Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs, and in humans it is second only to heart disease. For decades, chemotherapy has been the only option and a necessary evil to treat cancer. Most of us know someone who has gone through chemo, and side effects can significantly impact quality of life during and after treatment. Chemotherapy targets cells at different stages of the cell cycle, and because cancer cells often form more quickly than normal cells, chemo can be effective in destroying cells and preventing them from growing, dividing, and making more cells. Unfortunately, “chemo drugs can’t tell the difference between healthy cells and cancer cells. This means normal cells are damaged along with the cancer cells, and this causes side effects. Each time chemo is given, it means trying to find a balance between killing the cancer cells (in order to cure or control the disease) [...]
ELIAS Animal Health CEO, Tammie Wahaus, was a recent guest on the Dog Cancer Answers podcast to discuss how the ELIAS Cancer Immunotherapy (ECI) works, the role of a healthy immune system in successful immunotherapy, and why we chose to focus on canine osteosarcoma first. Listen to the episode below, or read the full transcript at Dog Cancer Answers online. Listen to more episodes of the Dog Cancer Answers podcast here.
ELIAS Animal Health CEO, Tammie Wahaus, was the featured guest on the Fuzzybutts & Friends podcast. Hosted by Luke Robinson, founder of the PuppyUp Foundation, the podcast explores how the ELIAS Cancer Immunotherapy (ECI®) works against bone cancer in dogs, as well as how ELIAS is committed to developing more immunotherapies for pets with cancer. Check out the episode below! Learn more about the PuppyUp Foundation here. Watch more episodes of the Fuzzybutts & Friends podcast here.
Immunotherapy is increasingly becoming an important tool in the oncologist’s arsenal to improve clinical outcomes for both human and veterinary patients alike. Studies have shown that immunotherapies can produce durable responses in some patients, both human and companion animals. The power of combining immuno-oncology approaches such as adoptive cell therapies, oncolytic viruses, and checkpoint inhibitors, among others, has the potential to significantly increase the number of patients that become long term survivors. The article, "The future of canine cancer treatment" discusses the research ELIAS Animal Health is doing to evaluate how to improve patient response rates with these combination approaches. Read the full article at Veterinary Practice News online.
It Takes a Village: Understanding the Critical Roles Played by the Care Team Treating Canine Cancer Patients
This is the second part of a series that highlights the innovation, people, and opportunities that have been part of my ELIAS journey. Last week, I focused on solving a problem: treating dogs with cancer using methods that lengthened and improved their quality of life. This segment is dedicated to the people who are part of the solution. The family veterinarian plays an important role in a pet’s life and in the lives of the family who loves them, similar to that of a primary care doctor in the human realm. Through regular check-ups, the family veterinarian keeps the dog healthy. When he or she suspects something is wrong, they assess the issue and connect the pet and owners to a specialist if necessary. When a dog is diagnosed with cancer, it starts a process of care. The initial point of contact is often the family veterinarian, who diagnoses the [...]
Entrepreneurs look to solve problems. Needs spark ideas, ideas spark innovation, and innovation births new companies. We founded ELIAS Animal Health to transform cancer treatment for pets by bring the state-of-the-art therapeutics benefiting humans into the animal world. Chemotherapy has been the standard of care treatment for dogs with cancer for decades. Until recently, it was often the only option available. Chemo kills cancer cells but because it’s so powerful, it damages surrounding healthy cells and ravages the body. Our goal was to find an alternative way to treat canine cancer, one that is effective and less taxing on our canine counterparts. Millions and millions of dollars fund human cancer research and treatment, but our pets traditionally haven’t benefited from it the same way that people have. At ELIAS, we collaborate with our peers in human health to apply the advancements in immunotherapy to animals. Our goal is to bring [...]
Recent advancements in canine cancer treatment offer the potential for better outcomes, especially the advancements in immunotherapy treatments. A discussion of the ELIAS cancer immunotherapy (ECI®) for the treatment of canine osteosarcoma in Clinician's Brief pointed out that "ECI is the only 2-step immunotherapy in veterinary medicine that has the potential to match or exceed the current standard of care while reducing or eliminating the need for chemotherapy." The article, "Osteosarcoma Immunotherapy for More Days at Home," discusses the evidence-based science behind ECI, the potential benefits over chemotherapy, and how referring veterinarians play an active and vital role in the care continuum. Read the full article at Clinician's Brief online.
In this final installment of the Canine Cancer Continuum, we talk about immunotherapy - what it is, how it works, and how it can help in the fight against cancer. (Check out Part 1 and Part 2.) “Without an immune system, we would have no way to fight harmful things that enter our body from the outside or harmful changes that occur inside our body. The main tasks of the body’s immune system are: to fight disease-causing germs (pathogens) like bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi, and to remove them from the body, to recognize and neutralize harmful substances from the environment, and to fight disease-causing changes in the body, such as cancer cells.” (National Institutes of Health) In a nutshell, our immune systems are powerful mechanisms designed to protect us and keep us healthy. They work 24/7 to fight off external threats, like viruses and environmental stressors, and internal threats, like stresses to normal [...]
We’re halfway through a series exploring canine cancer. Last week, we discussed the prevalence of dog cancer, and today we will explore the connection between it and human cancer. Human cancer research is extensive. Almost anyone I encounter has either battled cancer themselves or has journeyed that path with someone close to them. Many people are surprised to learn that one in four dogs are diagnosed with cancer and that it’s the leading cause of death in canines. ELIAS Animal Health applies the advancements in human immunotherapy to dogs. They’re good models. From a scientific perspective, we are able to gather data more quickly than in human research because dogs have a shorter lifespan and cancer progresses more quickly in them. From a “we love our furry friends” perspective, we want to bring needed therapies into the veterinary marketplace that help people. ELIAS Cancer Therapies Are Being Simultaneously Developed for Humans [...]
We’re embarking on a 3-part series that explores dog cancer, how our research and progress can be applied to humans, what immunotherapy is, and why it can be so effective. “Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs and as a rank order, higher than people…” - Dr. Doug Thamm Dogs live in the same environments as humans, exposed to the carcinogens that their owners are. It’s not surprising, then, that one in four dogs is diagnosed with cancer, and it’s the leading cause of death in pets beyond middle age (Veterinary Cancer Society). Dogs experience cancer at rates that are comparable to or exceed those in humans. Canine cancer has primarily been treated the same way for decades - with chemotherapy. Dr. Carolyn Henry, Dean of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, has said she is “frustrated by the fact that we don’t see many new therapies coming [...]