Cancer Research Takes Us All
Liz and Rhylee - Cancer Vaccine Trial Participants
“This is all I can do and I hope it’s enough. I hope that the study helps researchers find out more about cancer, and I hope they’re able to stop it someday. I can’t do cancer research but I can do this. Cancer research takes us all,” Tony Arduino said.
Tony is a local Fort Collins resident and has had dogs all his life. “I don’t ever remember not having dogs. I had them as a kid and I’ve always had them as an adult. For years, I had German Shorthairs and Wirehairs. When I turned 62, I wasn’t sure I could handle their energy anymore. When I saw the Spinone Italiano breed I fell in love,” Tony said.
“There are a number of things I love about this breed. They’re big dogs, but so gentle. They’re comical and easy to train. They are just big lovers. Spinoni are an old man’s hunting dogs,” he added with a warm laugh.
Tony has two Spinoni – Liz and Rhylee. He’s also on the Digital Media Committee of the Spinone Club of America (SCOA). The group was founded in 1987 and now has hundreds of dedicated members. Tony is the editor of the SpinoneNew, the online newsletter of the Spinone Club of America.
It was from his vet that Tony first learned about the Vaccination Against Canine Cancer Study (VACCS). “She joined it with her dog and suggested I do the same. I had no idea this level of research was being done in my backyard, but as soon as I heard about it, I signed Liz up,” he said.
The goal of the VACCS trial is to evaluate a new vaccine strategy for the prevention of cancer. If successful, this study could provide important justification for eventually looking at a similar approach in humans.
The Vaccination Against Canine Cancer Study (VACCS trial) is the largest clinical trial conducted for canine cancer to date. The goal of this trial is to evaluate a new vaccine strategy for the prevention, rather than treatment of dogs with cancer. Participants were randomized to receive either a series of vaccines similar to other routine vaccines that are given to dogs currently, or placebo vaccines. All dogs have continued to live at home and are checked twice annually.
Rhylee wasn’t quite old enough when the study first started but soon enough, she was able to join her sister a couple of years later. They both received a series of vaccines – either the vaccine or a placebo – and now come in for their bi-annual exams.
“I am so proud to be a part of this study,” Tony said. “It’s great. I’m a big believer in science and I’m fascinated by what they’re doing. I’m so encouraged and I’m so hopeful that it works. Not only for my dogs but all dogs. And maybe even humans someday, too.”
As a longtime dog lover, Tony is no stranger to canine cancer. He’s lost three beloved animals to the disease – his first Springer had blastoma-type cancer; one of his wirehairs and one of his shorthairs died of cancer as well.