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Prime News: FDA Approves New Cancer Drug for Dogs

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Prime News: FDA Approves New Cancer Drug for Dogs by Dr. Barry KippermanVeterinarians have been treating cancer in our animal companions for decades. Our goals of treatment are to diminish the impact of the cancer on the animal’s quality of life, minimize side effects, and prolong longevity if possible. The three mainstays of cancer treatment are often surgery to remove solitary tumors and masses, radiation therapy to shrink cancer not amenable to surgery, and chemotherapy. All drugs used for treating cancer in animals have been human chemotherapy agents (oral and injections) prescribed for off-label usage—that is, until now.

One of the most common types of skin cancer in dogs is the mast-cell tumor (approximately 20 percent incidence). In some patients, the tumor seldom causes trouble, while in others, the cancer can be very aggressive and spread to internal organs. Interestingly, as commonly as this occurs in dogs, humans do not develop this type of cancer. Nearly all other types of cancer in dogs and cats share similarities with cancer in people.

Palladia is the first drug approved specifically for the treatment of mast-cell cancer in dogs. The drug is given by mouth at home and can only be obtained from veterinary specialists at this time, although it will be available to all veterinarians next year. The drug may shrink tumors in patients who cannot undergo surgery, and it may also be helpful for tumors that relapse or have spread.

This is an exciting new development in our fight against cancer. As approximately one in two dogs will develop cancer in their lifetime and as one in four dogs die of cancer, it is hoped that this new drug will help not only dogs with mast-cell tumors but also dogs and cats with other forms of cancer as well.

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    angelina says...

    August 14th, 2009, 6:27 pm

    I AM PLEASED AND EXCITED :-D MAN I HAVE TO SAY THAT I HAVE SEEN TV SHOWS AND ONE OF THEM HAD A DOG WERE THEY WERENT SURE WHETHER OR NOT THEY COULD SAVE A DOG BECAUSE THEY DIDNT KNOW HOW BAD HIS CANCER WAS AND WELL I DONT REMEMBER THE REST BUT I KNOW THAT THIS MEDICINE WILL MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN ALL OF OUR PETS AND ANIMALS LIVES I LOVE ALL ANIMALS AND I WOULD DO ANYTHING TO HELP THEM I AM HAPPY THYE HAVE THE HELP THAT THEY NEED NOW

    Gail Richardson says...

    August 17th, 2009, 6:48 pm

    This is encouraging. I had a kitty who died of a mast cell tumor in his colon. The vet told me that it grows more slowly in cats than in dogs. He did have a two-year period of apparent remission when he seemed to feel very well. Then the tumor blocked his colon and he couldn’t move his bowels. He got very depressed the night before the vet euthanized him, so I think it may have been his time anyway. The vet said without putting him down he would develop sepsis and suffer a lot. I hope this drug development may help cats as well as dogs in the future.

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