New Development in Canine Lymphoma Therapy

New Development in Canine Lymphoma Therapy

By: Bob Baker, DVM 

Lymphoma is a common type of cancer affecting both dogs and cats.  It is a treatable disease, the gold standard of care being a chemotherapy

protocol called the UW-25.  This is a 6 month protocol that involves sequencing the drugs vincristine, cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin. Prednisone is often used during the initial induction of remission and another drug L-Aspraginase is used on occasion for the first treatment.  This protocol has been in use for decades with usually minimal toxicity.  Remission time for the more common B-cell Lymphoma generally is anticipated at 10-14 months.  Recently, the pharmaceutical company Merial released a canine B-cell Lymphoma vaccine and an additional treatment option.  This builds on the success of the company’s Melanoma vaccine for the treatment of malignant melanoma. DSC_0854 The vaccine at the time of this writing does not replace the gold standard UW-25 protocol, but is used an additional measure following completion of the protocol.  The initial study shows a doubling of survival time when using the vaccine vs. historical controls.   This is exciting news as there have been no new treatment breakthroughs in canine lymphoma in over 30 years.   The vaccine is limited to use to B-cell lymphoma and not the T-cell form of the disease.  This is because the vaccine targets a membrane receptor CD-20 located on the B-cell.  Fortunately, the B-cell disease is the more common form, and there are reliable special tests to determine B vs. T cell disease prior to beginning therapy.   We are excited at the Baring Blvd. Veterinary Hospital Wellness Center to be able to offer this new cutting edge therapy to our cancer treatment services.

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