Brisbane scientists are conducting a world first experiment to help diagnose, target and treat cancer. A 10-year-old dog battling prostate cancer has put his paw up for the job.

Zakary Nash reports.

TRANSCRIPT

Fighting for his life, and ours, Hoover the Beagle could help revolutionise cancer treatment.

Diagnosed with prostate cancer during a routine vet check, Hoover is now part of a new movement testing drugs on cats and dogs.

Scientists are anticipating more experiments like this will help cancer sufferers tackle the hurdles of traditional treatment.

Associate Professor Kristofer Thurecht, University of Queensland: “Really what we’re trying to do is overcome all of these side effects that occur when you use conventional chemotherapeutics.”

Nearly all potential cancer drugs are tested on lab mice but only a third translate successfully to humans.

Rod Straw, Small Animal Surgery Specialist: “We can make a difference and this is a great opportunity for us to really accelerate our understanding of cancer and cure it.”

Researchers say this trial is more ethical as dogs are the only species other than humans to naturally develop prostate cancer.

But this powerful nanotechnology could help all cancers.

A 138,000 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer this year. It’s hoped that this unique trial will help reduce those figures sooner rather than later.

Human trials are still a few years away but this canine research could still pave the way to a cancer-free future.

Zakary Nash, QUT News.