Dr. Venable: Welcome to the Veterinary Cancer Pioneers podcast, the show where we delve into groundbreaking work of veterinary professionals who are dedicated to advancing the field of veterinary oncology. I'm your host, Dr. Rachel Venable, and I'm thrilled to embark on this journey with you.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing our distinguished guest, Dr. Greg Ogilvie. Dr. Ogilvie is a board-certified internist and oncologist and is a professor and the division director of veterinary oncology at the University of California, San Diego, Moore's Cancer Center, and the director of Angel Care Cancer Center at California Veterinary Specialists. At the Angel Care Cancer Center in beautiful San Diego, Dr. Ogilvie cares for patients of all species and their families, teaches interns, residents, and veterinary students, and develops novel new compassionate cancer therapies. Dr. Ogilvie has authored and co -authored four books, very impressive. He's a fifth generation, Colorado native, and an Ironman triathlete, also impressive, written over 200 scientific articles and chapters, as well as over 120 scientific abstracts and posters. Oh, wow, that definitely something to aspire to there. He has been awarded two international patents, over $10 million in research grants and endowments as a principal or co -investigator and the recipient of many teaching, research, and clinical awards. Dr. Ogilvie has lectured in scores of countries to many thousands of students, veterinarians, physicians, and scientists about his love of the practice of veterinary medicine oncology.
So without further ado, please join me in extending a warm welcome to Dr. Greg Ogilvie. Dr., thank you so much for being here. Just reading your bio is quite inspirational.
Dr. Ogilvie: Seems a little boring to me, but that's okay.
Dr. Venable: But it's so many impressive achievements and something to really aspire to. And so I guess before you got to where you are today, kind of how did you start? What even got you into veterinary medicine?
Dr. Ogilvie: Well, Dr. Rachel, that is going to be a kind of a brief story from a long period of time. I grew up in the mountains of Colorado and at the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. And my parents would probably be arrested today if people now knew what they did then. My only rules, the only rules my brother and I had was we had to be back for dinner. So as soon as the door would slam after we left breakfast, and we were out in the mountains and go tubing down the rivers and going into lakes and getting snakes and frogs and bugs and all these kinds of things. And it was there that I first began learning about animals and their precious relationship with us as well as nature. And Rod, who's my best friend and honestly, a hero of mine, he was especially adept at being able to allow us to explore the world of animals and the animal kingdom. In fact, we used to build bear traps. We never actually caught one for quite a long time. And then our cousin from New Jersey came into the area and he wanted to help us. So we said, okay, we built the bear trap, which is a bunch of logs that kind of form a box. And we said, hold this watermelon, we'll be back. So we went down to dinner and my family said, where's Bart? And we said, well, he's in the Bart bear trap. And they all looked at us like what the heck are the kids doing this time. So they made us go get Bart. We set the bear trap and that night we caught our first bear. So we're thankful it wasn't Bart that got the bear to come in. But the point is that we then asked ourselves, uh-oh, what now? Because then we had a captive bear and we really had not thought this through and then we began understanding our responsibility to that bear that that really once we have this animal, we need to care for it we need to ensure that it has it cares for its family. And so we then talked about that all night and so that was our first my first realization that caring is the single most important thing we can do for the animals in our lives. So this didn't come by the way the bear broke through the bear trap, fortunately, so we didn't have to go up and get it.
But, you know, in my life, animals were just a part of my family. My father was a wildlife biologist and work for the division of wildlife. And so he took us out in these crazy Jeep rides and we were always in the forest and finding animals. And my mother was actually a professional ski instructor, actually a very accomplished horseman or horse person. She actually was on the demonstration team of the United States Olympics Women Athletics team. So she had one rule rule for us, is if we brought anything home that had four legs or slithered, we had to sleep with it. Okay, so Ron and I thought that was fine. So we were bringing home all these Hawks and Falcons and deer of fawns and antelope fawns and bear cubs.
