Well, this is interesting.

A week ago today, my dog Leo completed chemotherapy to treat mast cell tumors (Grade III), a type of cancer. His chemo protocol used drugs that were intended for human use, but allowed for use in dogs. Until today, there were no FDA-approved cancer drugs specifically for dogs. Today, it was announced that the first FDA-approved cancer drug was approved specifically to treat canine cancer, and more specifically,  mast cell tumors.

Palladia is an oral medication. Developed by Pfizer, the drug has been in development since 2000. At the end of the clinical study, “approximately 60 percent of dogs had their tumors disappear, shrink or stop growing.” The drug won’t be available until 2010.

So far Leo has responded well to the chemotherapy protocol he was given. We’re essentially in holding pattern to see if there is any reoccurrence. I don’t know if this drug will be something we can turn to in the future if another mast cell tumor pops up. But it’s nice to know that researchers actually are working on his type of cancer.

For more information:

Pfizer Press Release: FDA Approves First Canine Cancer Therapy

Also, just discovered this organization:

Morris Animal Foundation: Cure Canine Cancer Campaign

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