Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Susan Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.

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Palladia, First Dog Cancer Drug FDA Approved But Not Great

Palladia, the first drug officially approved for use in treating dog cancer has arrived.  This was described in the Dog Cancer Survival Guide by it’s pre-market name, SU11654. Now it’s finally ready for release.

Palladia, made by Pfizer, has been approved by the FDA. It is expected to be available next year.  This drug is approved for treating mast cell tumors in the dog.

The fact that this is the first drug approved for dog cancer may be odd for many.  What about all those chemotherapy drugs that are used? They are not FDA approved?

Well, the facts are that vets and veterinary oncologists have been using human drugs the whole time.  As a matter of fact, many of the drugs we use generally are not FDA-approved for use in the canine.

Why?

It turns out that FDA drug approval is allowed for one species at a time.  On top of that, approval is for one disease or problem.  In veterinary medicine, we have cats, dogs, birds, rabbits, monkeys, snakes, and so on…many different species, and they all need treatment.

It would take hundred of years and staggering amounts of money to get all our drugs approved for all these different species and diseases.

So vets have “off-label” drug use privileges.  Off-label drug use means we can use drugs approved for one species (including humans) freely in  other species.

Let’s take a look at some of the facts around Palladia.

Like most of the conventional treatments we use in treating dogs with cancer, the numbers for Palladia are a bit disheartening.

The median duration of objective response (meaning how long the Palladia’s effect lasted on mast cell tumors) was 12 weeks. Yes, 3 months of tumor shrinkage or disappearance  is what you can expect. This number is taken from the original study.

After 3 months the cancer came back.

On top of this, not all dogs with mast cell tumors even responded.  It turns out that roughly 40% of dog with mast cell tumors will actually respond to the drug, while the majority do not.

This means that while about 40% of the time the cancer either went away or shrank, in the remaining 60% of dogs Palladia had no effect.

Sigh.

If you would like to look at the original data for yourself, here is the link.

This highlights important points.

First, there is a big to do about Palladia.  But, the actual statistics are depressing.  Interesting contrast between hype and reality.

Second, I think most guardians of dogs afflicted with mast cell tumors would not be jumping for joy  at these numbers, in spite of the festivities at Pfizer.

Lastly, this shows how important it is to leap sideways in our efforts to really treat canine cancer.

The more I think about dog cancer, and disease in general, the more I believe early choices are key, long before old age.

I will start addressing how dog cancer does not start in old age, in future posts. Instead, it starts many, many years before hand. We need to start taking steps earlier, much earlier.

Best to all,

Dr D

About the Author: Demian Dressler, DVM


Dr. Demian Dressler, DVM is known as the "dog cancer vet" and is author of Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog's Life Quality and Longevity. Visit his blog and sign up free to get the latest information about canine cancer. Go to http://www.DogCancerBlog.com.

  • http://www.dogcancerblog.com Lilly F

    This is interesting because I thought I read as recently as a few days ago a man who wrote into your blog and said his dog responded well to chemo, radiation etc… and was doing well. Then 3 weeks on Pallaidia and his dog was dead. Is there something we don’t know? Like other new drugs I would hesitate to use one of my dogs as a guinea pig when a drug first comes out.

    • Nancy Lee Grano

      Our Beloved dog Nelly has M.C.T. grade 3 she was given 30 days to live over one year ago with 17 rounds of chemo bumps sill were coming up. She has so many on her removing them or radiation was not an option. We started her on Palladia June 10th we are very happy with the results so far since Nelly has been on it no new bumps! all bumps are dying. Any pet owner who is going thru this nightmare I tip my hat to you this is the worst thing that could happen to our beloved kids.

  • Galina

    Use high levels of vit C IV asap, the best! You will not believe your eyes! Toto, my 12 year old toy poodle, with aggressive oral melanoma takes injections very well, he is joyful, playful, has a good appetite, full of life again, I did not see him like this for quite some time! He is getting 3g 3 times a week (he is 17lb) plus acetyl dglucosamine by IM plus fish oil in the mooring and IP6 twice a day. It was only because I got tired to feel his lymph nodes being enlarged I added doxycycline (IV also, he can not take it orally, even with food, his stomach is too sensitive).

  • Susie

    What if you coupled surgery for mast cells tumors witha a follow-up of Pallaidia. My yellow lab, had 3rd stage mast cell CA, in her chest area. The tumor was removed and supposedly well encapsulated. 6 months later another errupted to the adjacent site. 3 months later another errupted again to the adjacent site. After 6 operations supplements antioxident food. 17 months later the tumor came right back to where it started plus another near her rectal area. Her final surgery she came home to me throwing up for 15 days, a temporary fix for this was Protonix. 2 weeks before her final surgery she had started Arteomicin..We will never know what went wrong.. Stopped the Arteomicin after the surgery.. All the tumors were well encapsulated..
    My girl was strong healty right till the end. Kidneys, liver,excellent.. She started to fluid bloat.Lasix keep her going another 2 weeks.. However it appears that these tumors once removed are still stemming in the bloodstream. What if you have the tumor removed with a follow-up of Palladia.Has that ever been considered ?

  • margaret

    Have been fighting mast cell tumor in the lymph node located in the neck for about 10 months now. Have gone the current route of surgery and radiation. I have not done chemo, although this has been suggested. Tommy is doing well, but it’s an hourly concern. What will happen next?? Currently we work with an oncologist a primary vet and a holistic vet. I wish this drug had a better result. Also, if the drug is not available now,, will my Tommy make it to the time limit for it to be tried.margaret

  • Mike

    I think people should try to stay with evidence base medicine (conventional) and use alternative medicine as an adjuctive treatment or last resort.

    • John Heald

      our Rosie has MCT,after three ops,they still returned.
      We put her on a diet of cottage cheese and Flax oil,
      we also give her C-caps from Petalive .com. We have just
      returned from the vet and he cannot explain the turn around.
      Incidentaly she is still taking the precribed stroids supplied by the
      vet. The vet said whatever we are doing carry on,its working.

  • Karl

    Palladia not great? Why are you so disappointed with those numbers, “roughly 40% of dog with mast cell tumors will actually respond to the drug”. If this were a human drug it would be hailed as a breakthrough with those kinds of statistics. Just like in Humans, every dog will respond different to the drug. The fact that it has the potential to cure 40% of the time makes it a great choice. I would also be willing to bet when used after surgery (adjuvant), those numbers would go up. I lost my 14year old Sheppard to Mast Cell; I only wish this would have been an option for her. You should be supporting the drug not chastising it.

    • Dr. Dressler

      Karl,
      “Response” does not equal “cure”, sorry to say. The growths either shrank or disappeared, only to come back roughly 3 months later. Percent cure? Zero. I stand by the title.
      D

    • Jamie

      i found out a few weeks ago that my sweet, 14.5 year old shih tzu has thyroid cancer. after a visit to the uw veterinary teaching hospital, we found out it has spread to his lungs. pure devastation! they don’t recommend radiation after the cancer spreads. traditional chemo was presented as an option, but with only 20 % chance of working and lots of yucky side effects (and $3000). they offered palladia (free!) and metacam, a non-steroid anti-inflammatory pain relief. he’s been on this a week now, switching one day palladia, one day metacam. he had a tiny bit of blood in his stool 1st day on palladia, nothing else since. he does still seem lethargic and not much appetite (but he was worse before diagnosis and drugs), but he does have good moments, walking outside and playing/chewing a toy at night after he finally eats. we will see early november on a chest xray the effects(or not) on the tumors. i pray it helps, even if temporarily.
      had not heard about the bleeding on palladia, yikes! we were told that statistically some dogs can die on palladia. but, were also told our dog would be gone in 2 months with no treatment. so we are taking the chance.

      my heart goes out to everyone on this site. our precious dogs should not have to suffer!

  • Donna

    My little girl Ellie was recently diagnosed with a mast cell tumor on her butt near her anal area. It is not well defined and surgery will not get enough margins. Radiation is financially out of the question and chemotherapy is expensive as well. I would try chemotherapy but I am just making it financially. Through our oncologist we tried a new method involving Vitamin D in a study at a university near us. Her calcium levels shot up and she needed to be hospitalized for 3 days with fluids and other medicine she was on to begin with. She was very ill. We decided not to continue this treatment. One of our vets told us about Pallaidia. Our oncologist told me today that it will be available to oncologists only in July. Our regular vet will not be able to get it. You might like to check with your oncologist to see if they can get it. It may be much less expensive then other chemotherapy medications. Donna

    • bigdobe

      Hi Sara and KN: My Doberman will soon be starting Palladia. You had expressed concerns about the effect of that drug on your other dogs. Have you received any comforting information from good sources? I have the exact same concern for my second dog who seems quite healthy and devoted to my girl who will undergo treatment. They sleep together, play with the same toys and drink from the same water bowels. I would be grateful if you can share any information with me.

  • SAM VETRO,MD

    Experimental Therapeutics, Preclinical Pharmacology

    Phase I Dose-Escalating Study of SU11654, a Small Molecule Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor, in Dogs with Spontaneous Malignancies1 ,2
    Cheryl A. London3, Alison L. Hannah, Regina Zadovoskaya, May B. Chien, Cynthia Kollias-Baker, Mona Rosenberg, Sue Downing, Gerald Post, Joseph Boucher, Narmada Shenoy, Dirk B. Mendel, Gerald McMahon and Julie M. Cherrington
    School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, Davis, California 95616 [C. A. L., R. Z., M. B. C., C. K-B.]; Veterinary Cancer Referral Group, Los Angeles, California [M. R., S. D.]; Veterinary Cancer Referral Group, New York, New York [G. P.]; SUGEN, Inc., South San Francisco, California [A. L. H., N. S., D. B. M., G. M., J. M. C.]; and Pharmacia Animal Health, Kalamazoo, Michigan [J. B.]

    Purpose: The purpose of the following study was to investigate the safety and efficacy of the novel multitargeted indolinone receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitor, SU11654, using a canine model of spontaneous tumors. This p.o. bioavailable compound exhibits potent inhibitory activity against members of the split kinase family of RTKs, including vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, platelet-derived growth factor receptor, Kit, and Flt-3, resulting in both direct antitumor and antiangiogenic activity.

    Experimental Design: This was a Phase I trial in which successive cohorts of dogs with spontaneous tumors that had failed standard treatment regimens received escalating doses of SU11654 as oral therapy. Pharmacokinetics, toxicity, and tumor response were assessed.

