Vet hospital touts progress
CSU expertise increases with growth of discipline
By SARA REED and V. Richard Haro (photos), The Fort Collins Coloradoan
Frank Profaizer. left, of Cheyenne, Wyo., discusses Abby’s cancer with Dr. Susan Plaza, middle, clinical trials coordinator at Colorado State University’s Veterinarian Teaching Hospital, as Dr. Kate Vickery, right, a resident oncologist, measures Abby’s lymph node. Abby is an 11-year-old golden retriever/chow mix that has been coming to CSU for about five years for treatment for lymphoma.
Dr. Kate Vickery measures Abby’s lymph node.
Since its birth, the college has grown into a center of nationally and internationally renowned research in areas such as animal reproduction, cancer and radiological biology and infectious diseases, forging ahead in research that could help save lives and change the world.
The college, which is consistently ranked in the top two colleges of its kind, spent more money on research last year than any other similar college, said Dr. Lance Perryman, dean of the college. The $54 million spent on research last school year accounted for 20 percent of CSU’s total research expenditures.
Research within the college has produced treatment techniques that increase the survival rate of children who suffer from osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer; identified estrogen receptors in the brain as a factor in anxiety and depression; and identified a possible link between protein buildup in the brain and Alzheimer’s.
For all the global implications of the research coming out of the college, some of it hits close to home. Abby, a 10-year-old golden retriever/chow mix that has battled lymphoma for five years, is one of the many animals and humans who have benefited or figure to benefit from research coming out of the college.
Abby is on her third clinical trial as part of her treatment at the Animal Cancer Center. Her owner, Frank Profaizer, said he and his family are so grateful to the doctors and other employees at the center.
The Profaizer family, who lives in Cheyenne, sometimes brings Abby to Fort Collins daily. They’ve given us something priceless,” he said. “They gave us five more years with her. We couldn’t have gotten through this without the (vet teaching hospital).”
The trials Abby has gone through, which include a chemotherapy and nutritional supplement study, can help develop treatments for people and other animals living with cancer. Profaizer said he thinks Abby was put here to be studied and be of service to others.
“The bottom line is that if they can learn (from her) and help another dog or a human, that fulfills her purpose here,” Profaizer said.