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'Pumpkin knows something is up': Orangutan pines for her cancer-stricken twin sister Peanut as she becomes first in the world to undergo chemotherapy


An orangutan called Peanut, suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, has become the first in the world to be treated with aggressive chemotherapy just like a human.
Peanut, who lives together with her fraternal twin Pumpkin at Miami's Jungle Island, has received numerous treatments to combat the aggressive lymphoma since August.
Pumpkin is not sick, but she knows something is wrong with her sister.

Sisters: Peanut, an eight-year-old orangutan with a fraternal twin sister named Pumpkin, has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but she's got a fighting chance at beating the disease as she is the first orangutan to be treated with chemotherapy like a human

Both are highly intelligent and have been taught to use sign language and an iPad to communicate with their trainers, but doctors have found it difficult to fully explain the cancer to Peanut or Pumpkin.
''I cant speak for what Pumpkin knows, but she most likely can sense that there's something is different with her sister,' veterinarian Jason Chatfield, Jungle Island's general curator, told MailOnline.

Help: In this Sept. 5, 2012 photo, Jungle Island volunteer Linda Jacobs comforts Peanut, one of the orangutans from a private zoo, as she is treated with R-CHOP therapy, a combination of drugs used in chemotherapy to treat her aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma in Miami

Peanut's diagnosis came by chance when her veterinary team found she had an intestinal obstruction and further testing revealed the cancer.
The private zoo had no board certified veterinary oncologist on staff and turned to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
A team there, along with UM's Division of Comparative Pathology, which specializes in wildlife, confirmed the diagnosis and is now providing guidance for Peanut's treatment.

Tired: Peanut is highly intelligent and has been taught to use sign language and an iPad to communicate with her trainers, but doctors have found it difficult to fully explain the cancer to her

First: Human medical specialists are treading new ground in applying a standard chemotherapy regimen to treat cancer in an orangutan

'I've never had the same combination of fear and enthusiasm in one patient before,' said Dr. Joseph Rosenblatt, one of the doctors treating Peanut.
'We don't know what to expect and yet we're intensely curious and potentially hopeful that we can help the animal.'
Working on an orangutan is a first for Rosenblatt, who has never worked on an animal larger than a mouse.

Babies: Born in captivity, Peanut and Pumpkin came to the zoo when they were six months old

source: dailymail