    Results: Fifty-seven dogs with a variety of cancers were enrolled; of these, 10 experienced progressive disease within the first 3 weeks. Measurable objective responses were observed in 16 dogs (including 6 complete responses), primarily in mast cell tumors (n = 11), mixed mammary carcinomas (n = 2), soft tissue sarcomas (n = 2), and multiple myeloma (n = 1), for an overall response rate of 28% (16 of 57). Stable disease of sufficient duration to be considered clinically meaningful (>10 weeks) was seen in an additional 15 dogs, for a resultant overall biological activity of 54% (31 of 57).

    Conclusions: This study provides the first evidence that p.o. administered kinase inhibitors can exhibit activity against a variety of spontaneous malignancies. Given the similarities of canine and human cancers with regard to tumor biology and the presence of analogous RTK dysregulation, it is likely that such agents will demonstrate comparable antineoplastic activity in people.

    This article has been cited by other articles:

    C. A. London, P. B. Malpas, S. L. Wood-Follis, J. F. Boucher, A. W. Rusk, M. P. Rosenberg, C. J. Henry, K. L. Mitchener, M. K. Klein, J. G. Hintermeister, et al.
    Multi-center, Placebo-controlled, Double-blind, Randomized Study of Oral Toceranib Phosphate (SU11654), a Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor, for the Treatment of Dogs with Recurrent (Either Local or Distant) Mast Cell Tumor Following Surgical Excision
    Clin. Cancer Res., June 1, 2009; 15(11): 3856 – 3865.
    [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]

    ——————————————————————————–

    C. Khanna and I. Gordon
    Catching Cancer by the Tail: New Perspectives on the Use of Kinase Inhibitors
    Clin. Cancer Res., June 1, 2009; 15(11): 3645 – 3647.
    [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]

    ——————————————————————————–

    S. Letard, Y. Yang, K. Hanssens, F. Palmerini, P. S. Leventhal, S. Guery, A. Moussy, J.-P. Kinet, O. Hermine, and P. Dubreuil
    Gain-of-Function Mutations in the Extracellular Domain of KIT Are Common in Canine Mast Cell Tumors
    Mol. Cancer Res., July 1, 2008; 6(7): 1137 – 1145.
    [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]

    ——————————————————————————–

    A. Rusk, E. Cozzi, M. Stebbins, D. Vail, J. Graham, V. Valli, J. Henkin, R. Sharpee, and C. Khanna
    Cooperative Activity of Cytotoxic Chemotherapy with Antiangiogenic Thrombospondin-I Peptides, ABT-526 in Pet Dogs with Relapsed Lymphoma
    Clin. Cancer Res., December 15, 2006; 12(24): 7456 – 7464.
    [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]

    ——————————————————————————–

    J. M. Cherrington
    Taking Biological Targeted Agents into Clinical Trial
    Am. Assoc. Cancer Res. Educ. Book, April 1, 2005; 2005(1): 23 – 29.
    [Full Text] [PDF]

    ——————————————————————————–

    ——————————————————————————–
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    Copyright © 2003 by the American Association for Cancer Research.

    • Dr. Dressler

      Thank you Dr. Vetro, for your comment. Nice to see the MD’s are tuning in :)

      Dr D

  • David

    Well…40% isn’t the greatest,and I’ve heard that a bottle of a human cancer drug..Sulusin,I think it was called..sold for a bottle of 50,000 dollars just for 25 pills. I have read articles about how cabbage and kale help fight cancer in humans,and we are currently trying it on our dog,mixed with can dog food.(the dry stuff seemed to lack in protein.)..So far he is urinating better,but he now has a cough because his lymph modes in his neck are swollen.I’ll try to keep posting on his progress..who knows..maybe it’ll work. I know I’m not paying out thousands of dollars for chemotherapy,just to have the doctor say..”Well,there’s only a 30% chance it’ll work.”

    • http://rosiesroad.wordpress.com Michele

      I would like to make a clarification on my previous comment. Rosie’s Palladia treatment does not stop at 6 weeks. It will continue for the rest of her life, as long as she does not experience any of the side effects.

      When we started on Palladia, I was not looking that far ahead. I was just concentrating on day to day and week to week. My goal was for Rosie to stay on the Palladia for the initial six weeks because that was when the oncologist would do the additional tests and ultrasound to see if the Palladia was working. Thankfully, in Rosie’s case it worked in the first six weeks. All tests came back normal. However, Rosie continues to take Palladia. There is a risk because the long-term effects are not known. However, I’m glad we made this decision because at this time Rosie is doing great. To read more about Rosie’s experience, go to her dog blog: http://rosiesroad.wordpress.com.

  • Doug

    Do we know what the cost of PALLADIA will be when released in 2010?

  • KN

    We just started our 13 yr old choc lab on Palladia. He has had 2 oral melanoma tumors removed and has been taking the oral melanoma vaccine as well as ‘el-gen’ (experimental), dha, and tagamet. The vaccine has kept the cancer from spreading, but his oral tumor has returned yet again and now his lymph node is enlarged on that side.
    We went to our canine oncologist and he suggested Palladia. He was pushing the radiation, but we didn’t think our dog could handle general anesthesia 2x week for at least 4 weeks. He is old and has large ‘fatty’ tumors in his chest. He has difficulty walking and standing, plus the discomfort after.
    We’re hoping the Palladia will work. Since it is a trial – the drug is ‘free’ but we need to pay for weekly bloodtests for 6 weeks – then every 6 weeks for however long we keep him on it.
    Anyone that has had a dog with cancer knows the costs are astronomical. We have spent close to $8,000 already this year. Our local vet is great – trying to keep costs down and being realistic since our dog is old. The oncologist, however, tends to make us feel guilty if we don’t just pay whatever it takes to keep him going. There aren’t a lot of canine oncologists though.
    I need to call Pfizer though – we have another dog and there are very ‘strong’ warnings about humans coming in contact with urine, feces or vomit from dogs taking Palladia – but no warnings about other animals. It would be impossible to keep the 2 apart. I would be heartbroken if our other dog got sick from his friend’s treatment.

    • Teresa

      I am more confused than ever. Sy, my 11 1/2 yr ols Chessy was diagnosed with 7 grade II and III tumorse on 8-25-09. All were removed with some margins clear. I immediatley brought him to the U of Iowa to begin the Palladia treatment. Initial wk brought some adverse reactions. The second week showed diminished reactions. The third week he showed signs of being slightly anemic as well as discoloration in the nose. Therefore he was removed from the meds for two weeks. Today he will get CBC, serum and urinalysis to determine whether we can restart the med. After reading this blog I do not know what to do with him. There has been no regrowth that I can find and he seems to be holding his own but I want every day I can have with him while he maintains a good quality of life. He is being treated traditionally and holistically and I think it is going well but if the palladia is going to kill him sooner what am I to do??? There does not seem to be a great consensus about what is good. I have not heard about the 6wk dosing. My understanding was he would be on the meds for the remainder of his life or until there was evidence of the return of the mast cell tumors. I can’t think straight anymore…

  • Elizabeth

    Can anyone tell me more about CoQ10 and using it for dogs with tumors?

    • http://rosiesroad.wordpress.com Michele

      My Rosie is a 9-year-old yellow lab. We don’t know her exact age because she was adopted. She was diagnosed with a grade 2 Mast Cell Tumor in June ’09 on her lower stomach, which was surgically removed and had a recurrence in the same location in August ’09 that was also grade 2 but with a mitotic index of 20. It had spread to her lymph nodes and surrounding tissue. Both the 2nd tumor and lymph node were also surgically removed but the lab tests showed they did not get all the cancer. We took Rosie to an oncologist who started her on Palladia 6-weeks ago along with 3 medicines to protect her stomach, as well as diarrhea medicine. After about a week they stopped the Palladia for a few days because of diarrhea. We added the diarrhea medicine and the oncologist reduced the Palladia dosage. That allowed Rosie to finish the 6-week course of Palladia. We just received the results this week, and all tests, bloodwork, kidney tests, x-rays, ultrasound, physical examination all came back as normal…No sign of cancer. I have read many horror stories…but I wanted to share Rosie’s story to let people know that not all cases end badly. There is hope. I have documented Rosie’s experience this past 6 weeks in her dog blog at http://rosiesroad.wordpress.com.

  • Wayne

    I have a 6 year old doberman that had a tumor removed from his hock on 3/6/09. Biopsy was consistent with a grade 3 mast cell tumor with narrow margins and a mitotic index of 13 per 10 high power fields. Bottom line, not good. Since then, he’s been undergoing treament at the University of Georgia. He received treatment with the chemo drug vinblastine for 3 months…with no new tumors showing until the very end of the 3 months. He was then on the chemo drug CCNU, but had progressive disease after one dose. He then started Palladia on 6/29. Receiving the recommended dose, his tumors shrank remarkably fast. However, at the 1 week follow-up visit blood was detected on the fecal exam. Seems that internal bleeding — particularly in the stomach — is a common side-effect of the drug. As a matter of fact, some dogs died from the bleeding during the pre-approval drug trial. Anyway, his dose was reduced, and his tumors either stayed the same size, or shrank slightly. I noticed today, however, that one of the tumors is growing again. I’m not sure if this is the normal course of the drug (i.e. a temporary fix) or because he’s not on the recommended dose for his size. The oncologist has been very concerned about bleeding because of the high occurence during the drug trial, so this lower dose may be partially ineffectual. Mast cell cancer is a nasty disease, and my dog is perfectly healthy, active and happy only because it hasn’t yet progressed beyond the hock. I’d love to think that the appropriate dosage of Palladia will get him back on track, but based on everything I’m reading it appears that this effort is only prolonging his life briefly. This is my first dog to have cancer, and it’s devastating for me.

    • Donna

      Update on Pepe.

      Pepe started taking Masitinib (Kinavet, the European approved drug sent from Paris) on the 3rd of this month and is doing well. I’ve learned a few things about this drug in the past 9 days and, if anyone is considering tring this, I hope this information helps you decide.

      First, a little background. Pepe was diagnosed with a grade 2 MCT in July on his left prescapular area. The tumor was remove right away, but the tumor came back with a vengeance. I immediately brought him to an oncologist who scheduled him for a second surgery. Because the tumor had such a quick recurrence, he was started on Lomustine the day after the second removal.

