Blacksburg, Va. -- A veterinary neurologist on faculty in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine(www.vetmed.vt.edu) at Virginia Tech has been awarded funding from the Wake Forest University Translational Science Institute to study innovative approaches for treating brain tumors in dogs, cats and humans.
Dr. John Rossmeisl, an assistant professor in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences (DSACS), is working with Wake Forest University Medical Center researchers to develop better therapeutic approaches for managing very serious forms of brain tumors called gliomas.
Rossmeisl will work closely with a cluster of scientists and physicians at Wake Forest University and with VMRCVM veterinary pathologist Dr. John Robertson, director of the colleges Center for Comparative Oncology, on the project. The veterinary college is a participating institution on a major translational research initiative at Wake Forest University funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Gliomas are an aggressive and deadly form of brain cancer that affects dogs and people, said Rossmeisl, who is board certified in veterinary neurology by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Because there are so many similarities between clinical signs and pathobiology, the dog has emerged as an excellent model for studying gliomas in humans.
Every year about 120,000 new cases of primary and secondary brain cancer are diagnosed, according to the National Cancer Institute. Much less is known about the incidence of brain tumors in domestic animals, according to Rossmeisl. Clinical signs associated with brain tumors in both people and animals can include seizures, abnormal behaviors, weakness of the limbs, loss of balance, blindness and other problems.
Gliomas arise from glial cells, according to Rossmeisl, which play numerous supporting roles for neurons, brain cells that c
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