Lost in the Fog - DVM
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Lost in the Fog
UC-Davis veterinarians battle a rare case of lymphoma; racing icon euthanized in mid Sept.


Investigating cancer

Take the Reins Foundation, Inc. is a private foundation dedicated to funding new research, study, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancer in horses.

The Foundation was established in recognition and remembrance of Chili, a favored Thoroughbred that came to the Center of Comparative Oncology at Virginia Tech. Chili was the first horse on a clinical trial of a novel treatment for malignant melanoma. This clinical trial was done in collaboration with scientists at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest University. Chili died of complications from multicentric malignant melanoma in October 2005. The foundation was established to continue the fight that was inspired by Chili's case to try to develop new therapies for a devastating form of cancer that routinely kills horses (and people).

Those people who knew Chili "have put their faith in us to study, to learn to fight cancer with relentless determination and not to accept defeat," states Dr. John Robertson, director, Center for Comparative Oncology, Virginia Tech College of Veterinary Medicine.

Take the Reins Foundation President Karen Witter, says that "the Foundation seeks to help provide funds necessary to engage the personnel, resources and facilities required to carry out the task, primarily by designated gifts and by donations from private donors, grants, corporate sponsors, memberships and contributions from the general public."

Current research at the Center for Comparative Oncology, sponsored in part by the Take The Reins Foundation includes:

  • Developing a serum profiling test to diagnose malignant melanoma in horses and to monitor therapy
  • Phase I-II clinical trial of a novel botanical oil for treatment of poorly resectable malignant melanomas
  • Development of two new drugs for treatment of melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma, including a novel photodynamic molecule
  • Search for key gene mutations that lead to transition of locally growing to infiltrative malignant melanomas
  • Studies of advanced laser devices to remove infiltrative tumors.

For additional information visit http://www.takethereins.info or contact Robertson at the Virginia Tech College of Veterinary Medicine.

'Versatile, relaxed and collected;' Lost in the Fog fondly remembered

Lost in the Fog posed in the winner's circle, majestic, relaxed and collected. He had just demolished his foes in the Grade 2 Riva Ridge, on the June 11, 2005, Belmont Stakes day undercard. He was visibly cool, as he had been in the paddock, though it was a muggy 85-degree New York day, and all the other horses were in a full sweat.

"He's a pretty cool customer. He likes his job," noted trainer Greg Gilchrist. "He's your typical surfer kinda dude," said jockey Russell Baze, smiling. "Not too much ever shook him up."

This was his seventh in a string of 10 straight career wins, including the Grade 1 King's Bishop at Saratoga, the Sunshine Millions Dash, the Carry Back, and the Grade 2 Swale, flying at triple-digit Beyer speed figures each time. In 2005, he went coast-to-coast six times to earn the Eclipse Sprint Championship, earning $844,500, though he faltered in his last race, losing the Breeder's Cup Sprint.


Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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