      On 9/16, Pepe’s oncologist determined the Lomustine was no longer effective and switched him to Vinblastine and put him on Prednisone. I was also giving him Marin and SamE to help protect his liver. I ended up stopping the SamE because the Marin alone was doing a good job and the fewer pills to give him the better.

      Pepe’s treatment stayed the same until 9/29 when it became clear the Vinblastine was no longer working. It was 9/30 when he started on Palladia and 10/5 that he had his first radiation treatment. In the meantime, I was researching like crazy for natural treatments and remedies and found some information on cottage cheese and flax oil by Dr. Johanna Budwig of Germany. It seemed strange, but her theory was that if you whip the cottage cheese and flax oil together, the flax oil would become more highly absorbable into the system and would more quickly restore missing electrons in the body. I mention this now because it will be more relevant a little later in this post. Anyway, I tried this emulsion with Pepe and it didn’t seem to help so I stopped it, but did not forget about it.

      Pepe had a total of 4 radiation treatments, but was taken off Palladia for two weeks due to diahrrea. During that time, the tumor spread to his neck, but we would not realize it until 11/3. That was such a heart-crusher. I should also mention that I have been giving Pepe Omega fatty acids and multivitamins to help him recover and protect him as much as possible from all the drugs taking such a toll on his body. But, he’s been bright and happy and surprisingly energetic most of the time and doing very well. Don’t get me wrong, he’s had some really bad days in this process, but overall he’s been a real fighter and when I see him run and play, it’s all worth it.

      On 11/11, Navelbine was added to his treatment, which helped for about two weeks then Asparaginase was added with his third treatment. That combo seemed to help a little, too, but the tumors just refuse to get smaller, they pretty much stay the same size now.

      This brings me to Masitinib (Kinavet) and some of Dr. Dressler’s treatments mentioned in his book.

      As I mentioned earlier, the Masitinib has been tolerated very well, better than Palladia and seems to have really slowed the progression of the tumors, which Palladia stopped doing without the radiation to help it. Make sure your dog has an empty stomach when administering this Kinavet. Pepe sometimes doesn’t finish his dinner so I make sure his food is available through the night if he gets hungry. Big mistake. He vomited about an hour after I gave him the Kinavet and up came the food he was snacking on. Kinavet also seems to increase his thirst a bit and gives him a some soft stool, but nothing that can’t be managed.

      The interesting thing is that, although the tumors are not shrinking, Pepe is in less pain and has more mobility. He hasn’t needed painkillers for 4 days now and he ran like the wind when I took him out yesterday. He was so happy it just warmed my heart and made me feel like everything was going to be ok. He has been struggling with a little fluid buildup, but we are managing it with lots of massage.

      I also want to mention that I started Pepe on a combo of soy lecithin and curcumin about a month ago and Lutimax about 5 days ago. I don’t know that the lecitin/curcumin was working because it was such a mess to mix it, I just started poking holes in the lecithin gelcaps and giving him the curcumin capsules with it hoping they would dissolve together in his belly. But a few days ago I had an idea that I thought would work to make it easier to administer it and this is where Dr. Budwig’s concoction has become really important.

      I took her mixture of cottage cheese and flax oil, added two teaspoons of Lutimax, added two gelcaps (poked and squeezed in) and added the powder of six capsules of curcumin and whipped it up until it turned into the mousse-like texture it’s supposed to be. If I understand Dr. Budwig’s intention clearly, this mixture is an awesome delivery system and should only compliment the affects of the Kinavet. I’ve given this super-concoction to Pepe for two days now, and I think it’s helping. It certain is not making him worse and I’m hoping that a little more time will yield the results I’m looking for. I am also giving him two teaspoons of Lutimax powder dissolved in water each day along with two capsules of Lutimax each day. Oh, I almost forgot the K-9 immuntiy and Transfer factors. Pepe has been on these the whole time.

      I realize this is long, but I really hope that Pepe’s experience can help other dog parents out there.

      I would also like to tell Dr. Dressler that I’m still reading the book, but it has helped me so much so far and I’m truly grateful to have such a comprehensive guide to help me.

      • Dr. Dressler

        Thanks for your contribution!
        Dr D

  • KN

    An update on our Choc Lab taking Palladia: (my 1st post from Aug 1)
    After 1 week on Palladia our vet oncologist was surprised that his tumor has already shrunk. He is more comfortable and is eating (his tumor is in the back of his mouth-oral melanoma.
    Any extra ‘comfortable’ life we can gain is a + our dog is 13+ yrs old and has many fatty tumors in his chest.
    I will keep updating after our weekly checkup.

  • Jane

    My 7yr old yellow lab just had a Grade III MCT removed from his rib cage. My vet tells me he has two months if I don’t do anything.
    she has givn me an oncologist that will put him in the Palladia study.
    I have to wait until his stitches to come out and then talk about the next step of either radiation or chemo. He is so happy and healthy I just an’t believe this is happening. It seems diet of store bought dog food coud be to blame. He has had cronic ear infections(even in the winter with no beach)and tends to sneeze a lot. In hindsight he was allergic to his food.
    From now on he is eating eggs, cottage cheese, ground turkey,beef, chicken, yogurt and veggies.
    No more corn meal, or wheat products.

    • Donna

      My Pepe is only 7 but has a nasty grade 2 tumor with a mitotic rate of 15 on his neck. Two surgeries, 3 weeks apart, have done no good because the tumor is back and bigger than ever (bigger than a grapefruit). He started on Lomustine, which seemed to help for the first treatment, but the cancer got smart for the second treatment and got bigger. Then we tried Vinblastine with the same response. First treatment helped, but the cancer got smart and just laughed at the second treatment. Good news is that it seems to be localized to just the neck/shoulder area with no spreading to lungs or internal organs. I’ve had him on Benadryl to control the histimine response and Prednisone to help control the size and tolerating those very well. He is starting on radiation Monday, but will start Palladia tomorrow. After reading some of the comments about Palladia, I’m scared to death he will bleed out. At this point, what are our choices, though? I’m not ready to let him go. This all just started in July and I’m floored at how much it’s advanced and the emotional torture I’ve already been through. This is my first real exposure to dealing with cancer in someone I love and it has been the most frustrating experience in my 42 years of existence. The pain I’ve suffered in my life doesn’t even compare to the helplessness and hopelessness this disease makes me feel. Yes, he is just a dog. But for someone with no human children, he is my pride and joy and if Palladia works, I suppose I’m willing to take the risk. For all those still fighting the fight, I wish you all the best and the wisdom to know when to let go. I only hope I’m strong enough when the time comes.

    • Donna

      Here is a link to a video that shows how to mix the cottage cheese and flax oil for anyone who is interested.

  • Darryl

    My 10 year old Jack Russel has been on Palladia for 2 weeks with amazing results, one tumor disappeared the others shrinking. Just heard today from the oncologist that Pfizer has not produced more since the first,they have 2 weeks supply, this is so disheartening and disappointing to hear this. We are all anxious to continue this treatment.

    • Danielle

      My Benny, 13 year old lab, had a splenic hemangiosarcoma which spread to his omentum and abdominal cavity lining. We are starting treatment with Palladia today. He has two brothers who share the yard to relieve themselves. I have not seen any data or replies to this problem. This is a very important issue to multiple dog households who are experiencing this. If anyone has any answers I am sure there are a lot of readers who would be greatful. Nobody wants to endanger another dog if they can help it.

  • Sara

    Well, we’re just starting on this road. Our 4 year old beagle was diagnosed last week with a small MCT on his right side and another large one in his neck–the lymph gland and nodes. The vet feels that the multiple locations mean it has metastasized. He also feels it would be impossible to remove the neck ones with good margins and that is a lot of surgery to put our guy through for something with such high recurrence rates. They biopsied the neck and it was stage 2 with 0 mitations per 10 frames. The vet also feels with metastasis, radiation is not the best idea either.

    So, we’re exploring options. There is Palladia–we meet a specialist at 2 today to go over costs and treatment, side effects, and effects of this. We’re also consulting our vet about prednisone, possibly with ccnu and/or vinblastine.

    My concerns: I understand anything we do is likely just prolonging at this point, and quality of life is paramount to me. I want to prolong his happy being a dog lifestyle as long as we can, and so side effects etc concern me.

    We also have another dog and they are best friends/brothers, so I’m concerned about Palladia, Ceenu and Vinblastine since you’re supposed to handle with gloves, clean up urine and feces, etc–I’m not sure how to accomplish this with them sharing a yard and I don’t want to completely separate them at all times.

    Wish us luck, please. I’d appreciate it and so would my little guy, although I don’t think he realizes anything is wrong yet.

    • Juliana

      Hi Doug,
      I am so sorry about your boy. This is a nasty, unpredictable disease and you shouldn’t blame yourself. Luna nearly died from anaphylactic shock from the mast cells before we went to Palladia. She also had an armpit tumor, which is incredibly painful for them, so leaving it alone probably wasn’t an option for you. It was a last resort for us, as I’m sure it was for you. My vet is now saying that dogs may need to take a break from Palladia after a couple of weeks, but they’re really still figuring it out as they go. Luna is taking a break now after some dramatic weight loss and a really low white count, and I will definitely discuss your experience with our vet before we start up again. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  • Sara

    So, after our vet consult I feel more confused…it sounds like Palladia has limited response (40%) and definite GI side effects. It is free still plus costs of blodwork etc, not that this is so important to me.

    On the other hand, it sounds like pred plus vin, or pred vin and ceenu, have much higher response and less side effects that affect quality of life. I am actually leaning more toward pred vin and maybe ceennu at this point, with palladia perhaps as a last ditch resource when those can no longer be used/if there’s no response.

    Radiation was also mentioned, to shrink the neck tumor. Although mitotic index in biopsy was 0, it’s grown noticeably in days from tennis ball to grapefruit size. Ugh. I think this will be outside our means financially and time-wise which stinks.

    The internist at least pointed out that there is not a huge variance in treatments—buying a few more weeks at times. That made me feel a tiny bit better. Still wish I could just cure it for him though. And I still feel terrible for not getting him in sooner—who knew a tiny bump could be such a problem?

