Cancer is the leading cause of death in senior dogs—and the Mason Immunotherapy Research Laboratory is at the leading edge of new technologies in treatment for a myriad of types. Canine cancer, like cancer in humans, has long been treated with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. But as new methods have proliferated in humans, the parallel developments haven’t always happened in animals.
The Mason Immunotherapy Research Laboratory specializes in canine immunotherapy, training an animal’s own immune system to target its cancers, using techniques and technologies pioneered at Penn Medicine for use in humans. Compared to more traditional techniques, such as radiation or chemotherapy, immunotherapy can have fewer side effects, and be effective in targeting different cancer types. And beyond bringing these modalities into the vet world, the research being done in the lab also provides valuable insight in the other direction, for treatments that may one day be used to help humans, too.