And we would build places for them and we would nurse them along if they were injured. And one of my favorite pictures is of my brother and I leading out this long train of baby animals that we that had printed in printed on us. But what we've learned was that once again, the importance of caring for these animals and that a responsibility to these animals was for was first and foremost.
So this kind of led to the point to where I had one of my horses a pregnant mare, and I was the only one left on the property and it was clear that my mare was gonna fall out and she was in trouble. There was no doubt that she had strained for a very long period of time and she was having a dystocia. So literally, I was about six years old at that time. I ran through the nearest veterinarian, which was several miles away. I didn't even pay attention a lot to closed doors and I burst into the kitchen and there was the veterinarian having breakfast with his family and I said, "My mare, my horses, is having problems. You have to come now." Did that veterinarian ever stop? Did that veterinarian ever say, "This is Sunday? "This is my family?" Not at all. He swooped me up, put me next to him and his truck came out and delivered the foal and then talked to me about the beauty of this animal, the beauty of animals in general and our responsibility. And it was that moment, that single moment, that I knew that I wanted to be a veterinarian and I carried that throughout my entire career. So the bottom line is it all began with catching snakes and reptiles of every kind, knowing the responsibility and then having a veterinarian hold my hand as I was bouncing along to get to that mare.
Dr. Venable: Wow, what an incredible story. I almost feel like your childhood sounds like it should be a story. You know what I mean? It should be, maybe you should think about turning that into like a chapter novel for kids or something. Like that's really incredible. I can't imagine all the animals. It certainly sounds like quite the freedom you had and just even that story with the veterinarian, how beautiful was that? Like you said, that he just got up, didn't really ask a lot of questions like, "Hey son, why are you, why yourself ran over here?" But just took care of what needed to be taken care of and then took the time to talk to you.
And that really is beautiful. And that's wonderful that he did that. And I mean, it's clear how impactful that was for you. So I think that's important to remember remember. Sometimes we don't expect those moments, right? We don't really anticipate those opportunities, but you can really take, you know, little opportunities like that and just change someone's life. So that, that is just really beautiful. I love that story.
Dr. Ogilvie: You know, whenever I see a child looking up at me in the exam room, I always stop and talk to them. It's all because of that one interaction. So my first hero is obviously, my brother. The second is that veterinarian, Dr. Wendell Hutchinson. And the third is our many other people.
Dr. Venable: All right, that's awesome. That is great to have such those influences in your early life. And so, you know, you had such exposure to so many kinds of animals. What ended up getting you into oncology? I could almost see you becoming like, like a wildlife vet. But so where did oncology come in this mix?
Dr. Ogilvie: Well, I actually was a zoo veterinarian. And I was actually in wildlife medicine. I was, in the development of the Colorado State University Wildlife Rehabilitation Program. But I loved it all. I love surgery. I love medicine. I loved everything that you can think about. And so, so it was at that point in time when I had to realize, did I want to be a generalist or did I want to have a bigger impact and have greater knowledge? And that's when I realized I needed to do a residency. And so I applied and I was accepted at Tufts University. Actually is their first resident. And when they asked me what I was really interested in, I said, I'm not really sure. But I said, you know, the most interesting cases I've ever had are patients with cancer. It's the most difficult disease. It has challenges that require an open mind and a focus on trying to do something beyond the usual. And so, Sue Cotter, who was one of the professors at Tufts University, one of the most brilliant and wonderful people you could ever imagine, she said, I'll be your mentor. And so that's how I began in the field of oncology and I don't regret it at one moment 'cause one of these days,
I'll be similar to, I'll never be equal to, but I'll be similar to Sue Cotter.
Dr. Venable: Oh, that's great. So you were the first resident then, so they kind of started it with you there?
Dr. Ogilvie: Yeah, and had several other people thereafter and fact Steve Dowd, who's at Colorado State University right now, is a researcher and internist. Tony Moore, who's my best friend and also one of my great heroes, he came after me after I left, but we became fast friends and are still fast friends today and do a lot of things together.
