The Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation (ICCI) at the University of Guelph facilitates translational oncology research in companion animals at the OVC Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer by managing clinical trials and the Companion Animal Tumour Sample Bank (CATSB). Our goals: to advance the understanding of cancer and improve treatment options to benefit both companion animal and human cancer patients.

    Launched in 2007, the institute is the first of its kind in Canada, combining the expertise of researchers in basic cancer biology and clinicians in veterinary medicine to take an integrated approach to cancer studies that cannot easily be matched in human research settings. The ICCI is dedicated to furthering the understanding of the cancer for the benefit of all species, including humans.

    A key component of this groundbreaking initiative is the establishment of a world-class Animal Cancer Centre in the OVC Health Sciences Centre. The centre is dedicated to cancer diagnosis, treatment, teaching and clinical research. 

    ICCI Team (Left to Right): 
    (left photo)
    Dr. Paul Woods (Co-Director), Dr. Kaya Skowronski (Previous Tumour Bank Coordinator); Dr. Vicky Sabine (Clinical Research Coordinator), Dr. Michelle Oblak (Co-Assistant Director), Dr. Geoff Wood (Co-Assistant Director) and Dr. Brenda Coomber (Co-Director); (right photo) Deirdre Stuart (Current Tumour Bank Coordinator).

    Research Publications with ICCI Contributions

    Wright, T., Brisson, B. A., Wood, G. A., Oblak, M., Mutsaers, A. J., Sabine, V., Skowronski, K., Belanger, C., Tiessen, A., & Bienzle, D. (2019). Flow Cytometric Detection of Circulating Osteosarcoma Cells in Dogs. Cytometry. Part A : the journal of the International Society for Analytical Cytology95(9), 997–1007.
    Flow Cytometric Detection of Circulating Osteosarcoma Cells in Dogs. Funded partly by Pet Trust.

    Craig, K., Wood, G. A., Keller, S. M., Mutsaers, A. J., & Wood, R. D. (2019). MicroRNA profiling in canine multicentric lymphoma. PloS one14(12), e0226357.
    MicroRNA profiling in canine multicentric lymphoma. Funded partly by Pet Trust.

    Parissenti, A. M., Pritzker, L. B., Guo, B., Narendrula, R., Wang, S. X., Lin, L. L., Pei, J., Skowronski, K., Bienzle, D., Woods, J. P., Pritzker, K., & Coomber, B. L. (2019). RNA disruption indicates CHOP therapy efficacy in canine lymphoma. BMC veterinary research15(1), 453.
    RNA disruption indicates CHOP therapy efficacy in canine lymphoma. Funded partly by Pet Trust.

    Deravi, N., Berke, O., Woods, J. P., & Bienzle, D. (2017). Specific immunotypes of canine T cell lymphoma are associated with different outcomes. Veterinary immunology and immunopathology191, 5–13.

    Weidner, N., Woods, J. P., Conlon, P., Meckling, K. A., Atkinson, J. L., Bayle, J., Makowski, A. J., Horst, R. L., & Verbrugghe, A. (2017). Influence of Various Factors on Circulating 25(OH) Vitamin D Concentrations in Dogs with Cancer and Healthy Dogs. Journal of veterinary internal medicine31(6), 1796–1803.

    Calvalido, J., Wood, G. A., Mutsaers, A. J., Wood, D., Sears, W., & Woods, J. P. (2016). Comparison of serum cytokine levels between dogs with multicentric lymphoma and healthy dogs. Veterinary immunology and immunopathology182, 106–114.

    Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer and ICCI in the media:

    • ICCI Co-Assistant Director Geoff Wood recently had a “one health” study published in Nature Communications comparing cancer genomes from human mucosal melanoma, canine oral melanoma and equine melanoma.  This study was the first study to sequence equine tumours, and first to compare the genomes of the above three species (University of Guelph story here).
    • CTV W5 featured a story about Max, an OVC patient and participant in an ICCI-coordinated, NIH funded multi-centre trial for dogs with osteosarcoma. This story highlighted two human patients who benefited from research done in canines.
    • Nationalpost published an article on the important contribution that companion animal cancer patients provide by participating in clinical research studies to veterinary and human healthcare. 
    • CityNews Toronto visited the Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer.
    • GuelphToday – series of photographs following a visit of one of ICCI’s osteosarcoma patients to the Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer.
    • Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer received a national award in 2017 for comprehensive cancer care benefiting both humans and animals.
    • ICCI member Dr. Alicia Viloria-Petit named “Top 10” Most influential Hispanic Canadians for her significant contributions to cancer research.

    Past media stories: 

    • Dr. Paul Woods, ICCI co-director, was featured on CBC’s The National, highlighting OVC’s participation in a North American wide trial exploring a novel treatment option for osteosarcoma patients. 
    • CTV News reports on ICCI’s continuing efforts in the fight against canine, and potentially human, bone cancer. 
    • Globe and Mail article highlighting the comparative and translational research taking place at the OVC Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer. 
    • Global News story on the Animal Cancer Centre.

    Associated Links Out:

    • OVC Pet Trust – Help the pets we love, live longer, healthier lives! OVC Pet Trust is Canada’s first charitable fund dedicated to the health and well-being of companion animals.
    • Kennel to Cure – A research collective based at the OVC with collaborators and team members across Canada, focused on translational research between companion animal cancer research and human cancer research. Research focuses include pathobiology of tumourigenesis, novel therapeutics and personalized medicine, ethics and quality of life, and social, economic and logistical aspects of cancer search in Canada.
    • Smiling Blue Skies – A broad scope support and resource page for all things about canine cancer, its treatment, and research. Smiling Blue Skies offers 24/7 support to anyone whose life has been touched by cancer.