-stage cancer, and the efforts underway to translate that talent into diagnostic devices for early detection of the disease. In the course of bringing these dogs and their human companions to life, Weintraub takes her own personal journey from grief to healing, as she shows her readers how man’s best friend might be the key to unlocking the mysteries of cancer.

Praise for Heal: The Vital Role of Dogs in the Search for Cancer Cures

“A new book stems from a truth many a dog owner knows: Man’s best friend is deeply susceptible to cancer.” —Newsweek “Best Books About Cancer.” 

“Science writer Weintraub (Selling the Fountain of Youth) introduces readers to the field of comparative oncology in this analysis of research into treatments for cancers that are similar in dogs and people. These ailments include lymphoma, osteosarcoma, breast cancer, melanoma, and gastric cancer. Driven by her professional curiosity, lifelong love of dogs, and grief after losing her sister to gastric cancer in 2010, Weintraub visits eight universities over two years. The book chronicles her interviews with researchers, whose fields include the quest for cancer-killing viruses  (virotherapy), testing potential treatments on pet dogs with cancer; trials with metformin, a glucose-lowering pill that’s used to treat diabetes; and the use of sniffing dogs for early detection of some kinds of cancer. Anyone interested in translational science, innovative developments in cancer research, or treating pets with cancer will find this book a valuable resource. It includes lists of institutions doing comparative oncology research, related books, clinical trials, and funding sources. Readers will share Weintraub’s growing appreciation for the canine and feline subjects (and their owners) who are helping to advance cancer research.” —Publishers Weekly (Copyright © 2015 PWxyz, LLC)

“…chock-full of thought-provoking data-backed stories, in which experts in canine and human cancer weigh in….Ms. Weintraub has produced a fine book about the hope and possibilities that abound in today’s era of cancer research and treatment. This book is highly recommended….” American Society of Clinical Oncology’s ASCO Post. 

“[A]n incredibly important report….This book is science, emotion and love of dogs all mixed together.” —Steve Dale, “My Pet World,” Tribune Media Services.

“Author Arlene Weintraub—a frequent contributor to CURE magazine and a lifelong dog owner—does more than share facts. She tells the stories of special dogs, their owners, the researchers who entered their lives—and her own loss of a loved one to cancer.” —CURE. 

“The author did a wonderful job researching the topics and presenting them in such a way that even the most difficult medical terminology could be understood by the common lay person. If you love dogs and want to learn how our faithful companions are helping us extend our lives, this is definitely a book to look into. I highly recommend it!”—Night Owl Reviews “Top Pick.”

“In a new book, Heal, dog lover and science journalist Arlene Weintraub conducts a brisk and often-moving tour of the frontier of comparative oncology. She describes cutting-edge research aimed at treatments for such ailments as lymphoma, breast cancer, and gastric cancer, the last of which took the life of Weintraub’s older sister, Beth, at the age of 47—a loss that animates the author’s account.” —

“Beautifully written and superbly researched, Heal makes a compelling case for increased collaboration between the human and veterinary medical fields. Engaging and emotional, Heal is an important book for scientists, animal lovers and anyone interested in the vulnerabilities  we humans share with animals.” —Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers, co-authors of Zoobiquity

Heal is a fantastic read for anyone that loves dogs (and cats) and has wondered what role animals should play in cancer research. Heal chronicles translational research in a way that is informative, understandable and heartwarming, making us cheer for cancer patients and the veterinarians that care for them. An Emperor of All Maladies for dog lovers, this book distills the science of cancer research down to the compassion and love for animals that drive us to find better cancer treatments for animals and their humans. Heal explores our symbiotic relationship with the pets that we share our homes, our beds, our cancers and, hopefully, our cures with.” —Dr. Sarah Boston, author of Lucky Dog: How Being a Veterinarian Saved my Life

Heal is a very easy read of a complex problem: cancer, and how pet animal cancer can help solve cancer in all species. It contains an interwoven mix of stories from pet owners, veterinary scientists and the author’s own personal reflections of her sister’s gastric malignancy. The recurring theme is under recognition of the value of spontaneous cancer in pets as models for human disease. In a time when cancer research dollars are in decline and with historic dependency of cell culture and rodent modeling, it seems timely to consider a real life cancer model in pet animals to test new agents, devices and techniques. Pet owners and the veterinary community stand ready to engage in thoughtful, creative and humanely performed research to benefit all species.” —Stephen Withrow, Founder and Associate Director of the Colorado State University Flint Animal Cancer Center

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