Batman, dog behind U cancer research, dies

Devin Henry

Batman, a dog whose brain cancer was successfully treated at the University of Minnesota in 2008, has died.

Batman with owner Ann Brailovsky and her son, August 2008. (Daily file photo)

Minnesota Public Radio reports Batman died of pneumonia while recovering from a January seizure.

Batman underwent experimental surgery at the University to treat a brain tumor. The procedure involved combining vaccinations and gene therapy to kill the tumor, which University veterinarians then described as similar to that of U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy.

At the time, University researchers said it would be encouraging if Batman, then 10, lived for six months. He lived for another year and a half.

Batman’s owners told MPR the University said cancer had nothing to do with his death. University researcher John Ohlfest called the dog, "a champion for science, but an inspiration for all dogs and humans alike."