    • Doug

      I have a Mastiff that developed a tumor on his front shoulder that was surgically removed early this year. It was diagnosed as a grade II mass cell tumor. In July he devolved another in his lymph gland in his armpit. My Vet sent me to a larger Animal Hospital here in Ill. that had a pilot Palladia program. He got in it and after 3-4 weeks the tumor had shrunk about 80%. I took him in last Thursday for a check-up and all tests game back great. CBC and all enzyme levels fine. Saturday he developed problems with his back legs(almost like lameness). Sunday he started bleeding out of his nose (Which increased by the hour) so I took him back to the hospital where he was admitted and Monday he was dead. . ..
      So this drug does have life taking side effects. Google it and you will see that lameness and bleeding are both there.
      The dog had cancer and was sick but I feel like I poisoned this dog to his death prematurely by giving him these pills for the last 4 weeks. If I could turn back the clock I would not have put him in the program. With no medication I would have had my friend around for maybe a year . Will miss him

  • Geralyn

    Our minature dachsund Maggie was diagnosed with MCT in Aug 08 with one lymph node positive. She was treated with Leukran,predinisone and benadryl. It worked for a while but eventually the tumor grew larger. She was started on Palladia mid July ’09 staged as grade III. In two weeks the tumor shrunk 80%. The drug caused some GI upset which resulted in it being stopped on certain days. The beginning of this month her appetite decreased. Aug 13th she had a bright red stool. We immediately brought her to her vet oncologist.Her platelets were 0. She continued to bleed out despite having two blood transfusions. We lost her on Aug.16th after 10 years of having her as a wonderful pet.

    • Dr. Dressler

      Geralyn, I am so sorry to hear this news. My thoughts are with you in this difficult time of departure. May your sadness soon be replaced with memories of your happy days together,
      Thinking of you,
      Dr D

      • Juliana

        My 11-year old Dalmatian Luna was diagnosed with Mast Cell Disease in March. We are lucky to have a canine cancer specialist nearby, and she has access to Palladia. She explained that the application is relatively narrow, recommended for dogs who have not responded to standard chemo (vinblastine, etc), have multiple or recurrent tumors, but are still in Stage 2 (before it spreads to lymph nodes, bloodstream, etc). In that population, the success rate is closer to 60%. Luna is responding extremely well, even though there is evidence of the disease in her spleen. The tumors have all but disappeared in just a week, and she is completely symptom free. It may not just be Palladia, and it’s too soon to tell if there will be a recurrence, but this is absolutely an option for many dogs.

    • ShellyT

      Dr. D,
      Could you comment when Palladia might be a good idea/the only option? From what I’m reading on other sites, it works very well in specific situations, and I’ve heard from my vet too that you only use it after regular chemo doesn’t work. Maybe it shouldn’t be used in more advanced stages? We’re just starting down this road…one removed surgically a few months ago and a new one showed up just last week. I have a holistic vet, and even some of the herbal treatments are tough on the gi tract, and he’s already having trouble with presdnisone, so we have my dog on a bland home cooked diet already to keep it from irritation. I would like to know what you think in case the other treatments don’t work. Thank you.

  • lovewrinkles

    My Shar-Pei (age unkwnown) is being treated with Masivet (since Sept 2nd) and for 2 weeks with chemo as well.
    However the MCT seem to be the same size. We live in Europe (the Netherlands) and are actually waiting for Palladia to be available here. We have been told maybe November?? Is Palladia the same drug as Masivet (by ab science, Paris) ??????

    • Dr. Dressler

      These are different drugs. Also, please remember that cessation of growth, in cancer medicine, is viewed (as unappetizing as it sounds) as successful treatment in many cases..
      Dr D

  • http://www.pitsandrotts.net Susan

    One of the dogs that came into rescue back in June had to have his ear removed. The biopsy came back with mass cell cancer, Grade 3. He had lumps around his neck and his shoulder. The vet that did the surgery, reccomended we take Gonzo to an oncologist to do the chemo. Gonzo was on chemo for about a month and his white blood cell counts were going lower and lower. The oncologist reccomended we try the drug Palladia.

    We started the Palladia around the 1st week in October of 2009. We went back for blood test within a week and a couple of days, which would be around Oct 12. The lumps on Gonzo’s neck were gone. We just went back On Oct 26, 2009 for more blood test and the lump in Gonzo’s shouder is now gone. Gonzo is in remission.

    We have not looked into the long term effects of this drug, but we did look at the fact that Gonzo apparently had a screwed up life before he came into rescue and he is a 10 yr old Great Dane Mix. If this drug can give him even the slightest chance at having somewhat of a normal life for whatever time it lets him, we will use it. Gonzo runs around playing, he enjoys life now, he is starting to gain weight at a normal rate(came into rescue 70 lbs underweight, weighing only 40 lbs). We are very thankful for this drug

  • Regina

    Tutu (see 10/20) above with grade 2, stage 2 has tolerated her four weekly doses of vinblastine. There are no obvious MCT markers that we can follow as they were completely removed surgically. The plan was to initiate palladia as the next treatment program. Michigan University has developed special laboratory examinations of the tumor tissue…..”Mast cell tumor prognostic panel”. They search for special immunochemistry which defines mutations which render the MCT more sensitive to palladia. Tutu did not have that mutation so palladia will not be used now. After a brief rest, she will return to vinblastine and (new) cytoxan. She too has received, benadryl, pepcid AC, metrinidazole, and reglan to prevent troublesome side effects. Good fortune to all of us and the pups.

    • Gary

      I just found out that my English Bulldog has a Grade III mast cell tumor that is poorly differentiated. Here mitotic index is 6/10. Does anyone know if that is good or bad?

      Also, is it too late to get a dog into the Palladia trial that gives the med for free?

      If the trial is closed, does anyone know what the cost of Palladia will be? I have been unemployed for a year now and am praying that Pfizer will price it reasonably.

      Thanks.

  • lovewrinkles

    Very curious what the difference would be between Masivet and Palladia. Since they both work with the same principe? (dna markers?)

    http://www.masivet.com/

    • Trublbass

      Any word yet on the cost to the consumer for the palladia starting January 2010?

  • http://www.dogcancerblog.com Cindy

    My best friend Roxy is a 10 yr. old american bulldog. In December 2008 she had a grade ll mast cell tumor rumoved near her nipple. Since July 2009 she has had five others removed. They all were either grade 1 or ll. After doing much research, I have deceided to change her diet to raw meat, fish oil, grainfree dry, eggs, cottge cheese, sardines and I am also going to try k-9 ammunity. Currently she is happy and seems healthy. If this changes I may consider Palladia if available. I thank you all for letting me share your experience so I can try to make the best decisions for my girl. I pray alot.

  • http://rosiesroad.wordpress.com Michele

    Regina,

    “Michigan University has developed special laboratory examinations of the tumor tissue…..”Mast cell tumor prognostic panel”. They search for special immunochemistry which defines mutations which render the MCT more sensitive to palladia. Tutu did not have that mutation so palladia will not be used now.”

    Do you have any more information about this? This is the first I have heard about it. Is Michigan University the only place that does this or are other oncologists performing this test?

  • Erin

    I would love to hear more about Masivet too. We have an 11-year old Ridgeback who has had stage III/IV mast cell cancer for 4 years. He’s had four surgeries to remove tumors, 3 or 4 rounds of chemo (vinblastine) and has been holding steady for a year on Prednisilone and Denamarin for liver support. But, the tumors are back and new ones are emerging… I will be calling the oncologist again tomorrow. I don’t like what I read about Palladia and am interested in knowing more about Masivet. Any info, anyone?

    Thank you.

  • Regina

    Michele: Sorry for the delay in commenting. Michigan State University has apparently done much of the basic work in the prognostic panel. Your oncologist can make direct contact with them and submit tissue samples. Google found
    http://www.vetpathology.org/cgi/content/abstract/41/4/371
    Though this is an abstract, a scientific article is available at the same site.

  • Regina

    Michele: I found the direct Michigan State animal health website which is quite interesting. Search under imunohistochemistry for mast cell tumors. Note the flow sheets. Your oncologist must be aware of this information.

    http://www.animalhealth.msu.edu/Sections/Immunohistochemistry/

    • Carol

      This is in response to Lori who posted about two months ago. My dog was diagnosed with anal gland carcinoma almost 3 years ago. She has since had 1 surgery, tried a few different types of chemo and had one round of radiation late last year. She did try Palladia for a few weeks in the fall. Although it did bring her calcium levels down, it did not shrink her tumor. She also experienced muscle weakness in her hind legs and we discontinued use. However, she has had some positive results with Kinavet. She has been using Kinavet for a few months with no side effects. There has been some shrinkage – not a lot – but no growth. My dog is now 12 and a half years old which is older than anyone ever gave me hope for. Good luck with your pooch.

  • lovewrinkles

    http://www.masivet.com/
    Here you can read more about masivet. with my dog it did not work (enough) but another dog I know how started at the same time, in about 1,5 weeks the tumors were almost gone!

