Onyx and Breezy Foundation Funds Follow-up Care in Revolutionary Cancer Vaccine Study

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The Onyx & Breezy Foundation recently funded after-care for dogs engaged in a revolutionary research study to develop a cancer vaccine that may be given to both humans and animals when successful. The study is being conducted at The Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital, a small animal teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

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The Onyx & Breezy Foundation has announced a gift to The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. The gift will cover the expense of follow-up care for 12 dogs that are currently enrolled in the School's cancer vaccine study.

"Thanks to this generous gift, more participants in our lymphoma cancer vaccine clinical trial will be able to return for follow-up care," said Dr. Karin Sorenmo, chief of oncology at the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital. "This means that we can capture all the data that is needed for the study while pet owners are helped financially."

Prior gifts to The Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital from the Foundation have been a respirator for their ICU department and a mast cell tumor research study.

Dr. Sorenmo treated Breezy, who had mast cell tumors. "Thanks to Dr. Sorenmo, Breezy lived another 2 years, of quality life, after other vets gave her only 6 weeks to live," said Wanda Shefts. "We are glad that this project will help owners of dogs in remission from lymphoma and help advance Dr. Sorenmo's work on the cancer vaccine.

Dr. Sorenmo stated that she was encouraged by the results and she is hoping that this is just the beginning of more trials that can benefit dogs and ultimately help people. Thanks to this study, a number of the participating dogs are now cancer free. The researchers now estimate that they are within two years of testing the vaccine on humans. Without the dogs, they would be more than a decade away.

"We have a tremendous amount of respect for the work they do at the Hospital and we are glad to be able to fund another project for them", said Mark Shefts.

For more information about Penn Vet, please visit http://www.vet.upenn.edu; for more information about The Onyx and Breezy Foundation, please visit http://www.onyxandbreezy.org.

The Onyx and Breezy Foundation Background

The Foundation was created in 2004 and named after the trustees Mark & Wanda Shefts' two Labrador Retrievers. The Foundation lends financial support to organizations that benefit the welfare of animals.

The University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine Background

Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine is one of the world's premier veterinary schools. Founded in 1884, the School was built on the concept of Many Species, One MedicineTM. The birthplace of veterinary specialties, the School serves a distinctly diverse array of animal patients, from pets to horses to farm animals.

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Barbara Kauffman

MELANIE R. NEGRIN
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