Tag Archives: cure

Animal Research: Is it Necessary?

iStock_000015264919SmallDrugs and treatments that are saving lives today are available to you and your family because of animal-based research. Yet animal rights supporters argue that animals aren’t necessary. However, researchers in the past and present have always looked for the most efficient and accurate models of drug discovery, and regardless of how much people want to argue about it, those methods have- and still do- involve animals.

Is it possible to gain the same results without animal research? For past research studies, this question is irrelevant. Animals have been crucial in the understanding of disease and in the development of drugs and treatments. No argument will change the fact that insulin, chemotherapy, joint replacements, and organ transplants (to name a few) were made possible through animal research. At the time of each of these developments, researchers used the best models available to them. Because of this, these advancements were developed as quickly as possible. All of these discoveries relied on animals because they were the best models for each of these respective types of research at the time. Without these models, is it possible that the same drugs and treatments would have been developed at some point? We don’t know. What we do know is that if researchers hadn’t used the best models available to them, the timeline for drug and treatment discovery would have been much longer. In 1922, insulin was first used to treat diabetic patients. At the time, diabetic children were kept in hospital wards where they often became comatose and slowly died. Without research in dogs, insulin development- if it was able to be developed at all- certainly would have been delayed, resulting in many more deaths.

In many cases, animals are still the best models for drug and treatment discovery. Currently, researchers are working on treatments and cures for pediatric cancers, blood disorders, rare diseases, and illnesses that affect millions of people. There’s a race to find cures and treatments for thousands of diseases, and researchers have every incentive to use the best options available to them to save lives as quickly as possible. The fact is that many of these research studies involve animals.

In the future, maybe we’ll be able to develop drugs and treatments of the same caliber without animals in the equation. That’s the goal, isn’t it? As an animal lover, I would certainly prefer it if animals weren’t necessary in research. But as a people lover, I am thankful that researchers and animals are working towards cures. You and I should want researchers to take advantage of the best models possible for drug and treatment discovery. If you have a loved one suffering from disease or illness, do you want to jeopardize their chance for a cure by sidestepping the most reliable research methods currently available? I certainly don’t.

Are animals still necessary in research? Right now, yes. Animal research is definitely a hot topic for debate, but nothing can be said that will negate the extremely valuable contributions made by animals in the past OR the continued contributions that are presently taking place. Until more efficient models for drug discovery are developed, animals continue to play an integral role in the quest to find cures for YOU and your loved ones.

Drug could protect against deadly doses of radiation

iStock_000021920206SmallUnfortunately, the nuclear disasters in Chernobyl and Fukushima have shown us just how catastrophic radiation can be. But what if there was a way to intervene in the 24 hours after radiation exposure, limiting damage to the human body? Researchers are optimistic that they’ve discovered a promising treatment.

Normally, radiation exposure affects the integrity of the intestines, which can lead to radiation-induced gastrointestinal syndrome (RIGS). There is no cure for RIGS, but now, there might be a way to prevent it. But by administering a compound (DMOG) that blocks certain proteins, researchers found that in mice, tissues were modified in a way that allowed them to repair and regenerate.

A potential treatment for those exposed to radiation is really good news. The survival rate in mice was greatly increased after this therapy, and there’s a possibility that this could also have an impact on patients receiving radiation during cancer treatments. While it’s too early to tell whether or not cancer patients could benefit from this drug, the good news is that it’s already in clinical trials to treat a blood disorder, so safety assessments are already in the works. Read more about the research here:


How To Save A Life

iStock_000016358177XSmallHope. Possibilities. Second chances. Research is responsible for all these things. Do you really know what it takes to save a life? Take just a moment to watch this short video clip. Please share with your friends and family. Without research, your life as you know it would not be possible. When your friend celebrates their cancer-free anniversary; when a child can grow up without contracting polio or measles; when your sister can give birth to a child after being declared ‘infertile’; when you can provide your family pet with a heartworm preventative; when you reach for an aspirin to ease a headache- think of the research behind these miracles!


Leukemia: A promising new therapy is in the works

child with cancerThis is incredible- researchers at the University of Ottawa have developed a therapy that can kill human blood cancer cells in the laboratory AND successfully eradicate leukemia in mice with few side effects.
Currently, “replicating viruses” are often used for treating leukemia. These are viruses that have been tailored to target cancer cells- but the problem is that the viruses will then replicate and cause viral infections.
UV light was used to transform replicating viruses into non-replicating particles that can still enter cancer cells, kill them, and stimulate a strong immune response from the body. This new therapy is very safe at high doses, worked well in the mouse model, and also killed leukemia cells in the laboratory in blood samples from human leukemia patients who had not responded to other treatments.
Normal blood cells were unharmed. In the mouse studies, 80% of the mice who underwent this treatment had higher survival rates, 60% were CURED, and all untreated died within 20 days.
Steps will now be taken to calculate dosages needed for human patients- and if this works, there may be real hope for leukemia patients who haven’t responded to treatment as well as patients who must face the debilitating side effects of current cancer therapies.

Have you had any personal experiences with side effects of leukemia therapies?