  • Wonderpup

    Before I give our dog story, I have a few comments in answer to some questions other posters have asked. I asked them of our oncologist, and I recommend you find a good onc. to guide you and your regular vet through this. Our onc is 21/2 hours away, but comes up here every Thursday to a satellite office. During the rest of the week our regular vet supports us with palliative care and communicates well with the onc. Our onc offers 24-hr on-call support for our concerns and questions, and will call our ER or regular vet with instructions if an emergency occurs.
    Regarding the concern about other dogs in the yard with treated dog, our vet says it becomes a concern if the well dogs are copraphagic–if they are eating stools–or if they lick the ground where the treated dog urinates. It is suggested that the stool treated dog’s feces be picked up (with gloves) and disposed of when possible, and the dogs be monitored in the yard if they are stool-eaters. If you’re worried about one of your others licking the urine just throw some dirt of cat litter over it.
    In regards the return of tumors, my oncologist has us on a 6-week trial to determine if our dog will tolerate the med and if it reduces the tumor. We were told that if successful, this med will be continued, possibly at a reduced dosage or dosing schedule (now at MWF), for life. As long as she can tolerate it, she will take it at some level. I’ve had animals with tumors or immune-mediated anemias on Pred for life and they exceeded life expectations by years. It can be a good thing. Our onc says the med will be on market the first of 2010 (no idea about price), so local vets will be able to provide it if you choose . Those of you without an oncologist nearby will be able to have this med if your pup can just hang on another month. Be sure you and your vet do your homework about dosing levels and schedules, and GI protection preparation for any side effects. Re dosing levels, our dog is overweight (but otherwise healthy), and our onc has set the dose amount at the appropriate level for the lean version of our dog: i.e., we aren’t dosing at actual weight but at weight of body mass minus the excess fat. If your dog happens to be overweight, you might check with your vet to see if the dosage is for actual weight or adjusted downward for ideal weight. Just a thought.
    Also, someone wrote that they had their dog on both Palladia and Pred! Our vet nixed the steroids with the Palladia, not only because of our pet’s steroid intolerance, but because the Palladia should be enough, if it’s going to work. Plus, having to take both would not only put a lot on the dog’s GI tract, I’d think, but also confound the results. How would you know which is working and which is causing the GI bleeds or other Sx? You might want to streamline that.
    We’ve just started Palladia on our 8yo yellow English Lab, Punch. She has nasty squamous cell carcinoma in one nostril and on the haired part of the nose on that side, reaching far up into nasal passage. Use of Palladia for SCC is off-label but Pfizer has okayed it and is giving the meds. The tumor looked great when she was on pred but she is very steroid-intolerant and had to be taken off it. Similar problems on dexamethasone, and it did not control the tumor. We are trying Palladia because her tumor is doubling every week and at the current rate will cause us to euth her within 3 months, for humane reasons. I know there are potential problems with this med Rx and some of you have voiced the concerns, but consider all options, please. Remember there are some dog owners who refuse to give Rimadyl for arthritis pain because some dogs died from severe GI bleeds attributed to the drug. It can happen with a number of meds, even aspirin. To some extent it’s a crap shoot regarding whether a med will help without severe or fatal side effects. I guess it’s a matter of options, and we’re low on those. Good luck to all of us!

  • Donna

    Dr. Dressler,

    Have you heard of Kinavet and/or do you have any information on it? My dog has been through chemo, radiation and has been on Palladia, but his tumor is proving very resistant.

    My vet mentioned a really new drug called Kinavet that is similar to Palladia, but is a “cleaner” drug. Basically, it’s his last hope and I just wanted to know if you have had any experience with it.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Dr. Dressler

      Yes, I have used it with success. I would consider it’s use in the treatment of dogs with aggressive grade 2 or 3 mast cell tumors, under veterinary supervision for your particular dog’s needs.
      Best,
      D

  • Fred

    Update on Starbuck.

    We resumed the Palladia schedule per the Oncologist’s recommendation from every other day to MWF on October 21st. Starbuck returned to his demeanor prior to his previous short break in the Palladia schedule and on the evening of Monday, November 9th he received his Palladia at 6:15 PM and lay prone on the floor until we went to bed. It appeared that the Palladia was having a severe effect and he was in his 17th week of continuous treatment. Starbuck had also developed what appeared to be a MCT on his right ear.

    At that time we decided to discontinue Palladia until his next appointment with the Oncologist which was scheduled for Wednesday, November 18. I had rather hoped that the Oncologist would reduce the dosage to something more tolerable at that visit. We provided the Oncologist with charts supplied by Pfizer which recommended a 33% reduction for every instance of any type of problem after a short withdrawal of Palladia. He stated that Starbuck was already on the minimum recommended. However, the charts provided by Pfizer are weight based and the dosage was never reduced below the mg’s recommended for Starbuck’s weight based on the Pfizer charts. The Oncologist drew a sample from the growth on his ear and from another small growth on his chest and after preparing slides, etc. stated they appeared to be mast cell tumors. On that basis, the Oncologist stated that the Palladia was not working and there was no reason to give him any more.

    Based on information (probably from this site, not sure), we had ordered K9 Immunity and K9 Transfer factor on November 9 and began supplying Starbuck with both on November 13. He responded well and without the Palladia, returned to a much happier state. (The Oncologist approved the K9 introduction into Starbuck’s treatment)

    I downloaded Dr. Dressler’s book and following reading Chapter 21, ordered LutiMax (containing Luteolin) and began giving Starbuck daily doses on Thursday, November 26, so at this time he has only received three (3) doses. I crush it to a powder and add broth from a can of “Taste of the Wild” dog food.

    We visited our regular Veterinarian on Friday, November 27 and his only recommendation was to make Starbuck as comfortable as we could. We questioned him about removing the tumor on his right ear which has grown to about the size of an “English pea”. He did not recommend we remove it and we told him that we had been treating it with 1% Hydrocortisone cream which had been recommended by our Son-in-law (who is a Veterinarian) and he agreed with that treatment. His reaction to our purchase of Luteolin was to laugh, but then admit he had never heard of Luteolin.

    At this time we are down to Luteolin supplemented with K9 for treatment in addition to:
    1/2 tablet of Benedryl every 12 hours
    1/2 tablet of Pepsid every 24 hours
    Thyroid (twice daily)

    And as much loving as we can give him.

    Fred

  • Fred

    Dr. Dressler,

    I had not heard of Kinavet until reading it in Donna’s comment above.

    Starbuck’s Oncologist never mentioned it even when we parted company after he stated that Palladia was not working and we should discontinue it.

    My regular Veterinarian does not want to get involved although the Kinavet folks said that all he had to do was write them a letter to get the Kinavet.

    The video at Kinavet is impressive and you say you have had success. I am sure you read my blog above and a fundamental question if Starbuck did not respond to Palladia is if there is any significant possibility that he would to Kinavet?

    I did place Starbuck on LutiMax for four (4) days, but stopped it when he appeared to be reverting to his demeanor of lying flat on the floor almost comatose as he did after 17 weeks of Palladia. Prior to that he had been very active and had reverted to his personality before his first surgery.

    I am going to search for an alternate Oncologist tomorrow or a local Veterinarian interested in something beyond the failures of just using surgery followed by chemotherapy and/or radiation.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Fred

  • lovewrinkles

    Fred, Kinavet is the same as Masivet. I live in Europe (amsterdam) and my dog was treated with masitvet for mct. At the beginnening the tumors got smaller, however after a short while we had no results anymore. A friend of mine his dog had spectaculair change with his dog’s mct! Kinavet (name for US) or Masivet, is mastinib. My dog had no terrible side effects, neither had my friend’s dog.
    You can read more at the webiste of ab science, http://www.masivet.com

    We are no waiting for Palladia to come to Holland. May next week, maybe in jan/febr 2010!!!!
    I am at least a little scared of this medicine, but all our options have run out.

    Esther

  • Julian

    Gary,

    I can tell you a bit about the Palladia. I’m sure that the Palladia trials are complete as I am getting ready to start my girl on it actually this week. In regards to the mitotic index, if I understood a different article I just read, this is middle of the road as I think Dr. D doesn’t recommend surgery in cases under 5.

    I asked the Vet here (Mich State) about this because they have been receiving the drug for free and dispensing to certain paitents since last year. I’m assuming per some trial set-up with Pfizer. While they were able to dispense to me for a reasonable price ($20 for what will be several months) they are telling me that the drug will likely be around $7/pill. Seems in line with the Cytoxin which I had her on until recently.

    I’m not sure what vets or vet schools currently have access, but maybe your current vet could attempt to obtain some through one of the larger teaching schools.

    Good luck and best wishes!

    • Dr. Dressler

      Dear Julian,
      The mitotic index is a measure of how aggressive a given tumor is. It is used in trying to ascertain how aggressive Grade 2 mast cell tumors are as well, since they are “intermediate” as a class, which leaves one in a paralyzing situation when faced with what to do. A Grade 2 mast cell tumor with a mitotic index that is LOW has a much higher chance of living a long time (less aggressive) than one which is high (more aggressive). A mitotic index of less than or equal to 5 yields a median survival of 70 months, while greater than five yields a median survival of only 5 months. These numbers are with a combination of conventional care (surgery, chemo, +/- radiation).
      Bottom line: surgery is the best chance of cure for the mast cell tumors that are curable. Not all mast cell tumors are curable. The mitotic index helps one ascertain how long a dog will survive after receiving veterinary care that includes surgery. Mitotic index is not used as a indicator of whether or not to do surgery, however.
      Hope that makes sense.
      D

      • brett germain

        i have my 5 year old golden on palladia for fibrosarcoma of muzzle.i wanted to start lutimax alond with the palladia.has anyone done this?if so, are their side affects or increased diarreah?

        • Dr. Dressler

          Dear Brett,
          Sadly there are no studies on this. And I will say that a not-uncommon side effect of Palladia is diarrhea. The best strategy would be to start one and then wait about a week or so before starting the other. On top of this, the supplement I use in my patients is Apocaps, which I would reach for before Lutimax due to the combination approach.
          Best,
          Dr D

  • Julian

    Dr. D,

    To go along with my post to Gary, by chance do you have any advise with the Palladia? My girl and I have been battling MCT for about 9+ months and after CCNU (via the Pax II trial), CTP protocol (worked well with radiation until very recently) and now starting the Palladia just looking for any advise.

    Also, my vet at Michigan State had mentioned that if the Palladia didn’t seem to work that there was a similar drug (works in similar fashion) available from a French drug company. Maybe an alternative for some people to consider???

    Thanks again!

    • Dr. Dressler

      Julian, the drug you are referring to is masitinib, available through the compassionate use program at AB Sciences in New Jersey. Ask to speak with Dr. Albert Ahn and let him know Dr Dressler sent you. The veterinarian on the case will need to be involved, monitoring and dispensing the medication.
      Dr D

  • Jason

    Hi everyone – I wanted to share some news on pricing for Palladia. We spoke to our vet on Friday and they are going to charge us about $25 for a 50ml pill. For my dog who needs 2 pills every other day, the cost of treatment including blood tests, etc will be about $1,000 a month. Can anyone else share what their vets are charging?

    • Elena

      I am so sorry – of course I meant Dr. Dressler. Sincere apologies, and thank you so much for helping all the suffering doggies and their parents. You site (and the book) has been an absolutely invaluable source of information. Thank you again.

  • Donna

    Jason,

    My dog was also on Palladia. He was about 45 lbs. and was on 50ml every other day. Dispensing fee was $25 for 4 pills plus weekly blood work, which all came to about $1000 per month depending on the number of tests that were run or if he was also give chemotherapy. I would say the quote you got was accurate.

    Best of luck to you and your dog! Enjoy every moment you have together.

