Dog cancer treatment continues to quickly progress, with more and more studies showing no mercy to deadly disease. After discovering bacterium for treatment of tumors in dogs, another group of researchers are now working with a new dog cancer treatment drug Verdinexor, and results appear to be useful not only to pets but humans, too.
Verdinexor (KPT-335), which is a new drug, works to assist powerful proteins in the dog’s body that are responsible for suppressing tumors and ceasing growth. The drug prevents these important proteins from leaving cells. Tumors are the most common case of cancer in dogs, and this new therapeutic recourse will now help veterinarians treat lymphoma in dogs.
Initial research  led by Cheryl London, DVM, PhD from Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, tested canines who were recently diagnosed with, or have relapsed B- and T-cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Results have shown the drug to slow down or even stop growth of tumors in dogs in many pre-clinical Phase I and II cases. Around 30 percent of dogs have also seen a throwback of the disease. The study was published in PLoS One jounal.
“Verdinexor is a really different from chemotherapy, the current standard of care for lymphoma. It works by blocking a protein in the cells responsible for shuttling other proteins in and out of the nucleus, resulting in disruption of cell survival and eventual cell death. Verdinexor could give veterinarians another option if first-line chemotherapy fails or as a potent adjunctive therapy,” said Cheryl London.
An important part of the new Verdinexor drug is that it’s being given as an oral medication which, if proven successful, will make the administration very easy for dog owners at home.
“A cancer diagnosis is tough on dogs and their owners. Dogs with lymphoma must go to a veterinary office weekly to receive chemotherapy infusions. Since Verdinexor is a pill that can be given at home, it could help make treatment less traumatic for everyone,” London also added.
Similarities between human and dog cancer treatment
There should be no surprise that advancement in dog cancer treatment and drugs benefits human cancer research too. After all, multiple types of cancers are similar or even identical among humans and dogs at molecular and cellular levels. This should prove the importance of animal studies, and especially dog cancer treatment research, and how the experimental compounds can be tested for their cancer fighting abilities.
When it comes to previous research on treatment of human lymphomas, studies have already been conducted long ago, testing another drug – Selinexor, with a slightly altered formula than the new Verdinexor. Now, the discovery of the new design of KPT-335 will fuel and push forward future analysis of Salinexor for human lymphoma treatment as well.
“We conducted our Phase I study first, and then shared our data on optimal dosing and regimen, which the human trials adopted. We also observed that some dogs experienced a loss of appetite on the drug, so we developed a steroid-based protocol to successfully offset that side effect. Researchers running the human trials were able to anticipate that side effect and proactively manage it as well,” said London.
Interestingly, just ten years ago, there was no connection between the findings of animal studies and human studies. But today, with cynology booming and the emergence of new scientific discoveries of how dogs are structurally similar to humans in many different ways and have similar diseases, oncologists are fast to share their information and evidence to continue the fight against cancer in canines and humans alike, and create drugs that are more efficient.
“When we exchange real time information, we can all make smarter clinical decisions. We avoid wasting time pursuing a compound or regimen that is ultimately going to fail. It’s a real testament to where we are with integrating technology, information transfer and translational science. It’s the blueprint for how we can make drug discovery more efficient and successful,” says London.
When will the drug be available for purchase
Last year, FDA has hesitantly approved part of Verdinexor drug for minor use of dog cancer treatment. Now Karyopharm Therapeutics who manufactures the drug for dog lymphoma treatment must conduct trials in the next 4-5 years. Cheryl London, however, predicts that veterinary oncologists will be able to access the drug by the end of this year.
London is hoping more trials will be scheduled to test the projected efficacy of Verdinexor for dog cancer treatment further, as well as to try the drug as a remedy for other types of dog cancers, like melanoma .
“When it comes to cancer, dogs and humans have so much in common. I think as human medicine becomes more personalized through the use of genomics, I think we’ll see the same happening in vet medicine,” concluded London.
- Cheryl A. London, et al. Preclinical Evaluation of the Novel, Orally Bioavailable Selective Inhibitor of Nuclear Export (SINE) KPT-335 in Spontaneous Canine Cancer: Results of a Phase I Study. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (2): e87585 doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087585
- Megan N Breit, William C Kisseberth, Misty D Bear, Yosef Landesman, Trinayan Kashyap, Dilara McCauley, Michael G Kauffman, Sharon Shacham, Cheryl A London. Biologic activity of the novel orally bioavailable selective inhibitor of nuclear export (SINE) KPT-335 against canine melanoma cell lines. BMC Veterinary Research, 2014; 10 (1): 160 doi: 10.1186/1746-6148-10-160