German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,144 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
https://www.americanveterinarian.com/news/novel-cancer-vaccine-uses-animals-own-tumor-cells

With Magwarts response to a thread, then seeing another member who is facing cancer, and my finding a lump on my guy, I went digging for more info. I found the article above and wanted to share it as it was written July of this year. Along with this article, I found other ongoing research and studies looking for subjects willing to enroll and instructions on how to go about it. A search on google will bring them up.

With my own scare, for a couple of days prior to the vet visit, I was asking myself how far I could and would go to save my boy. I know how far I would go but the question is would it still be enough.

The 12th paragraph just before the step 1,2, and 3 diagram states the types of cancer that their vaccine has shown to be most effective within their studies thus far.

Grappling with financial stretch for this is painful but if the option to enter in a study that can help with the financial end of it, and no other treatments are viable, then perhaps this is feasible for someone.

I think Magwart stated that this is brand new ground breaking so maybe a persons vet doesn't know about it and all that is needed would be to show them the article.

For me and my own boy, I feel blessed and lucky, the vet verified it was a Lymph node but of normal size. He is going back for a recheck and a full physical next month and I am breathing easier but I am also adding some extra supplements to his diet.

I just needed to share what I found. Magwart, thank you for making us aware. My thoughts and prayers for those who are facing this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,164 Posts
You're welcome! Getting more quality years for dogs with cancer is an amazing development.

For what it's worth, there are apparently two classes of these vaccines. One is the type described in the article: custom-made from a sample of each dog's tumor (they make a vaccine specific to that particular dog's cancer when a slice of the tumor is sent to the lab). I believe that's what they're doing with hemangiosarcoma, for example.

The other type is a vaccine good for a particular type of tumor in any dog (no custom synthesis required). They've "cracked the code" of some kinds of cancer to synthesize a vaccine that can teach any dog's immune system to target that kind. So the oncologist simply has to buy it and administer it. This kind is significantly cheaper because it's not custom-made for each individual dog. The Oncept DNA-based melanoma vaccine is this type --they've pinpointed a particular protein in melanomas so there's a one-size-fits all vaccine for that kind of cancer. Although it was developed for oral melanoma, the oncologists say the protein is the same for all melanomas (skin, eye, etc.), so it's expected to work with any of them. It's $700-ish per dose (4 doses to load, then every 6 months). We saw NO side effects from it -- but I've read that's not always true.

There are several vet labs doing the custom-manufacture. I believe there's one affiliated with the University of Kentucky vet school doing it, in addition to the one in the article. I have no idea which of the competing labs are the furthest along in the technology -- a good board-certified vet oncologist would likely be able to offer really good insight on that.

ETA: I just spotted an article on that same site about a clinical trial for immunotherapy for osteosarcoma (bone cancer) -- in the small pilot study, they got a median survival time of almost 3 years! In dogs, that's about as good as remission, as cancers hit late in life typically, so that many years is going to push these cancer dogs close to a natural life span. Amazing.
https://www.americanveterinarian.co...ine-awarded-huge-grant-for-new-clinical-trial
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
875 Posts
Thanks to Heartandsoul & Magwart once again....the links are worth the read-to every member here :thumbup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,164 Posts
New cancer developments like this is why I will never, ever have a dog without good pet insurance again. Every GSD I've ever owned died of some cancer or other eventually. I'd have done anything to save them but it's always been a hopeless diagnosis.



With the current dog, Healthy Paws paid for immunotherapy. They also paid for the (very expensive) specialist surgeries to remove an eye tumor and install a graft, follow-up ultrasound staging to be sure there were no cancer cells that spread, and we'll do that again in 6 mo. Two complex surgeries + immunotherapy + regular follow-up has been over $8,000. Insurance paid 90%. Since HP has no "per illness" limit, we had nothing to worry about and could follow the best treatment advice from our ophtho and oncolologist without worrying about cost. We also could go to the best regional specialty center in the area.



Had we not had Healthy Paws and instead had a crappier insurance plan with "usual and customary" imaginary reimbursement rates, limits of a few thousand dollars per illness, or restrictions on new classes of treatments (which they may still consider experimental), such a policy would have been worthless. People see limits of $2,500 per illness and think "surely that's enough" -- nope, not even close.



These developments really force us all to confront how much money each extra year spent with a beloved dog is worth -- we're talking GOOD years. I'm so glad that we had good insurance to make the choice easy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,949 Posts
Thanks for the articles Heart and soul glad your boy is okay- the article was so very helpful. Magwart so glad your dog is doing well. Prayers for all. So many new targeted and different treatments and trials underway. A vaccine trial right now for triple negative bc. I dislike going in the cancer forums and cancer Facebook groups but there is always so much information that is shared and to be researched. So important to have a good team -oncologist and surgeon that you feel comfortable with and trust and all the tests necessary to best treat the particular cancer with the highest success. My friends mom treatment plan had failed and she had no choice but to enter a trial and with great success lived more many many years and passed away at old age with unrelated cancer issues.
Trupanion also covers cancer treatment plans. Cancer is growing in people and animals at a alarming rate. Insurance for pets once was a luxury but now seemingly and sadly a growing necessity.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top