    • Elena

      Thank you Becky, and Dressler. I will give Kinavet a shot before moving to more drastic measures.. The tumor has shrank in size after the vet told us to temporarily double Pred doze, and has been somewhat (but not entirely) stable since. One more thing I would like to mention – I took Bozo off dog food when the Palladia side effects started showing, and the effect been enormously positive – his tummy is doing so much better. No diarrhea or vomiting, which we would expect even without Palladia, due to the size of his tumor and histamine that must be associated with it. I would normally switch between oatmeal, rice or mashed potatoes for a “base” (a cup), add a freshly cooked meat (chicken breast, smoked turkey, or cooked ground beef or turkey) (also about a cup), and a cup of freshly boiled veggies for each meal (a mix of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots) – he loves it and hasn’t had stomach issues since I changed the diet, even on bad days… I also give him calcium for supplement and benadryl/Pred/Pepcid daily. He just finished a two week course of Prilosec, and I think it may have helped his tummy as well.
      Good luck to everyone going through the trial with their babies; and thank you for all the help.

  • matt

    dear dr.d,

    i have read your article and accompanying posts concerning palladia with treatment of mast cell tumors; however, i wanted to get your opinion of my yellow labs mast cell tumors development.

    jenna is 14.6 years old and has had a noticable mast cell on her side currently the size of a golf ball (has been slow in progression over the past several years) however, in the past two weeks i noticed four or five smaller masts develop on top of her head, and even one between her eyes. they are very small (size of a pea) what is your experience with the occurance of and multitude of these masts as i have noticed just recently. any insight is greatly appreciated. thank you

  • Julian

    Just wanted to share the price which I was given at Michigan State University for the cost of Palladia. Looks like it may be a medication worth shopping around with various vets.

    $10.27 for the 50 mg tabs
    $ 3.68 for the 10 mg tabs

  • Julian

    Dr. D,

    First and foremost, “Thanks” for all the time you take to help all of us out here. I spoke with my vet because we may be going away from Palladia (given that she doesn’t have the “mutation” and may be getting some side effects). The vet at MSU was very familiar with the masitinib and have pills via the compasionate use program. We may be looking to go this route soon.

    • Dr. Dressler

      Dear Julian
      I hope it helps
      Best,
      Dr D

  • Jason

    Thank you all for sharing prices – it really helped. Apparently, our facility is very expensive – claim they are a specialty clinic and have a 24 hour service, but we don’t need all that since Palladia is a chronic medication… So I checked with a regular vet in the area, they have to do a special order with Pfizer but the price was less – about $16 per a 50ml pill. Still more than MSU is charging, so I will keep on shopping around. It’s sad to think that some people who get a $25 quote can’t afford it, and let their dog deteriorate, yet there are cheaper options but they are not aware of it…
    By the way, the blood tests, etc are a separate charge and have been costing us between $300-450 each time, so any little bit of help is important. Thank you all again!

    • http://www.level88.ca Jennifer

      Hello everyone. We had to say goodbye to our boy yesterday. Never had the chance to try any of the new medications. Everything happened in about two months time. It is hard to say whether or not things would have been different if we had a second opinion earlier on. We never administered chemo, radiation, or anything harsh, just appreciated each moment with him. In the end, he let us know it was time. Thank you Dr. Dressler for having this place for people to discuss and for provinding alternatives. Nothing is worse then the feeling that you have no options.

  • Eric

    Anyone have any luck with treating Squamous Cell Carcinoma? My cat has it.

    Thanks

    • Becky

      Hi my virtual vet,

      As I’ve said before, I just went through a bad year with my older Weimaraner with Grade III Mast Cell tumors, I learned a lot trying to deal with the advanced cancer. I have finished reading your book and am right now ordering Apocaps for the 9 year old daughter of this dog. She has also had a life time of mast cell tumors, having 8-10 tumors removed every 1 to 2 years. She had 8 Grade I and Grade II tumors surgically removed only a year ago. She has been vomiting occasionally the last couple of months which I thought was stress of her mom being sick and dying, now I think it is the cancer and histimine. She’s getting more lumps, they appear one day and by the next are gone, which makes it very difficult to get a needle aspirate as they usually appear when the vet is closed for the night or weekend. I will get these aspirated as soon as I can, but I’ve recently mapped out 10 lumps which I’m pretty sure some are cancerous. I’d like to start her on Apocaps and see if this helps. I know surgery cures the cancer, but if she is growing 10 new lumps every year, it seems the cancer is systemic and is surgery helping? She hates it and has become fearful of people after so many surgeries.

      She seems healthy otherwise, but when I have my vet aspirate the lumps, I’ll have her do a all over health exam to make sure it hasn’t spread internally. I’ve changed her diet to what you recommend, given her Tagamet which has helped with her stomach upset. I’m wondering if I were lucky enough to bring her to you, what would you recommend doing now? Do you recommend the Apocaps every day for the rest of her life? Your book mentions rotating between the selection of treatments, do you do this with the Apocaps? It seems a bit overwhelming that she would need 9 capsules of Apocaps every day for the rest of her life, that would be a bottle every 10 days, rather expensive, but not as expensive as trying to save her life later with chemo and Palladia. If this was your dog what would you do next?

  • Carolyn

    Eric
    My 13 year old lab has squamous cell carcinoma and has been treated with Palladia since Sept 2009.

  • Eric

    HI Carolyn

    Is it a SCC tumor and has it increased in size at all? Are you doing anything holistically too?

    Thanks

  • Becky

    Hi all interested in Palladia and treatment of mast cell tumor. My 12 year old Weimaraner has struggled most of her life with MCT, grade II, we always had them surgically removed. Last February she got a grade III tumor, miotic index 10, very bad news. We removed it surgically and the lymph node it had matastitized to, and a few other grade II tumors. After she healed we started chemo, Lumostine and Vinblastin. Her white cell count dropped so low we had to discontinue the protocol and wait until it went up, then start again. I think this caused the cancer to become resistent.

    Through the wonderful people at WSU Vet Teaching School, I was able to get her in the Palladia program. Her tumors immediately responded to it and shrank to nothing. She tolerated it well and had a great quality of life. She did get sick when we tried to go on a camping trip, but returned to good health when we got home. She did well for 4 months on the Palladia, then new tumors started to grow. We got her into the Masitinib program, which is similar to Palladia. She responded well, needed a some drugs for nausea, but then great quality of life. The Masitinib worked for 6 weeks, then the tumors started to grow. When they got 4 inches across it was decided to let her go, they were starting to bother her. I just put her down two weeks ago and am still crying, she was my AKC certified Tracking Dog Excellent, and mother of her breed champion daughter and son. Going through this was hard and very expensive with all the blood tests, vet checkups, and medicines. But we loved her so much we had to do everying possible until there were no options left. I am glad we went on this journey with her and had almost another year with her. Now I face the same journey with her daugher, she has had a few Grade II’s removed through her life. This is not a journey for everyone, if the medicines even work for your dog. My lessons learned were to catch the disease early in the dog’s life and do everything possible to stop it before it gets Grade III. I will read your other posts to see what advice you have for working on it early. I wish I had found this site earlier.

    • Dr. Dressler

      Dear Becky,
      Sounds like you are becoming all to familiar with the number one reason for dog mortality in this country. I am sorry you have to go through all this. I just wanted to refer you to a little explanatory blog on grade versus stage. Recall that mast cell tumors do not typically progress from Grade 1 to 2 or from 2 to 3:
      http://www.dogcancerblog.com/dog-cancer-words-you-should-know-grade-and-stage/
      Here are some other blog posts you might be interested in:
      http://www.dogcancerblog.com/why-benadryl-for-mast-cell-tumors/
      http://www.dogcancerblog.com/diet-for-dogs-with-mast-cell-tumors/
      http://www.dogcancerblog.com/when-to-avoid-chemo-for-canine-mast-cell-tumors/
      http://www.dogcancerblog.com/dog-cancer-decisions-in-the-gray-zone/
      There is a plethora of organized information in The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.
      Another though for you would be the Compassionate Use Program for masitinib, available through AB Sciences and Dr. Albert Ahn. I have had some good results with this drug. You need to have your veterinarian contact them. AB Sciences is located in New Jersey.
      Best of luck,
      Dr D

      • Elena

        So it looks like we exhausted the Palladia option; the mast cell tumor on our 12 year old boxer stopped responding and he had a few scary incidents involving blood in his stool and coming out of his nose/mouth, so we stopped Palladia. In a way, we are much happier – his personality is back to normal, he seems happy and alive, he eats well and drinks water now instead of licking snow for hours at a time…Palladia definitely had a very negative impact on his personality and the quality of his life and we only realize now how bad it was. But the tumor has grown so much – it is located on his front paw and looks grotesque as if it is about to burst; the vet told us we soon will be facing either an amputation or having to put him down…The sad thing is, this is the only tumor that he has on his body, and it has been the case for the full year (even after radiation failed), so I keep on hoping that we can eradicate it somehow. Out vet did not mention anything about Kinavet, so I am grasping a straw of hope that maybe it will help before he goes under knife. Do I understand it correctly – the only thing we have to do to get my boxer on it is to ask my oncologist to have it shipped from AB Sciences on a compassionate use program? Is there anyone else on the site besides Donna who has used it and can comment on its efficacy? Thank you so much in advance..

        • Dr. Dressler

          Elena, the answer to your question is yes. Kinavet (masitinib) is available through Dr. Albert Ahn and AB Sciences in New Jersey. Have your oncologist request it for you.
          Best ,
          Dr D

    • Becky

      Elena,

      If Kinavet is also called Masitinib, which I got through AB Science on a compassionate use program, it is very similar to Palladia and I’m afraid you will have the same side effects. It worked for a short while to decrease the tumor. Unfortunately sounds like surgery is the only option to save his life. Maybe try the other remedies in the Cancer Care Guide, but you might not have enough time.

    • jason

      Hi, we have a ten month old male, choc, labrador. He has been diagnosed with mct. So far he has had stage one and two diagnosed, with the stage two lumps being removed. New lumps keep appearing. Our vet has mentioned palladia, at 40% success rate, is it recommended for such a young dog. Thanks

  • Eric

    Becky,

    My heart goes out to you. I lost a wonderful cat to cancer last year and I cant believe I am going thru it again.
    I am trying holistic remedies with modern medicine.
    Definitely talk to a holistic vet also adn look up Budwig diet for dogs. It cant hurt.

