Dr. Annette Smith joins Puccini Foundation for Comparative Oncology Scientific Advisory Council
The Puccini Foundation for Comparative Oncology recently expanded its board of directors and scientific advisory council with leaders from the medical and business fields. Dr. Annette Smith, associate professor of oncology and small animal internal medicine and coordinator of Auburn’s oncology program, is a member of its scientific advisory council.
The foundation was formed in 2007 by Linda Cohen Wassong to educate the public and to raise funds for comparative oncology research. In 2006, Wassong’s cocker spaniel and longtime companion, Puccini, was stricken with melanoma. Her dog participated in clinical trials as part of a partnership between veterinarians at New York’s Animal Medical Center and human oncology researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).
Through the trials, Puccini’s quality and quantity of life were extended. The treatment he received went on to become the first and only USDA-approved, therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of cancer in animals or humans. The information from the canine clinical trials is being used in ongoing research by MSKCC to investigate potential implications for a human treatment.