Dr. Venable: Well, that is quite the network. That's really, really neat to hear how you were all kind of together back then and just started it. It sounds like you definitely are one to kind of pave your own way. I feel like a lot of zoo, wildlife vets, exotic vets, you kind of have to be 'cause you kind of have to make up the book as you go along a bit, right? There's not as much published about it. And so it's kind of thinking of that and sort of making your own way. What do you see? Are there any interesting new technology or research going on that you find fascinating in oncology right now? Or maybe even in the past, what was something that you got excited about?
Dr. Ogilvie: Well, you have to understand, it kind of began back when the buggies and the horses were taking us around in oncology. There was nothing really. And so part of my residency was at the Harvard School of Public Health, also the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. And at Harvard School of Public Health, we were faced with a crisis, very much like the COVID crisis that we just passed. There were certain types of cancers called cappaicci sarcoma. And they were founded at a high number in Africa. And so it turned out, as you know, Sue Cotter, who's my mentor, she's a famous retro virologist. And so she was part of the team that helped unravel about the feline leukemia virus. And so that's, you know, a story in history for us. But here we were faced with a new disease that was causing cancer in people and in monkeys, but it was also killing monkeys and people in Africa. And it was what was called Slim's disease. So the monkeys were losing tremendous amounts of weight, as were the people. And so it was thought at the beginning that this could be a retro virus. So Max Essex, a veterinarian who was the head of the Harvard School of Public Health, which is amazing thing to have a veterinarian at that level, he said, we have to harness all of the power of the Harvard School of Public Health and try to help the world understand about this disease. Well, we know the result of that, right? We know that it took many iterations to be able to figure out what that is. But that turned out to be HIV /AIDS.
At the time, it was also rotating through the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which is a pediatric cancer center, with another person. And we were then seeing parents and their children with cancer. And as many of us have heard, that as a veterinarian, it's very much like pediatrics. The families tell us the history. history. They have the fears, right? They have the misconceptions. They have the desire that their child be given first rights to everything that we have available to us, but they don't want their child to hurt. And so that really encompasses oncology, you know, on a daily basis. And so it turns out that one of the children that we saw was this newborn baby. And the baby was not thriving. So MRI was done and there was a mass in the brain, the biopsy was done. And it turns out, it was a variant of hemangiosarcoma. And this physician resident who is in the residency program with me, she had no understanding of where to go with that. And yet as a veterinarian, we know that we have to talk to the family about the outcomes because if we did radiation for that child, if we removed half the brain of that child, that the child would almost certainly not thrive. And therefore the opportunities for that newborn baby were very limited. And so the options need to be unfolded with that. Either we take that course and be okay with the outcome, or we look at the opportunities ahead for us. And it turns out that that MD resident left the program. She just couldn't imagine doing that ever again. But it reminded me of the importance and the responsibility of not only dealing with the patient, but also the family. And if we don't have a real clear relationship with that family, if we don't help them understand all the opportunities and the consequences of the therapeutic options that we were likely fail. And so it made me a veterinary oncologist. And it reminds me, I can't tell you how many times in a day I think of that. Because of course, as an oncologist, as are you, we come up with those situations all the time. It's all about quality of life. It's all about ensuring that whatever we do does not hurt but helps. And if we can't have that happen, we need to make sure that we allow the clients to understand and to educate them to a point of an appropriate choice.
Dr. Venable: Oh yeah, what a tough situation. I mean, you're right. We often are kind of in a similar situation, but with animals, right? Often not newborns at least. I mean, that's tough. I can’t imagine how that sticks with you. There's some stories that stick with me too. I feel like often the people that seek oncology care usually have a backstory. Like, this was my spouse's dog. They just died of cancer. This is all I have. What do I do? I remember one of the saddest ones I had was my son committed suicide. This was his dog. What do we do? And I'm sure you have scores of those. And it sticks with you because you realize there's so much more to this than just the animal. But also, like you said, we have to really not forget the animal and make sure that they're comfortable as much as we can or that the goals. I like how you mentioned that, talking about essentially the pros and cons. I actually just did a talk on this in Nashville about giving bad news. But one of the things I was trying to stress to the veterinarians was if you don't give bad news, we end up in that futile care situation or people end up going down a path that they never even wanted to go on because they didn't understand what are the real goals with this test or this treatment and does that align with what you really want or not?
