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Monday, June 11, 2007

The Development of Cancer Vaccines...

Earlier this year it was announced that a cancer vaccine for canine melanoma had been approved for a conditional license by the USDA.

The vaccine is currently being distributed to selected facilities and has recently arrived at Oklahoma State University's Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The conditional license is valid for one year, which at the conclusion, all the data from the treated animals will be gathered and evaluated. The results of the data will determine whether or not the license will be renewed for further study.

It takes several years of research for medicines of this nature to make it to this stage of development. Additionally, USDA-APHIS (United States Department of Agriculture-Animal Plant Health Inspection Service) reserves the right to issue these special licenses under certain circumstances. According to APHIS, "the vaccine has been shown to aid in cancer treatment for dogs and has demonstrated a reasonable expectation of efficacy to increase the survival time of dogs with oral melanoma."

Probably the most significant aspect of this vaccine is the fact that it has had some very promising preliminary results which led to the conditional licensing. What should be even more encouraging, to the general public as a whole, is that the canine melanoma vaccine could be a significant breakthrough in cancer research. It is hoped that the research associated with this vaccine will be very instrumental in furthering the development and release of cancer vaccines for humans.

Similar vaccines for humans are currently being researched, however the conditional license for the canine cancer vaccine is considered a major breakthrough.


Retrospective Study of 338 Canine Oral Melanomas with Clinical, Histologic, and Immunohistochemical Review of 129 Cases (2000)

Long-Term Survival of Dogs with Advanced Malignant Melanoma after DNA Vaccination with Xenogeneic Human Tyrosinase (2003)

Canine Treatments May Shed Light on Cancer

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Anonymous Paul McCord said...

I think this is huge. Whether or not humans can use this, it shows a proof of concept. The finding of one type is a big break through. I have lost family members to cancer as many others have also. My wife is on the committee for the Eastern Oklahoma County Relay for Life even put on by the American Cancer Society. Good story.

June 15, 2007 4:38 PM  

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