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 [...]
Change. We’ve established that it’s hard all around - for people, leaders, and entire organizations. It requires commitment, willingness to do things differently, and being open to other thought processes and approaches. Successfully executing change is a big deal! However, since companies are ever-moving, growing, shifting, and improving, it’s a never-ending endeavor. By creating a culture of change, organizations can circumvent much of the uncertainty and resistance that accompanies isolated changes. Creating an environment that is change-conducive, flexible, and adaptive supports your team as they shift and adjust - a much better alternative than tossing them into the shark tank! Forbes published an article a couple of years ago that spotlights 14 Ways To Build a Company Culture That Embraces Change. We’ve discussed much of what they cover in the first 3 installments of this series: Why Change is Hard, The Change Maze, and How to Manage Change. The authors point out a few more essentials that, when effectively implemented, [...]
Over the last couple of weeks, ELIAS blogs have explored Why Change is Hard and navigating the Change Maze. The third installment in our Change is Hard But Worth the Effort series focuses on the people piece - how to manage change. Stagnancy stifles. In a world that seems to spin faster and faster, it’s more important than ever for businesses to keep moving and stay ahead of economic and technological changes and advances. Words like innovation and creativity are no longer associated with cutting-edge companies (the Innovators we discussed in Part 2); they are mainstream, essential for growth and success. Whether you love it or hate it, change is necessary. Perhaps the leadership team is on board, ready to do things differently. Top-down management may have its benefits in some instances, but when it comes to change, it’s essential to have the support of your team. After all, they’re the ones who will [...]
Last week’s blog took a deep dive into why Change is Hard But Worth the Effort. Change “requires a passion for doing things differently (which often means there’s a better way of doing things / a better solution / an innovation that improves results or efficiencies, etc.), the creation of new processes and muscle memory for your team, and a decision to not only implement the change but commit to its success (or failure) by tracking results.” The first step is deciding to change. That’s often at least half of the battle. Decisions, however, do not come to fruition without action. Change is a process. A few years ago, I read Spencer Johnson’s #1 bestseller, Who Moved My Cheese? It’s a parable that reveals truths about how we deal with change. In the book, two little people and two mice are in a maze, searching for cheese (success). They learned how to navigate the [...]