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The Kanzius Machine: A Cancer Cure?

Monday, December 1, 2008

'Superhero' dog appears to be winning battle against brain cancer


'Superhero' dog appears to be winning battle against brain cancer

He was named 'Batman' due to his long, pointy ears.

But the ten and a half year old shepherd mix may in fact have superhero powers. How else can you explain that Batman is alive and thriving nearly four months after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer?

In truth, his survival is directly credited to a unique medical research team that combines top talent from the University of Minnesota Veterinary school, and the U's Masonic Cancer Center.

"This has never been done," said John Ohlfest, Associate Professor and researcher at the Masonic Cancer Center. "No one has ever combined gene therapy in the brain for a brain tumor with vaccine."

Immediately after surgery to remove the tumor in August, areas of Batman's brain were injected with gene therapy. In the following weeks, the dog received shots of a vaccine grown with his own cancer cells.

At today's checkup, Batman hopped around the room like a puppy. His blood work is promising, and M-R-I's show no regrowth of the tumor.

"He's definitely back to his old self now, that's really a miracle," remarked owner Anna Brailovsky. "I'm really glad about that."

The research team is treating another dog with a brain tumor, and hoping to work with others. If things continue to go well, they could file human clinical protocol plans some time in the coming year.

"We're gonna push forward. We're going to write a human clinical protocol, and try to push this forward in people," insisted Ohlfest.

5 comments:

Dena Morris said...

We just received devastating news that our 8 year old Golden Retriever has a brain tumor. However it has not been confirmed due to the high cost of an MRI. I have been searching for low cost MRI's online and came across Batman's story. I am so full of hope at the moment. I am hoping we can get Molly enrolled into the program as soon as possible. She was a very healthy dog up until this point. I will desperately be contacting her vet and the U of M Vets to see if she qualifies. Thank you Batman for giving us hope!

Jan said...

Our 13 year old Border Terrier has a glioma, and was given a death sentence by our local Vet Hospital. Our son saw the UM website and story on Batman, and next week we are traveling from Bellingham, WA to St. Paul for him to have brain surgery as part of this program. Thank you, Dr. Pluhar for giving him a chancel.

Dae said...

I just ran across this post and wanted to say that my dog has just started this new study. He had surgery today and is doing well so far. I'm so hopeful that this will help him, other dogs, and humans. It is such a promising new study.

I think Dr. Pluhar, U. of MN vet center, and the staff rock. They were so super nice and helpful. I recommend people to go if they can.

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!!!!!! said...

Thank you so much for posting this story about our Batman. I want to let everyone know that he lived a happy and healthy life for 18 more months after being cured of his cancer. Unfortunately, we lost him a few weeks ago. Please visit the page I have created in his memory to read all about the treatment and his life:
http://www.macalester.edu/~abrailov/batman.html