I can only imagine seeing the human side. That's really interesting. You got to do that in your residency. I wish we did more of that today I personally don't know I remember when I was at Colorado we did some virtual like tumor boards with the human hospital and that was always really interesting but do you know do very many programs do like a side by side like you guys got to do with the human group.
Dr. Ogilvie: It is actually becoming less common but that was more common when I was a resident. In part because uh veterinary oncology was so young that we really didn't have a past history and we didn't have something to imprint on. But for example, at that time the veterinary students at Tufts they took the first two years and actually for a while three years of their veterinary education with MD students and so there was that discussion and then sometimes there would be uh taking on also the the different pathways of the physicians depending on the areas being studied so anyway it was very common at Tufts at the time I was there.
Dr. Venable: yeah how interesting you know it is interesting anymore between academia and private practice and it sounds like you still kind of balance between the two how how do you see that relationship and just where it's heading anymore. I know personally, I'm a little worried about some of the vet schools and you know just staffing and things but what do you think about that relationship and where you think it's going?
Dr. Ogilvie: Well, when when I was a baby oncologist or even before that, that all the money was in it was in the at the university, we could buy the CTs we could buy the MRIs we could buy the you know eight million dollar linear accelerators we could buy that you know on and on and on and we could also hire residents that may not be generating enough revenue to support their salaries that type of thing but then there was an evolution as the technology became less expensive. We have, for example, in our Carlsbad hospital, we have three hospitals. One in Carlsbad, which is near where I work at the University of California, San Diego, one in Murrieta, and one in Ontario. They all have very similar equipment, but the Carlsbad one is the oldest one. And I believe we are up to eight or 10 CT scanners. And just the thought in academia buying eight CT scanners one after another is just beyond even imagination. So the point is that in private practice, because of the revenue that can be generated in the clinic, we can then afford these things. And also industry has looked at private practice is okay. Well, rather than seeing eight cases a day, for example, I see, let's see, what Monday and Tuesday I saw between 20 and 25 cases a day. And so we can generate far more information with that throughput. And I have no idea how many CTs we did Monday and Tuesday, but it was a lot, I gotta tell you. So the CT payback was way big on those days.
So the point is, that private practice is really where the money generators are. And honestly, where industry is saying, wait a minute, this is where the users are going to be. That's not to say that academia doesn't have a place. It definitely does. It's got the prestige. It's got people that are doing amazing work in academia to provide the luster and the prestige. But the bottom line is private practice does a great thing too. I'm in a medical school at the University of California, San Diego. It is the coolest thing I have ever done. And I've been at Tufts and then at University of Illinois, where I was also with the medical school there. And also at Colorado State University, where we were with the University of Colorado Cancer Center. But at UCSD, my boss thinks I'm a rock star as a veterinarian. And everybody around them, and I'm going, "Oh, really?" So, and they're coming to me asking for my opinion on things. They are asking to begin research studies, because we can generate the information that I just mentioned to you. So the point is, that the relationship between medical schools and private practice and industry are now forging essentially three rings that are working well together. And without one, we would fall as a triumphant triple.
Dr. Venable: Yeah, no, that is really interesting that they're all coming to you. Yeah, I think sometimes as veterinarians, because people sometimes say, "Oh, I didn't know veterinarians were doctors." So I feel like sometimes we feel, I don't know if lower is the right word, but that would be really cool to be at a med school and have everyone coming to you asking questions. Very validating, I think, because I think we deserve that. But that is really fun to hear about that, how it's all working out there.
