Canine cancer fighting drug shows promise


Illinois researchers are optimistic that a new anti-cancer drug is helping dogs live longer  - and may one day help humans.

A chemistry professor at the Univeristy of Illinois-Champaign has developed a drug compound known as PAC-1 that has shown promising results in test subjects.

 The drug essentially causes cancer cells to self-destruct by targeting an enzyme found in many types of cancer, said its creator Paul Hergenrother.

"It gives cancer cells a signal to commit suicide," he told The News-Gazette of Champaign.

One test subject's owner says the drug gave him another 18 months with his golden retriever Blaze.

"It gave us an extra year, year-and-a-half with our pet," said Phill Meyer. "If we'd done nothing, she wouldn't have lasted a month. With the chemo and the PAC, it did a great deal of help for her, more than anything else."

The newspaper said the drug is being considered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for human trials on patients with brain cancer.

(Photo/The News-Gazette)