The results of a pilot study of a vaccine designed to aid in treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in dogs suggest that the vaccine may increase the length of time this deadly cancer remains in remission. In addition, based on this limited study, the vaccine seems to be well-tolerated by most dogs.
Further clinical trials will be needed as the number of dogs in the study was small, but the RNA-loaded CD40-B vaccine, when used in conjunction with chemotherapy, had a 40% durable (long term) second remission rate versus only 3% for dogs receiving chemotherapy alone. Given the similarity between non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in dogs and humans, this vaccine/chemotherapy combination may also prove to be of value for people with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
What is Canine Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
Canine non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer originating within the lymphatic system, specifically the white blood cells called lymphocytes which normally protect the body from infection. These abnormal lymphocytes accumulate in the lymph nodes or other organs rather than circulating throughout the body to fight disease. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is the most common form of lymphoma in people, ranking fifth as the cause of cancer deaths.
In dogs, the death rate is much higher. As a result, there is a great deal of interest in finding better ways to deal with this disease. Other researchers are looking at genetic aspects of the disease and the use of NBD peptide to inhibit tumor progression.
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