New Hope! First Ever Cancer Immunotherapy for Dogs

First Ever Cancer Immunotherapy for Dogs

First Ever Cancer Immunotherapy for DogsFor the very first time, scientists have finally found a way to developed certain antibodies in order to successfully treat cancer in dogs.

According to statistics, dogs that are past the age of ten years are likely to develop some type of cancer.

Until very recently, medics didn’t have any luck with treatment of cancerous bodies in dogs. Come 2014, and good researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna have finally succeeded in developing immunotherapy that will help treat cancer in dogs!

Research paper has been published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics journal[1] as reported by VetMedUni website.

After seeing multiple stories of dogs dying of tumors a few days ago, this news should come as some sort of a relief for all dog owners.

Cancer treatment in dogs vs. humans

What we had before this scientific breakthrough were all the methods of human medicine in order to treat cancer in dogs except for cancer immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is the practice of treating various types of tumors in people and animals by using antibodies, which was extremely successful among humans for the past 20 years.

Scientists discovered that tumors in dogs are actually almost 100% identical to those found in people. The only difference of the binding site of the antibody to EGFR between people and dogs were 4 amino acids.

Due to the high similarity of the receptor in humans and dogs, this type of therapy should work well in dogs too,” said Judith Fazekas and Josef Singer, two lead researchers of the study.

So what does this mean?

What this means is that the Veterinary Medical University based in Vienna is now the only place on the planet that will provide advanced procedure of immunological cancer diagnosis for canines. Hopefully, other countries and their veterinary medicine practices will start catching up soon. Obviously, the way to avoid visiting these is to be a responsible owner, which means providing your pet with good dog healthcare, proper attention and organic dog food.

The two scientists also revealed that this study, while exceptionally important for the future of our pet’s health, has also benefited further research on cancer for humans.

For now, this kind of immunotherapy practice will be adopted to treat mammary ridge cancer (also known as milk line cancer) in dogs, and will possibly be used as part of a combination therapy.


  1. J. Singer, J. Fazekas, W. Wang, M. Weichselbaumer, M. Matz, A. Mader, W. Steinfellner, S. Meitz, D. Mechtcheriakova, Y. Sobanov, M. Willmann, T. Stockner, E. Spillner, R. Kunert, E. Jensen-Jarolim. Generation of a Canine Anti-EGFR (ErbB-1) Antibody for Passive Immunotherapy in Dog Cancer Patients. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, 2014; 13 (7): 1777 DOI: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-13-0288

Featured photo by Michael Bernkopf at Vetmeduni Vienna. We do not own any rights.

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