Gold medal winner: 2016 Independent Publishers Book Awards

Reviews of Heal: The Vital Role of Dogs in the Search for Cancer Cures


“A new book stems from a truth many a dog owner knows: Man’s best friend is deeply susceptible to cancer.” —Newsweek “Best Books About Cancer.” Read more here.

“Beautifully written and superbly researched, Heal makes a compelling case for increased collaboration between the human and veterinary medical fields. Engaging and emotional, Heal is an important book for scientists, animal lovers and anyone interested in the vulnerabilities we humans share with animals.” —Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers, co-authors of Zoobiquity

“Science writer Weintraub (Selling the Fountain of Youth) introduces readers to the field of comparative oncology in this analysis of research into treatments for cancers that are similar in dogs and people. These ailments include lymphoma, osteosarcoma, breast cancer, melanoma, and gastric cancer. Driven by her professional curiosity, lifelong love of dogs, and grief after losing her sister to gastric cancer in 2010, Weintraub visits eight universities over two years. The book chronicles her interviews with researchers, whose fields include the quest for cancer-killing viruses (virotherapy), testing potential treatments on pet dogs with cancer; trials with metformin, a glucose-lowering pill that’s used to treat diabetes; and the use of sniffing dogs for early detection of some kinds of cancer. Anyone interested in translational science, innovative developments in cancer research, or treating pets with cancer will find this book a valuable resource. It includes lists of institutions doing comparative oncology research, related books, clinical trials, and funding sources. Readers will share Weintraub’s growing appreciation for the canine and feline subjects (and their owners) who are helping to advance cancer research.” —Publishers Weekly (Copyright © 2015 PWxyz, LLC.)

“…chock-full of thought-provoking data-backed stories, in which experts in canine and human cancer weigh in….Ms. Weintraub has produced a fine book about the hope and possibilities that abound in today’s era of cancer research and treatment. This book is highly recommended….” American Society of Clinical Oncology’s ASCO Post. Read more here.

“In a new book, Heal, dog lover and science journalist Arlene Weintraub conducts a brisk and often-moving tour of the frontier of comparative oncology. She describes cutting-edge research aimed at treatments for such ailments as lymphoma, breast cancer, and gastric cancer, the last of which took the life of Weintraub’s older sister, Beth, at the age of 47—a loss that animates the author’s account.” — Read more here.

“We come to understand the struggle involved in getting a drug tested and approved, as well as the personal agony of people who are facing the loss of their much-loved companion animals. Behind the data is a bigger question: how far will we, as pet owners, go to have more time with our dogs and cats? And at what cost emotionally?” —The Bark. Read more here.

“[A]n incredibly important report….This book is science, emotion and love of dogs all mixed together.” —Steve Dale, “My Pet World,” Tribune Media Services. Read more here.

“Author Arlene Weintraub—a frequent contributor to CURE magazine and a lifelong dog owner—does more than share facts. She tells the stories of special dogs, their owners, the researchers who entered their lives—and her own loss of a loved one to cancer.” —CURE. Read more here.

“The author did a wonderful job researching the topics and presenting them in such a way that even the most difficult medical terminology could be understood by the common lay person. If you love dogs and want to learn how our faithful companions are helping us extend our lives, this is definitely a book to look into. I highly recommend it!”—Night Owl Reviews “Top Pick.” Read more here.

Heal is a fantastic read for anyone that loves dogs (and cats) and has wondered what role animals should play in cancer research. Heal chronicles translational research in a way that is informative, understandable and heartwarming, making us cheer for cancer patients and the veterinarians that care for them. An Emperor of All Maladies for dog lovers, this book distills the science of cancer research down to the compassion and love for animals that drive us to find better cancer treatments for animals and their humans. Heal explores our symbiotic relationship with the pets that we share our homes, our beds, our cancers and, hopefully, our cures with.” —Dr. Sarah Boston, author of Lucky Dog: How Being a Veterinarian Saved my Life

