Innovation

Hypofractionated radiation therapy combined with the ONCEPT canine melanoma vaccine for canine oral melanoma

The Veterinary Radiation Therapy Oncology Group consists of a group of board-certified radiation oncologists across the nation dedicated to cooperative clinical trials to improve the survival of animals with cancer. The team at Tufts’ Foster Hospital for Small Animals is part of this consortium and is currently enrolling patients.  This organization is currently conducting an independent study to evaluate the treatment of canine oral malignant melanoma with coarse-fraction radiotherapy (8 Gy for 4 weekly fractions) in combination with the ONCEPT™ melanoma vaccine. Data for three treatment groups (concurrent radiation therapy and vaccine; radiation therapy alone; vaccine alone) will be collected.  Given that the study is not funded, treatment selection will be based on owners preference.  The primary objective of this study is to compare tumor progression between the treatment groups with a secondary objective of evaluating overall survival time. Continue reading

Innovation

Treatment of cataract disease

One of the most common misperceptions of cataract disease is that it is non-progressive, which unfortunately may create a bias toward conservative treatment options. If left untreated, patients with cataract disease will undergo a continuous degeneration of the lens, and in the latest stages, sequelae such as chronic uveitis, secondary glaucoma and retinal detachment may develop.  Complications from surgery are much less likely to develop if surgical treatment is performed early. Continue reading

Innovation

Current Research on Canine Compulsive Behavior

By Nicole Cottam, MS, ACAAB

Doberman Flank Sucking

Dobermans helped Tufts researchers understand the keys to Canine Compulsive Disorder.

The research team at the Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic has long suspected that canine compulsive behavior has a genetic component.  Recently, this suspicion was confirmed with the discovery that a variant of a gene, which codes for cadherin-2, was overrepresented in a sample of Doberman Pinschers

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Innovation

High-Dose Cyclophosphamide Holds Promise for Dogs with Lymphoma

For decades, the cornerstone of treatment for dogs with lymphoma has been chemotherapy employing five drugs: cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, L-asparaginase and prednisone.  Efforts to optimize these protocols by adjusting the doses and scheduling of drugs have not yielded significant improvement in remission rates or survival times.  In addition, the realization that discontinuous short chemotherapy protocols are as effective as traditional long protocols that include a lengthy maintenance phase has provided the opportunity to search for novel therapies to combat lymphoma before overt chemotherapy resistance develops.

Alternative modalities that have been studied include radiation therapy, chemotherapy agents traditionally reserved for rescue therapy, monoclonal antibodies, dose-intensified chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation.  These approaches have yielded variable results, and some promising findings are under continued investigation. Continue reading