Dr. Ogilvie: Yeah, it's very hard to get into medical school at UCSD. It's a very high, prestigious medical school, but I can't tell you how many MDs I've talked to who said, "I tried to get into veterinary school and I couldn't get in." So, you know, it's not so bad.
Dr. Venable: Right, very true. That was my backup plan. I'm not gonna lie, was to go to med school. But, you know, kind of working with the med school. So have you seen any new exciting research or technology that's on the verge or that's even recently come out?
Dr. Ogilvie: As far as in veterinary medicine? or in human medicine that's come across?
Dr. Venable: Well, I guess if it is in human, something that might lead into our vet patients.
Dr. Ogilvie: Yeah, so there are a number of things that I've worked on, for example, at the University of California, San Diego. For example, we did a study with vaccinia virus. And as you know, this is San Diego. This is where Jonas Salk worked and where his name is plastered on many buildings down here.
He developed the polio vaccine, which is a vaccinia virus. And he just used that because it has many similarities to polio. Well, it turns out that it replicates very rapidly in rapidly dividing cells. Wait a minute. Don't tell me. Cancer cells replicate rapidly. So, the bottom line is that I worked with a great group. And so the vaccinia virus was essentially made as a less virulent virus by that group by changing the genome. But one other thing was became a part of that work with two things. One is that the virus itself could be used as a Trojan horse to bring things in, whether it's DNA, whether it's a drug, whether it's whatever that needs to get inside the cancer cells themselves. The other thing is that, as you know, that many aquatic species, especially where it's dark, they fluoresce. And so they have Luciferase in there, or they say can make Luciferase so that they can shine to attract fish. So they can eat the fish because they think they wanted to get the fish or the various different microorganisms to head their way so they can eat them. So the bottom line is the DNA for that particular Luciferase gene was then implanted into these vaccinia viruses to be able to track the cancer. So you have two things. Number one, you have the vaccinia virus that can replicate in the cancer, kill the cancer that way, and actually it will serve as an apologous vaccine because essentially you're killing the cells. The virus is being elaborated and therefore exposing the various different components of the cancer cells themselves to then serve as a vaccine against the cancer. Number two is you can implant whether it is a drug, whether it is another substance, whether it's it could be a lot of things that can be delivered directly to the cancer, and finally you can also have the virus enter into the cells and and essentially flouresce, so that you could actually see the cancer at the at surgery or for example at various different diagnostic tests to be able to determine the extent of the disease when you're staging. So the point is that that worked out well in a number of species including animals and then went directly and that's the other advantage of working with a medical school. We do the work in veterinary medicine and then literally that next week after, of course, your IRB approvals and all that stuff are well in hand then it can go into patients. And so it's neat to sit in an audience and have a patient talking about their positive experience with that particular substance in this case a vaccininia virus and their and their health and well well being because of that. So it's kind of a cool thing in that regard.
We also another example is Bay-129566 which is a matrix metalloproteinase when I was at Colorado State University. For those of you who remember your boards then the MMP 239 are important to allow the cancer to be able to expand and to invade it and surrounding structures but so if you can inhibit that MMP then you can can inhibit the cancer and potentially direct additional therapies to it. But this Bay 129566 was made by Bayer, and they were interested in getting it approved in people and in animals at the same time. So we did the largest, to the best of my knowledge, still the largest cancer study in animals as a model for human disease, looking at osteosarcoma and looking at lymphoma. And so it was a double -blind randomized placebo-controlled trial. And the not-so-good news about it, the FDA saw on the human side that there was too much variability in the protocol adherence on the human side. So that end, if it didn't go well. But nonetheless, we did see efficacy in that particular entity. The bad news is, that what we found in retrospect was that we started the MMP inhibitor, Bay-129566, after we'd done the standard of care. But we found that the animals with lymphoma and osteosarcoma that had the forced outcome with the standard of care, they produced the highest amount of the matrix metallopartinase. And so the point is that had the inhibitor been initiated at the beginning, that they would have likely done a whole lot better. And so that's a good example.
