A Brief History of the Animal Cancer Center:

Over a 30 year period the Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University has gone from documenting that cancer was the leading cause of death in pet animals to advanced diagnosis, therapy, and hopefully prevention.

The opening of the new 35,000 square foot Animal Cancer Center addition to the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital in November 2002 has set the stage for great science.   The new facility provides additional space for equipment, personnel and enthusiasm for the task at hand: defeating cancer in animals and people through translational research!

The Animal Cancer Center consists of four constituency groups: Clinical Services, Research, Administration and Outreach. ACC is an affinity group to study cancer and encompasses investigators from at least five universities, the Mayo Clinic, M. D. Anderson and Memorial Sloan Kettering.

The Center is also a member of a formal National Institute of Health consortium with the University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center in Denver, Colorado.

The new facility has attracted new faculty members in basic cancer biology, cancer pharmacology, medical physics, musculoskeletal biology, complementary medicine, genetics and prevention.

Of the over 70 people that make up the Animal Cancer Center, approximately 30 are involved in clinical service and 30 in research. Another 10 people are involved with fundraising, administration and outreach.

The outreach mission includes 3,000 consultations on behalf of pets with cancer each year; 10,000 appointments for pets with cancer; a web page; newsletter; scientific and lay publications; and hundreds of hours of continuing education.

Clinical Services entails traditional treatments with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy plus availability of new therapeutics under investigation from our laboratories, the pharmaceutical industry and the National Cancer Institute.

Our goal is comprehensive, compassionate and quality care for all pets afflicted with cancer. A coordinated team approach is emphasized and implemented.

The basic and applied research laboratories are as follows:

  • Tumor physiology
  • Cancer biology & Genetics
  • Musculoskeletal oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Molecular pathology
  • Tumor immunology
  • Medical oncology
  • Bioinstrumentation
  • Image analysis
  • Tissue archiving
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging

These research laboratories are devoted to understanding cancer causation and to enhance treatment response and decrease side effects of treatment.  Breed specific cancers are of great interest due to access to heritability and susceptibility.

We have recently begun the first of it’s kind Cancer Biology Graduate Program to train the next generation of scientists.  We are emphasizing advanced basic research training for veterinarians to fill the huge demands of academia, government and the private sector.

Continued fundraising needs are in the areas of people (salaries), scholarships, program development, equipment and general operations. The Animal Cancer Center is poised to make new discoveries that will eventually lead to a cure for this devastating disease. We need the support of people willing to contribute to the cause.

Dog and Owner
Remy and Mom in the ACC waiting room