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A Cancer Patient’s Best Friend

Similarities between tumors in people and dogs mean canine studies can inform human disease

Daisy Martin didn’t seem sick. Come dinnertime, she was as ravenous as ever. And at the sight of a new toy, she danced around in excited circles, same as always. Then one day, when Daisy was 8 years old, one of her family members noticed a lump, and then others, on the side of Daisy’s neck, beneath her fur. The diagnosis was devastating: T-cell lymphoma, a cancer so merciless that Daisy’s family feared losing her within weeks. The one hope was to enroll Daisy in a study of an experimental drug, available more than an hour’s drive away at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul. Her family was torn. Would the treatment cause more suffering? Would she lose her hair?

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