New York Times: They Fetch, They Roll Over, They Aid Tumor Research

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An operation commonly performed to remove brain tumors from the pituitary glands of humans is now available to dogs, thanks to a collaboration between a neurosurgeon and some veterinarians in Los Angeles. And that is turning out to be good for humans.

So far, nine dogs and one cat that otherwise would have died have been treated successfully. All had Cushing’s disease, a condition in which a tumorin the pituitary gland causes excess production of the steroid cortisol, leading to weight gain,muscle atrophy and high blood pressure.

“Pet owners want all sorts of procedures done on their animals,” said Dr. Adam Mamelak, the neurosurgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center who taught the technique to the vets. “I didn’t realize how exceedingly sophisticated veterinary medicine is.”

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