Heal is a very easy read of a complex problem: cancer, and how pet animal cancer can help solve cancer in all species. It contains an interwoven mix of stories from pet owners, veterinary scientists and the author’s own personal reflections of her sister’s gastric malignancy. The recurring theme is under recognition of the value of spontaneous cancer in pets as models for human disease. In a time when cancer research dollars are in decline and with historic dependency of cell culture and rodent modeling, it seems timely to consider a real life cancer model in pet animals to test new agents, devices and techniques. Pet owners and the veterinary community stand ready to engage in thoughtful, creative and humanely performed research to benefit all species.” —Stephen Withrow, Founder and Associate Director of the Colorado State University Flint Animal Cancer Center

“Want to get the best book for the dog and cat parents on your shopping list? It’s called Heal: The Vital Role of Dogs in the Search for Cancer Cures, and here’s why we think it’s such a perfect gift for the pet parents in your life….Comparative oncology is an exciting field of medical research for both pets and people. Arlene Weintraub tackles this big subject in her new book, but she makes it easy to understand and exciting to read about.”  —Tripawds book reviews. Read more here.

“At every turn, Weintraub shows us the correlation between human and animal healing, and weaves in the story of her own healing from the loss of her sister. The dogs she encounters during her research become her comfort, restoring her faith in science as they pave the way to unlocking cancer’s mysteries and, ultimately, making it a less frightening diagnosis.” —The Bark Magazine, Summer 2016.

“Because of Ms. Weintraub’s personal motivation in writing this book, we may all benefit from the knowledge she gained. Her writing about complex medical research is accessible and aided greatly by her background as a published science journalist….This book would appeal to people interested in the technical aspects of on-going cancer research both in humans and dogs. I was also drawn into the parts of the narrative that touched on the shared human feelings of love and loss due to these all too prevalent diseases.” —Story Circle Book Reviews. Read more here.

“The author takes what could be a very technical discussion and turns it into something that can easily be understood by anyone. The book’s strength also lies in that the author tackles the issue from so many different angles while inserting a dose of personality. For the author, the issue of cancer is personal. She discusses her sister’s gastric cancer case with the reader, which really pulled me into the book. This book is for those that love dogs or have ever had cancer touch their lives.” —A Bookish Affair. Read more here.

“Never let a human do a dog’s job…especially when it comes to finding the cure for cancer, says Arlene Weintraub in her new book, Heal: The Vital Role of Dogs in the Search for Cancer Cures. This non-fiction work is a both a scientific study on the huge impact dogs are having in cancer research, as well as a personal story detailing Weintraub’s own dire experiences in dealing with the loss of a loved one to this horrific disease that affects us all. An important read!” —Russ Ryan, author of It’s Just a Dog

Radio and TV interviews

Your Dog Could Be The Key To Curing CancerColorado Matters, NPR Colorado

Steve Dale’s Pet World—Black Dog Radio Productions (syndicated)

Can the Herpes Virus Kill Cancer?—KCRW Santa Monica

The Dog Show With Julie Forbes—Alternative Talk Radio 1150AM, Seattle

Dogs Could be the Key to Curing CancerThe Current, CBC Radio

How Dogs are Helping to Find a Cure for Cancer—Tripawds Talk Radio

“Animal Writes” with Tim Link—Pet Life Radio

Dog Talk (and Kitties Too!)—NPR Peconic Public Broadcasting

Animal Radio (episode 845, 2/12/16, 26:30 in)

Dogs Helping to Cure Cancer—FernDog Training podcast

Vital Role of Dogs in Finding/Healing Cancer—Full Power Living

Can Dogs Help Cure Cancer? New Book Examines Canine Cancer  Trials (video)Canada AM

Calgary Canines Sniff Out Lung Cancer (video) —Global News

Feature Stories

EXCERPT: Sniffing Out Ovarian Cancer—

Exploring the Animal Kingdom: Books Explore History, Science and Even SexChicago Tribune

Could Dogs be the Key to Curing Cancer? —Get Leashed Magazine

In Conversation with Arlene Weintraub, author of HealThe Bark Magazine

Can You Smell Cancer? Dogs May Diagnose With Up To 90% Accuracy—Yahoo! News

Dogs Help in the Fight Against CancerNew Jersey Star-Ledger

How Dogs With Cancer Help HumansWashington Post

What Man’s Best Friend is Teaching Humans —WebMd

Heal, Boy: How Companion Animals Can Help Find Cures for Human Cancer —Toronto Globe and Mail

Brandeis Authors Delve Into Mysteries, Histories, and Science—Arizona Jewish Post