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Charity awards £1.5 million grant for glioma research
The researchers will trial the new treatment in Japan.

New treatment could be used to help both dogs and humans.

The Brain Tumour Charity has provided a “Quest for Cures” grant worth £1.5 million to support scientists working on a new immunotherapy drug for gliomas.

Led by Dr Jun Ishihara, from Imperial College London, the researchers are focusing on the protein interleukin 12 (IL-12), which is well-known for its anti-tumour effects and has long been studied as a possible cancer treatment.

Dr Ishihara’s team has added a collagen-binding site to IL-12. The researchers are also using novel nanotechnology to allow the treatment to cross the blood-brain barrier.

The UK researchers will work alongside vets at Nihon University in Japan to test the new treatment on dogs, offering it to owners as a possible treatment in cases where there are not usually other treatment options

The adapted IL-12 treatment will also be tested in the laboratory on glioblastoma cells, to help the researchers determine which types of cell are likely to respond best.

As gliomas in dogs are similar to those in humans, it is hoped the research could pave the way for human clinical trials in the future.

Professor Daisuke Ito, veterinary neurology specialist at Nihon University, said: “From the veterinary aspect, the study of gliomas in dogs and research into new treatments brings hope to dog owners.

“Current treatment in dogs is very similar to that in humans: surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. This is very expensive for owners and requires access to specialist veterinary hospitals. Any new treatments that are less expensive and easier to access will be welcomed by dog owners across the globe.
“I consistently saw 2-5 canine glioma cases each month, so this disease is an issue for canine health too, and we need to find a cure. If we can find one that works for both people and dogs, that would be a real breakthrough!”


Image (C) Shutterstock

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VMG president joins House of Lords

News Story 1
 Miles Russell, president of the Veterinary Management Group (VMG), has been elected to the House of Lords as a crossbench hereditary peer.

He will join Lord Trees as a representative of the veterinary sector in the second chamber of the UK parliament.

Lord Russell said: "Those of us working in the animal health and veterinary sectors are only too aware of the importance of the work we do and the challenges we face.

"I will use my platform in the House of Lords to increase understanding of our sectors and to promote positive change." 

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News Shorts
Sixth case of bluetongue confirmed

A sixth case of bluetongue virus serotype 3 has been confirmed in the UK.

The case was detected in an animal on a premises linked to one of the farms within the Temporary Control Zone (TCZ) currently in place near Canterbury, Kent.

In response, the Animal and Plant Health Agency has extended the TCZ. Investigations into the spread of the disease are ongoing.

The cases in Kent come at a time when a new strain of the virus has spread rapidly across farms in the Netherlands. Both the Government and the British Veterinary Association have urged livestock keepers to remain vigilant.

Bluetongue is a notifiable disease and suspected cases must be reported immediately on 03000 200 301 in England or 03003 038 268 in Wales. In Scotland, possible cases should be reported to the local field services office.