The third example is for everybody in oncology is used Palladia, right, Toceranib. Well, when I was at medical school in France, after Colorado State University, I did a sabbatical in the University of François-Rablet in Tour France. And the bottom line is I did a lot of nutrition research at Colorado State University. And they kept contacting me and saying, gosh, can't we get you over here because we're taking your research and putting it in people, can't you come here and we can begin doing research together to be able to show that nutrition does make a positive impact on the cancer care. And I said, sure, I brought my family over there and all that kind of stuff. And so we did nutrition research. But at the same time, a gentleman who was the head of a grocery store chain in Europe, specifically France, he wanted a treatment for his friend that had a disease similar to mass cell disease in dogs. And so a treatment was developed, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor called miscidinib. And so after it was developed, it turned out that that disease is so rare that it would take decades to prove efficacy. I said, wait a minute, we have boatloads of dogs with mast cell tumors. So a big study was started after toxicity studies were done and showed its efficacy. And not only was it effective, but it was also well tolerated. I love Palladia, I use it all the time. But miscidinib is still my favorite because it follows the paradigm, we want to help them, we don't want to hurt them. And so the bottom line is, you may or may not know with that particular drug, its efficacy in people really took off so the company stopped making it as readily available in the United States. So that's the sad part about it. For the good news, it's helping a lot of people and hopefully we'll get it back in this country for marketing here soon.
Dr. Venable: Oh yeah, that would be really interesting because I remember that drug when it came out. And you're right, the dogs that I treated with it, I don't remember as many side effects as we see with Palladia. And that's a fun backstory. I'd never heard the backstory of kind of miscidinib and the foundation of it. So that's really neat to hear because I had heard that they were using in people, but I didn't really know what for. So that's really interesting.
Now the drug that you mentioned that can be a vaccine plus almost like a diagnostic, like helping you so you could see it. How does that work? Like does it glow? Like you said it can help with surgery or do you need like a tool so you can see it? I'm just trying to imagine.
Dr. Ogilvie: Yeah, just a fluorescent light.
Dr. Venable:Oh, just a fluorescent light is all you need?
Dr. Ogilvie: Yeah.
Dr. Venable: Oh, wow. How cool. So do you think that will, where do you think that is in getting commercialized? Are we still quite a ways out? I'm just curious. That one sounds kind of, I like things that glow.
Dr. Ogilvie: Yeah, it's interesting that I see quite a few publications about it from various different groups. Obviously, the virus itself cannot be patented, but there are modifications of the virus. So that's where everybody is developing different entities. So I still see a number of different abstracts and publications on various formats of that. And so we're just waiting. It's a little bit of a challenge because as you may remember, there's one product that had a bacteria that became active in our patients. And so there's a little bit of hesitation with the USDA, et cetera, about that kind of thing. So once again, safety is everything.
Dr. Venable: I hadn't thought about that side. I just got excited about how to use it, but yes, you're right. That makes sense. And I'm glad the government is cautious and that they're really looking for everything. So that that is interesting. Definitely have to keep an eye out for that.
And, you know, we've talked about, you know, the quality of life and like you mentioned, you know, the miscidinib, how it was nice because it wasn't quite as aggressive. How do you balance that when you're treating patients, you know, the, you know, we need to be a bit aggressive, right? right? I mean, I know we're not usually as aggressive as they are in people, but balancing that quality of life, how you do the treatment, how would you say that you do that?
Dr. Ogilvie: Yeah, it's, first of all, I think it's, I tell this to all my residents, all my interns, all my veterinary students, that first of all, you have to live with yourself. So you have to set your own boundaries. And you have to, first of all, educate yourself about the different treatments and the different treatment options, their benefits and their risks. It's easy for us to follow the shiny star and think, oh, it's going to help, it's going to help. But there's not a single thing out there that doesn't hurt to some degree and as well as help. So we need to, first of all, understand the downsides of our treatments, but then become masters of those things that we can control. When it's a chemotherapeutic agent, we always need to remember that compassionate care is the single most important thing of all of veterinary medicine.
