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New Drug Administration Option Improves Cancer Treatment Success and Decreases Side Effects

Conventional chemotherapy drugs only modestly improve cancer survival rates while also causing notable side effects. Metronomic therapy, a novel method of administering chemotherapy that involves frequent, low-level doses of chemotherapy rather than higher doses given at longer intervals, may improve treatment response and decrease side effects. Researchers studied whether metronomic dosing of the drug cyclophosphamide is safe and effective in treating dogs with soft-tissue sarcomas. Thirteen dogs were enrolled in the study and all but two (which experienced tumor growth and were removed to pursue other treatment options) successfully completed the treatment protocol. They identified the dosage of cyclophosphamide that resulted in a significant decrease in the number of small blood vessels within tumors, which suggests that this approach slows tumor growth by decreasing blood supply to tumors. Because metronomic chemotherapy is associated with a far smaller incidence of side effects compared with conventional chemotherapy, is easier to administer and is less expensive, it is a very attractive treatment option for owners of dogs with cancer. Morris Animal Foundation’s funding also enabled the lead researcher to support a Merck-Merial veterinary student scholar in her laboratory. The study also served as the primary resident project for a student completing an oncology residency and master’s degree.

Posted by on August 17, 2011.

Categories: Animal studies, Cancer, Canine cancer , Dog diseases


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