    My little one feels awesome after a week on it.

    Take care

    • Eric

      Ryan McDonald?

      Please tell me the symptoms your dog experienced from Palladia. I am so sorry about your dog.

  • Carolyn

    Eric
    It is a SCC tumor, left maxillary. The tumor has not grown, the mass is smaller, however, it is difficult to measure due to the location of the mass. She is considered stable disease, no new growth for months. For us, the use of Palladia has not been without side effects. We had to take a “drug holiday” after 3 months on the drug. We restarted her meds at a lower dose and she is handling the lower dose well. The first two months of treatment we had to take her in weekly for blood work and check-ups, we now take her in monthly. Although Palladia was not initally intended for SCC,it has stablized her disease. I took her to a holistic vet, the holistic vet was unfamiliar with Palladia, and did not feel comfortable prescribing/trying anything until she researched Palladia. On the advise of the holistic vet we did change her diet. She suggested a “cooling food” (fish based) medium to high protien, and no grain.
    I hope this helps. My heart goes out to you, please let me know how your cat is doing.
    Carolyn

    • Kara Towns

      Hi there,

      Our 10yr old Border Collie/Lab cross was diagnosed with a MCT on his front leg in October. We have tried two different chemotherapy drugs (Loumustine, being the last) which have been uneffective in treatment. Aside from the large tumour on his leg he is in great spirits and in near perfect health.

      Our only and last drug option given to us by our oncologist is Palladia. Unfortunately the costs are astronomical and far more than we can afford as we have already spent nearly $10,000.00 on chemo and initial testing.

      We may be able to afford one 6 week cycle of the Palladia but wonder if just one round would have any benefit if we cannot afford to continue with the drug. Any thoughts?

      I am not ready to give up on my dog yet and would truly break my heart to do nothing for him. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

      Thanks,
      Kara

      • http://DogCancerBlog.com DemianDressler

        Dear Cara,
        I would consider Apocaps and Neoplasene, along with diet, immune supplements and antimetastatics discussed in the Guide. Please make treatment changes under veterinary supervision-
        I hope this helps
        D

  • Eric

    Carolyn,

    You are awesome for the info you are giving me. The holistic vet I go to is against Palladia because he thinks it is hard on the kidneys but I am scared that I don’t try everything I can. So I think I am going to start up the Palladia this week.
    I will post more results….

    Thanks so much
    Eric

    P.S. What side effects did you experience so I can look out for them

    • Mark M

      Dr. Dressler,

      I’m enjoying your books, but I have not seen anything on palladia, and I wanted to know if you ever heard of it being used on Transitional Cell Carcinoma? Just recently my 12 yr old BlueTick Coonhound had an ultrasound after two doses of Mitoxantrone, it showed that the tumor in his bladder and the iliac lymph nodes were unchanged; however, the cancer was now seen in his prostate as well. Is Palladia something you would use for this type of cancer, or would you use something else? Also, do you see anything wrong with give prostate supplements along with the chemo drug?

      Thanks so much for what you do, and the information you provide.

      Best Regards,
      Mark

  • Eric

    Hi again Carolyn,

    How long did it take Palladia to make the mass smaller?

    Thanks
    Eric

    • http://www.level88.ca Jennifer

      Thank you Ryan. I’m so sorry to hear about your girl. We are very skeptical of all recommendations for meds and appreciate your feedback on the Paladia. At the moment we are waiting for second opinion from the specialist in Seattle. Our Bulldog was also very healthy at the start, the Vet could not believe his age, and he had nothing show up on any of the tests. However, his situation is very serious because the tumour is so aggressive. It is very, very frustrating to think that there is nothing we can do. The tumour is so large and wraps from his check half way around his neck. I wish we could have surgery, but have been told it is not an option and even if we do everything he still only has maximum six months, if we are lucky.

  • Eric

    Hi,
    Has anyone seen any kidney problems with the use of Palladia?

    Thanks,
    Eric

    • Ryan macdonald

      Oh and by the way…. Her counts were great so the mast cell tumor did not kill her. It was the drug! Do not use this drug. My local vet (not the oncologist who prescribed this) gave me all the blood work. This drug will kill your dog and not in a kind way.

  • Lisa

    Hi,
    My 7 year old pug was diagnosed with MCT about 3 months ago. She had two surgeries to remove the masses…but within the past month she has developed 5 new little masses. The oncologist started her on Palladia–every other day..and on the off days, she takes Prednisone..SHe also takes benedryl and prilosec to ease her tummy..she does vomit on occasion.. She has been doing this combination for only a week…in the last two days she has been having accidents in the house–which never has happened before…she will just be walking around and suddenly there is pee on the floor…i dont think she realizes its happening… could this be problems with kidneys and the Palladia–as Eric mentioned above—so soon after starting the Palladia?

    thanks–
    Lisa

    • Virginia

      Dear Dr. Dressler,

      I have a 12-14 year old male neutered indoor cat that was diagnosed with oral squamous cell carcinoma. I am trying to figure out a treatment plan after most doctors have told me to aim for pain management until euthanasia. I am truly not ready to give up on him. I see you mentioned neoplasene and was considering that treatment option myself (topical application and per os route). However, I have serious reservations about trauma and pain caused by this agent in the mouth. Also considering Palladia or Gleevec. In the meantime I plan to start piroxicam for pain and antineoplastic properties. Do you have any input or recommendations or experience with any of these modalities? Thank you, Virginia

  • Amanda

    My dog just started taking prednisone, benedryl and pepcid on Sunday for a mast cell tumor that has only just starting bothering her. We are thinking about starting the Palladia though after reading the comments on this site I am a little leary of the side effects. She has been having accidents in the house too and I am not sure but maybe its from the steriods? She also has quite a bit of swelling in the leg with the tumor. The tumor is on her thigh but the leg is swollen down to her foot. Walking and massaging it seems to help. The area inside her thigh is very red. All of these symptoms started this past weekend. The emergency vet says Lady Rage had a massive histamine release from the tumor. Until that time the tumor never caused any problems and she has had it for many years. Any suggestions on how to relieve this? I have an appt with the oncologist on Monday the 15th and am trying to keep her comfortable until then.

    • Ryan macdonald

      Paladia equals death….don’t be fooled. My perfectly healthy golden retiever developed a mass cell tumor at age 9. She had surgery and was fine. Vet recomended paladia just in case of tumor coming back. Bailey…. My dog was dead in 2 months…. Didn’t even have time to put her down it went so fast the last few days…. Stay away from this drug. DO NOT USE

  • Lisa

    Amanda–Hi
    Zoe had swelling too and the prednisone and benedryl helped almost immediately–within days of starting it…but after a week thats when the accidents started in the house…i guess they drink so much water and just gotta go—We saw the oncologist today and she gave us something called Prion to help with the incontinence…my sisters dog also has cancer and she experienced the same thing (accidents, etc) with the prednisone but said after a while it just evens out and accidents dont happen…we’ll see if this drug helps in the meantime.
    Not so good news with the Palladia–it didnt seem to help as the bumps actually got a little bigger just in a week..so our vet decided no sense paying money for something that probably might not work..We decided to try CeeNU (Lomustine)instead…oral drug, 2 pills only every 3 weeks…Zoe is still taking prilosec, prednisone, the prion and benedryl…She is cheerful, energetic, and you wouldnt suspect that she has cancer just by looking at her…we shall see how this CeeNU works…
    good luck! (-: think positive..
    lisa

    • http://www.level88.ca Jennifer

      Thank you Dr. D. Some of the challenges we are facing are because the drug is only on Emergency Release program here in Canada, so I believe there is a strict protocol for the Oncologist to follow. As you know they are specialists and the rate is close to $800 a week just to visit them, and for them to do full testing, this does not include the cost of the drugs.

      We have had a lot of experience visiting various specialists over the years because our dog is an English Bulldog, and they are notoriously plagued with interesting conditions. At one point we had to see the Neurologist because his mouth was hanging open, (turned out to be something to do with his ear). In the past (unrelated) we have been through ultrasounds, allergy injections (trial), several operations to remove (benign) tumours,one on his back,one on his foot, one cancerous tumour removed on his head, his ear was enclosed (due to allergies). We have a great relationship with our Vet, and have always given our Bulldog the best care no matter the cost.

      With a price tag of a potential: $4000+ a month for the visits and the meds est. for Palladia, we must take this into consideration, especially based on the rate of success.

      Also, I believe for my family, (and that includes our Bulldog) any time you are diagnosed with something as serious as this, you always ask for a second or even third opinion. This not only gives you options, but allows for time to process and discuss the information. Over the years and speaking to so many different vets, it really depends on their experience, perspective, values, etc. a combination of these qualities.

      I have nothing but the deepest respect, gratitude and admiration for all of the wonderful things that Vet’s do all over the world. Thank you Dr. D, for this useful blog/forum and everyone who participates to help support each other.

      Thanks again, I am very grateful for all of the feedback. It has helped me tremendously.

    • Ivy

      Dr. Dressler,

      My 7-year-old greyhound mix has osteosarcoma. She has just had her hind leg amputated after a spontaneous fracture of the upper long bone, above the knee. My vet is recommending Palladia as a valid new option for treatment of osteosarcoma in dogs. Treatment with Palladia is giving even non-amputee dogs and their owners 7 quality months, and that’s not too shabby. From an owner’s perspective, the numbers are very encouraging. Palladia might not be the way to go with the mast cell tumors, but it does seem to yield some very encouraging results with osteosarcoma. I’m definitely going to continue to look into this drug, and I am currently leaning toward it as a valid option when she starts chemo in the next couple weeks.

      If you have any evidence that it’s a poor choice for this situation, I’d appreciate some links to the relevant data.

      Thanks–
      Ivy

      • http://DogCancerBlog.com DemianDressler

        Dear Ivy,
        there’s some initial evidence (I don’t believe published yet) that indicates palladia may help stabilize disease for around 6 months or so with metastatic osteosarcoma. Many of the dogs in the study were also on cyclophosphamide and non-steriodial anti inflammatory drugs.
        I would discuss these options with your oncologist…
        Hopefully we can get your pooch the benefits of the additional supportive measures discussed in the Guide too (diet, apoptogens, immune support, and so on..)
        Best,
        D

  • Eric

    I wonder if the accidents are their way of telling us they are sick?

