CSU comparative oncology documentary set for national release

“The Answer to Cancer May Be Walking Right Beside Us,” a documentary produced by Colorado State University and Rocky Mountain PBS, will air nationally on public television stations starting in April 2017.

The film, which showcases comparative oncology, or how human and animal doctors can work together to beat cancer, first aired in September 2016 on Rocky Mountain PBS. It will be available on public television through the National Educational Telecommunications Association, which includes stations in 42 states, starting April 7.

The documentary will next air on stations through The Programming Service for Public Television, which includes more than 33 stations across the country, in June.

CSU’s Dr. Rodney Page collaborates on cancer research with Dr. Dan Theodorescu, director of the University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center. Rocky Mountain PBS will air the film on April 3 at 9:30 p.m., April 7 at 10:30 p.m., and April 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Cancer is cancer

“Cancer is cancer,” said Dr. Rodney Page, CSU professor and director of the Flint Animal Cancer Center. “The same mechanisms that result in cancer in humans are operative in dogs, and are operative in other animals as well. The aspect that is valuable is the information that can be gathered through well-done clinical studies in companion animals with naturally occurring cancers.”

The documentary’s theme is “opportunity.” The project was spearheaded by CSU videographer Joe Vasos and Vice President for External Relations Tom Milligan, in collaboration with the Flint Animal Cancer Center.

“Cancer experts at Colorado State University have long advocated the value of comparative oncology in the fight against cancer in all species,” said Milligan. “We hope this documentary will help spread this message to a broad audience.”

This is the fifth CSU-led project that Rocky Mountain PBS has co-produced or aired on behalf of the university.

“We have been longtime partners in education with CSU and we are deeply appreciative of this opportunity to collaborate with such a prestigious institution and its esteemed faculty and staff,” said Amanda Mountain, Rocky Mountain PBS CEO. “We are happy to help spread the impact of such a powerful documentary.”

Canine cancer outcomes understood quickly

Dogs age much faster than people, meaning canine cancers and treatment outcomes may be observed in much less time. Dr. Cheryl London, a research professor at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, said that in studying companion animal cancers through clinical trials, outcomes may be understood in two years, a fraction of the five to 15 years it normally takes to determine if a new drug or procedure is successful through human cancer trials.

Answer to Cancer documentaryLondon was recently featured on CBS Sunday Morning, where she talked about her collaborative research on bone cancer with Dr. Katie Janeway at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.

CSU’s documentary features researchers and clinicians from CSU, Duke University, the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, The Ohio State University, North Carolina State University, Purdue University, Tufts University, the University of California Davis, Children’s Hospital Colorado, the University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin.

Watch the trailer for the documentary on CSU’s YouTube channel. Consult your local listings for more details on broadcasts of “The Answer to Cancer May Be Walking Right Beside Us.”