And that for our clients, as well as for ourselves, the first commandment is don't let them hurt. We need to make sure pain control is absolute paramount. And if you don't have your portfolio of analgesics all lined out in your head such that you can use that on a daily basis, stop, go back and figure that out.
Second of all, the second commandment is like unto it, don't let them vomit. There's not a single thing we don't put in our bodies or our patients' bodies that can't cause tummy upset. And so have that worked out and understand that there are many different options to ensure that the tummy upset is not a problem.
The third commandment is like unto it and that is we can't let our patients starve. And that's interesting because it is the third commandment, which would seem like it's the least important, but it's not, it's actually in our client's eyes. I did nutrition research thanks to my best friend and actually my hero Marty Fetman, who's an astronaut that went into space, as you know. And he and I started research on nutrition and cancer, so it's imprinted on the internet, which we are the internet, as you know. And so my clients find me on the internet and they line up out the door. They wanna know what do they feed their dog or cat or hamster or whatever with cancer. And so we need, whether you have a background in that or you don't, you need to develop the answer or the references or the referrals to be able to help people with that.
My mother is no longer with us, but she was an intuitive healer. And for a lot of people they go, "Oh, that's going into the stars and spangles right there." But she had people around her that were integrative therapists. And yet she was solidly entrenched in science as well. My father being a wildlife biologist, he was a solid science guy. So I tend to be open for whatever works. It doesn't matter to me. "Jesus, Louise, we used to have been pristine "and then blasting, they're from the vinca-alkaloid. "Come on, Dr. Rubison, from bacteria in the soil. "It's come on, it's not that hard. "I'll spare genetic solids all in our bodies." So we're just scientific complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, really. But the point is that we need to be able to guide people to the right answers and to be able to help them find that and not be an obstacle.
You know, in martial arts, you can either stand there and take the punch, which is not advisable, or you can let that punch slide off to the side and then redirect it so that no one gets hurt.
Dr. Venable: Oh, it's true. I've got a couple of questions for you. One, do you do martial arts?
Dr. Ogilvie: To a certain extent, but as a triathlete, it's like being in martial arts event for a very long distance.
Dr. Venable: Yeah. That's great. I actually did a little in college. I did Hapkido, which is the Korean one nobody knows, but that was the one I did in the small college town I went to. But my other more important question is, what do you think on nutrition? There's so many opinions. Gosh, we know all our pet owners find all kinds of things online. What do you like to guide? I'm not asking you to go over a full lecture, but just sort of what highlights do you think are important?
Dr. Ogilvie: Okay. So I always tell people that the most important thing, it's better to eat the worst thing in the world than nothing at all. So if your dog will only eat whatever grandma's ice cream, God bless him, let him eat grandma's ice cream. But if they'll eat grandma's ice cream, they'll probably eat something else. And so having done nutrition research for a very long time, I can tell you that I can get a dog to eat anything virtually, cat to eat anything. Literally, if you stand there and just say, it's up to you. And once they believe that, then they'll eat it. But the point is our clients, once again, this is their child. And so trying to care for their child and with the thought that nutrition is everything. If they don't eat, they're going to die.
