Break through cancer vaccination for dogs - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/6/09

Break through cancer vaccination for dogs

Posted:

By Kristin Beerman | email

Edited by Jon Bush | email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Scientists are using human DNA to come up with a vaccine to help dogs fight a deadly cancer. A 12-year-old Lab, Daisy, was diagnosed with oral melanoma, a lethal skin cancer, a year ago.  The vet told Daisy's owner, Jim, about the latest cancer vaccine for dogs.

Jennifer Baez, V.M.D., said, "It's very similar genetically to the dog, but it's just different enough that the dog's immune system can recognize it as, as something that shouldn't be in the body and that makes the immune system then create antibodies against it."

The antibodies created keep cancer from coming back, but surgeons had to remove the tumor first, which took Daisy's entire jaw on one side. When the cancer was officially gone, the vaccinations began. Baez said Daisy has since been staged with x-rays and is still in a good remission, which basically means that the cancer is not evident anywhere in her body.

The United States Department of Agriculture has granted Merial, the vaccine company, conditional approval to treat dogs with Melanoma. It's the first time the government has approved therapeutic vaccine for cancer in either animals or humans. For more information on this new cancer vaccine for dogs talk to your local veterinarian.

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