TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5)-- An Arizona State University scientist just kicked off a trial study for dog cancer vaccinations.

The inventor, Stephen Johnston, said he's worked on this vaccine for 12 years and has tested it in thousands of mice. It is not intended to cure cancer, but to prevent it.

[WATCH: ASU researchers testing cancer vaccine for dogs]

"It meant a lot because the whole purpose for our center here is to get things out in the real world that will do some good in biomedicine," Johnston said about the vaccine's potential.

[VIDEO: ASU researcher testing cancer vaccine on dogs (Jan. 4, 2018)]

About 30% of people get cancer in their lives—approximately the same goes for dogs.

[RELATED: Valley researchers find cancer connection in humans and dogs]

There are 800 dogs in the vaccine trial, which will go on for five years. Each dog will be checked to ensure they do not already have cancer.

Johnston said researchers in the cancer field were not open to using his vaccine in a trial for humans because they say human cancer is personal and different in each person.

But Johnston says a new study shows tumors make the same type of "mistakes," so they can target the mistakes they make in the tumor.

"If it looks like it's really working in dogs, we're pretty confident that it'll work in people. And we'll start initiating to do a clinical trial in people," Johnston said.

Though Johnston is a researcher and inventor, he is not a veterinarian. As such, veterinary medicine schools at the University of Wisconsin, Colorado State University and UC Davis are administering the vaccine to dogs.

Johnston has taken the vaccine himself to make sure it isn't painful, and to quell any doubt in dog owners.

Trilly, a 9-year-old Gordon setter, was the first dog to get the preventative cancer vaccine. She belongs to a vet tech at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine.

Click here to learn more about Johnston's vaccine.

An Arizona State University scientist just kicked off a trial study for dog cancer vaccinations.

The inventor, Stephen Johnston, said he's worked on this vaccine for 12 years and has tested it in thousands of mice. It is not intended to cure cancer, but to prevent it.

"It meant a lot because the whole purpose for our center here is to get things out in the real world that will do some good in biomedicine," Johnston said about the vaccine's potential.

About 30% of people get cancer in their lives—approximately the same goes for dogs.

There are 800 dogs in the vaccine trial, which will go on for five years. Each dog will be checked to ensure they do not already have cancer.

Johnston said researchers in the cancer field were not open to using his vaccine in a trial for humans because they say human cancer is personal and different in each person.

But Johnston says a new study shows tumors make the same type of "mistakes," so they can target the mistakes they make in the tumor.

"If it looks like it's really working in dogs, we're pretty confident that it'll work in people. And we'll start initiating to do a clinical trial in people," Johnston said.

Veterinary schools at the University of Wisconsin, Colorado State University and UC Davis will also be participating in Johnston's vaccine trial.

Johnston has taken the vaccine himself to make sure it isn't painful, and to quell any doubt in dog owners.

Trilly, a 9-year-old Gordon setter, was the first dog to get the preventative cancer vaccine. She belongs to a vet tech at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine.

 


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