“My personal aim with stem cells is not to improve: I use it to cure. It’s ambitious, but that’s where we need to be,” said Dr. Boaz Arzi, director of the UC Davis Veterinary Institute for Regenerative Cures. “Stem cells do offer promise for many disorders that were previously not considered curable. But giving any regenerative therapy should be based on proper science and proper clinical trials. I think this is what we need to convey to the pet owner: not to be at full expectation, but also not to lose the excitement and the promise that it offers.”
Riley, a 14-year-old Irish terrier, was referred to the UC Davis veterinary hospital for a dental examination in December 2015. Upon examination by the Dentistry and Oral Surgery Service, a pea-sized black mass was discovered on the roof of his mouth. Veterinarians suspected the mass to be an oral melanoma tumor—a cancer that could be fatal within 3-6 months if not treated aggressively—and submitted a tissue sample for biopsy.
Initiatives in 3D printing are currently being utilized at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where the work is complemented by the university’s Department of Biomedical Engineering expertise. The unique combination of disciplines provides opportunities to advance health that few other universities in the world are able to pursue.
Two UC Davis oral surgeons are now Founding Fellows of the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS). Drs. Frank Verstraete and Boaz Arzi, of the UC Davis veterinary hospital’s Dentistry and Oral Surgery Service (DOSS), were recognized at the 2018 Veterinary Dental Forum.