And we all remember when we were sick, whether we had a cold, whether we had a flu, it was that little bowl of soup that our caregiver, our mother, our whatever, whoever it was that brought that to us. It was the soup that really made the difference, but not really. It was the person that brought that to us. It was the hand on the shoulder. It was the soft voice. It was just the knowledge that they were close that really brought the holistic healing of that soup. So nutrition comes with, in fact, a lot of our dietary trials, I had a lot of criticism. Are you sure it's not just the people feeding them? And I'd say, I'm okay with that. If it's the people providing comfort and care and that's rezoning in the beneficial effect, whatever, then I'm okay with that. But the things I leaned into, obviously, were the science. And that is to say, for example, N6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory. We know that they induce inflammatory diseases, which go all the way from cancer to cognitive dysfunction, to diabetes, to obesity. And when you're dealing with those things, they can exacerbate them. Similarly, N3 fatty acids, specifically, Dacosaxenoic acid, which, by the way, was discovered by Scripps. I don't want to say that out here, because in San Diego, Scripps is like the godchild of everything. But anyway, they identified an algae that produces pure DHA. And we do recommend algae-sourced DHA because fish swim around in polluted waters. We don't want the heavy metals and organophosphates. But that lowers the inflammatory component of N6 fatty acids. They also have anti-cancer effects, and therefore can be helpful at preventing cancer. And through studies that we did in France, we actually showed an anti-cancer effect when alone or when combined with radiation therapy or chemotherapy, especially those chemotherapy agents that induced lipid peroxidation. And then, once again, we all know that simple carbohydrates taste great, but they're not the greatest thing for us in our waistline, let alone if we have cancer. So the bottom line is following, essentially, what we all should have for a diet, right? We all should have that. A little bit of dark chocolate along the way kind of makes it all go down better. But the bottom line is that there are lots of good things. But the bottom line, it's very important to first eat something than nothing. And then if the appetite is good, whether you're a person, a dog, cat, durable, there are good things that we can feed.
Dr. Venable: Oh, I like the chocolate part for sure. But I think that also it's great. And I guess kind of last question is we're needing to wrap things up. What would you say is the most rewarding aspect in veterinary oncology specifically?
Dr. Ogilvie: So I learned a long time ago by working with people far greater than I am. My heroes, my mentors, my confidants, that the greatest thing in veterinary medicine is the understanding that we are the one medicine. Veterinarians care for the pets, but the pets care for our families, for their families. And without animals around us, we are nothing. We are half of what we would normally be. And similarly, without us around, they would not flourish and they would not thrive. So by understanding that we are the one medicine, that this mind-body connection that we have with each other, that we have with our pets, and they have with us, bring this health, wellness, joy, and delight. And by realizing and harnessing that very important thing, is very important. But the key that we need to understand as veterinarians is without our veterinary health care team, we are nothing. Absolutely nothing. I saw 20, 25 patients, whatever it was, if I did that all myself, they'd all be a mess. But with my team helping me, supporting me, correcting me, and also enabling me to do what I do well, then they, I hope, and pray, and believe that they were gifted. We need to honor and celebrate each one of them. And by doing so, we will enable ourselves to be able to do something far greater than we would be as ourselves.
Dr. Venable: Yeah, I know that was so many good points. I love all that. The one health, the staff, yes, can never forget about the staff and how precious and how helpful they really are. And as we're wrapping up one other quick question, who else would you recommend for the podcast?
Dr. Ogilvie: Boy, there are so many people that I could list. And some of them already did. Sue Cotter, who is literally a legend, literally a legend. And Tony Moore, despite the fact he talks funny, being from-- he's really from England, but don't tell him that. He's now living in Australia. He is absolutely the most delightful, wonderful person. He's an apirist, a butterfly collector, and also into honey and all kinds of things. But he's a brilliant, great man. And I'd have to say Ann Jeglum, who was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. I'd have to say Doug Thamm at Colorado State University. I have to say Phil Bergman, who's one of my residents. David Bailt, University of Wisconsin, who's one of my residents. Mary Kay Klein, who's one of my residents, who's down in Arizona. I mean, I could go on. But the bottom line, these are all giants that tower above me, that I love to run around in the sunshine between their legs. But they are wonderful people.
Dr. Venable: So many giants that you've worked with in trade. That's so impressive. And this whole talk has just been wonderful. And thank you so much. So inspiring. And I learned so much just about some of the history and different products and things that are coming out in the studies. So I really appreciate it. Thank you so much for being on our podcast today.
Well, that's it for this episode of the Veterinary Cancer Pioneers Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode and gained valuable insight, we would be so grateful if you could mention our podcast to your friends and colleagues. The Veterinary Cancer Pioneers Podcast is presented to you by ImpriMed.