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Dog vaccine offers first potential therapeutic treatment for horses with melanoma.
Many horses with melanoma aren’t examined by a veterinarian until their tumors have become locally advanced. At this point, surgical removal is no longer a treatment option. With Morris Animal Foundation funding, Jeffrey Phillips, DVM, MSvPM, PhD, and research colleagues from Lincoln Memorial University, Merial Ltd. and the University of Tennessee evaluated a vaccine currently used to treat melanomas in dogs. They discovered that tumor-bearing horses responded well to the vaccine. In fact, most of the treated horses in the study showed dramatic tumor shrinkage and also developed antitumor immune responses following vaccination. Based on these results, Dr. Phillips plans to monitor these patients and administer booster vaccines for another two years.