    • Beth Siegel

      My 20 yr terrier mix recently diagnosed with oral melanoma and 4 weeks was given vaccine treatment and tomorrow I am to begin 2 tab Palladian 15 my every other day. His vitals are better than most 10 yes or half his age but I want to be as humane to my best buddy as can be. Today before the vet visit he walked 4 miles without a problem. I have a stroller but he is very athletic and has always been on a low fat diet with fish as the mainstay. My question is am I doing the right thing administering this drug? Please give me your opinion.

      • http://DogCancerBlog.com DemianDressler

        Dear Beth,
        the truth is there is no right or wrong answer for canine cancer.
        as long as you have been advised by your oncologist about the odds of success in your dogs (and what the odds of side effects are, and what they could be, and how long the benefit of the drug might be estimated at lasting), I would encourage you to be in charge of your dog’s well being. You are in the information stage at this point. Gather this data for your pooch. Asking the right questions is critical in being your pet’s number one health care advocate. You might want to read the Guide, which is written to help you though this process, and also discusses diet, supplements, and so on.
        Best
        D

  • Carolyn

    Eric
    For us it was 3 weeks before the tumor shrunk about 20% . She has been stable since the middle of September. We have not had any problems with accidents in the house. We had a long spell where she would not drink any water, would only eat snow. We have not had any problems with kidney function, but her ALT and BUN levels have been consistently rising. Her last blood, she was slightly above the normal levels. She goes in again next week for another check-up, so we will see where her levels are at that point. The first three months were extremely hard, her appetite decreased, her personality changed, she developed diarrhea, and wouldn’t drink. After taking a break from the Palladia and starting up again at a lower yet therapeutic dose things are going much better. We also give Pepsid twice a day to help with the stomach upset and diarrhea. By looking at her you would not believe she has cancer. She has lots of energy goes for two long walks daily and plays in the park. . She does have a good quality of life, better than when she was first diagnosed. Palladia is a hard drug to work with but for us it was the best option we had. If you try Palladia don’t be afraid to ask question and keep the vet informed of any changes you notice in your pet. You know your pet better than anyone else go with your heart and you will never be wrong. Please keep my updated.
    Carolyn

    • Dr. Dressler

      Dear Carolyn,
      Thanks for sharing your story,
      Best,
      Dr D

  • love wrinkles

    I have a question about another kind of therapy (don’t know where to put it instead) After losing my dog 8 weeks ago, I remain questionning if I took al the right steps. Palladia wasn’t available yet in Europe, and we tried Masivet (Kinavet) (which did something, but not enough) we tried vinblastine, lumustine (ccnu), tagamet and prednison.

    I cannot stop learing about all kinds of treatments and I have read a lot about b17 laetrile. Dr. D, have you considered trying injections with b17????

    Esther

    • Dr. Dressler

      Dear Reader,
      I think maybe you would like this post, and possibly it would help:
      http://www.dogcancerblog.com/escaping-dog-cancer-days/
      And yes, I have investigated b17 and I have not yet found clear evidence for supporting it’s use (in my opinion of course).
      Best
      Dr D

      • Becky

        Hi Jennifer,

        I had a 60 pound Weimaraner with mast cell tumors Grade III, miotic index 10, surgery not an option once it matastized elsewhere. After going through this myself – first and best option is to surgically remove it with wide margins, if Grade I or II, should cure it. If not I feel it is better to skip the chemo and go straight to Palladia. If it works for your dog you may only get 6 months to a year, which in dog time is a lot of time, and really helped me to have her a little longer. The cost of Palladia itself is only part of it, the weekly blood tests to check for low white cell count, urine tests and fecal tests can run up the bill. They also have the dog on Prednisone which is cheap, but causes infections, usually UTI’s which can also add to the cost. The Palladia is given at home by the owner every other day. Another option is a similar drug called Masitinib, maybe since you are in Canada you can get this easier than here in the US. You don’t have to give Prednisone with it and saves those side affects. The Masitinib is given at home daily by the owner. The Masitnib was $140 for a 3 month supply through AB Science who is dispensing it on a “compassionate basis” until it gets FDA approval here. The Palladia was free as we were still on the test program which ended December. It sounds like your vet is being honest with you preparing you for the expense. With 2 $1,000 surgeries, and 6 months of treatments, blood work, etc. I spent $10,000, then the cancer became resistent to all treatments and I had to put her down. You have to decide if you want to go through all this, the dog will go through boughts of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, but supplements and drugs mentioned in the Cancer Care Book and on this free blog will help with that.

        I know I will have to go through it again with my dog’s daughter who has had Grade II mast cell tumor disease if some day she gets Grade III or high miotic index, so for now I’m following the wonderful information from Dr. Dressler for her: surgery as soon as she gets a lump which needle aspirate shows to be mast cell tumor, supplements and tagamet and a low histimine diet to help with the histimine overload which causes problems. If she does get advanced cancer I will go straight to the Palladia or Masitnib. My vet here in Montana was very reasonable but the weekly blood work & tests which are very important in the beginning to check for white cell count and liver and kidney function, still ran $100 – $200 each time, but after the first month your vet should go to a biweekly then monthly protocol, which will help the expense. Find a good oncologist and develop a relationship with them, then they will help best they can. Most vets are not doing this just to line their pockets. Treating cancer is expensive.

        Good luck, enjoy every day.

        • Dr. Dressler

          Dear Becky,
          very helpful comment, thank you
          Dr D

  • Becky

    Hi Lisa,

    Because your dog is on Prednisone and Palladia, it will be prone to infections, mainly urinary tract infections. We had to continually check my dog’s urine, sometimes we had to run a culture to find out exactly what kind of bacteria was involved in order to get her on the right antibiotic. Several times our local vet would look at the urine and say there was no visible bacteria, but I knew she had an infection so I had to insist on a culture, and sure enough it showed an infection. When she had an infection, she would leak pools of urine when sleeping. The bed pads they sell for humans greatly helped to keep it off the couch and her bed. Also the Prednisone will make them urinate more.

    I preferred the Masitinib because it was every day (leaving no room for the drug to wear off between doses), and she didn’t have to be on Prednisone with all it’s side affects.

    I had great luck with Pepcid (Famtamodine) for stomach upset. Also you need to get anti-nausea and anti-diarrhea drugs from your vet to help with GI upset so you don’t take a break from the Palladia or Masitinib, any time you go off either cancer drug, the cancer has a chance to become resistent.

    It is also important to take walks and enjoy being happy with your dog as Dr. D. says, your dog knows how sad you are, it’s a great stress reliever for you both. Good luck and enjoy every minute.

    • Dr. Dressler

      Dear Becky
      Great advice!
      Dr D

      • Becky

        Hi Jennifer,

        and all others on the difficult but soul enriching journey of dog cancer:

        I had a little more advice since I’ve been through this if you will indulge me.

        The only cure for mast cell cancer is total surgical removal. If the site is inoperable or Grade III with high miotic index, your only option is cancer care. But this is actually a good thing, it gives you time to adjust to the idea that your beloved pet’s time is near. If the treatments work to hold back the cancer, and you can control the side affects with drugs and supplements, then you have quality time to spoil your dog and go for more walks together. You don’t have to take it to the very end like I did, but you can use it for a while. That will also help with costs, you choose when you are done.

        You can also help with costs by using a regular vet to do the blood, urine and fecal tests, sending the results to the oncologist. Regular vets are usually cheaper. I had to follow the strict weekly protocol because I got help through the test program, hopefully the protocol can now change. The tests are very important, they will not only help your vet check your dog’s health, but you will get peace of mind knowing the liver, kidney’s, heart and lungs are okay.

        Hang in there and enjoy every minute.

  • Lisa

    Thank You Becky–that is helpful information!

    And I think you are right about the walks and my dog knowing that i am sad–she follows me everywhere lately..more so than before(she’s always been mama’s little girl) (-: I am more stressed than she is , it seems–so great idea.(-:

    • Dr. Dressler

      Dear Lisa,
      I thought maybe you would like this post and possibly it could help:
      http://www.dogcancerblog.com/escaping-dog-cancer-days/
      Best,
      Dr D

      • Teresa

        Jennifer,

        There is an Oncologist in Seattle that you may want to call for a consult. Her name is Dr Keri Meleo and she works at Animal Cancer Care Specialists. She is terrific and is very well known within her profession.

        My dog has an extremely stubborn grade 2 recurrent mast cell tumor. He’s been through surgery, radiation and we’ve been administering Palladia at home for the last three weeks. I have to admit, my dog has been experiencing unpleasant side effects from the drug and we are still struggling to get the correct dosage for him. It’s been very, very frustrating.

        At this point in time, there is still no word on a definite price for Palladia. I was charged a dispensing fee of $19 at our last visit. However, I was warned to expect to pay approximately $600 (my dog is 75 lbs) per month for Palladia alone. I was quoted an estimate of up to $1500 for the first 6 weeks, of which would include bloodwork and checkups on a weekly basis. Thereafter, we will need to go in for bloodwork every 6 weeks, of which may cost around $200 per visit. If my dog is able to tolerate Palladia, then his treatment is expected to continue for 6 months.

        Good luck,
        Teresa

  • Marcy

    Our almost 11 year old “lethal white” sheep herding mix was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in Oct. We did 5 radiation treatments and now the oncology vet feels the tumor is slightly larger but not as large as before the radiation. She is recommending the Palladia since we don’t want to put her through more radiation or traditional chemo. I realize that Palladia is for Mast Cell cancer, what about thyroid cancer?

    • Dr. Dressler

      Dear Marcy,
      If you are seeing a board certified oncologist, they are the most qualified to make chemotherapy decisions. They are very good at what they do. Dogs on chemotherapy plans benefit tremendously from the expertise of oncologist input.
      Best,
      Dr D

      • http://www.level88.ca Jennifer

        Thank you everyone for your feedback and advice. I truly appreciate it. Teresa, your quote sounds similar to other people I have seen post regarding dogs this size. I’ve already made a phone call to Dr. Meleo’s office and let my regular vet know we would like a second opinion on how to manage the cancer care. Thank you so much again everyone and best wishes to all of you.

    • JoAnn

      Has anyone tried using Palladia to fight bladder TCC or any other cancer than MCT? Our onc vet is recommending replacing our current chemo, Mitoxanthone, with Palladia because our lab’s bladder tumor has re-grown (after surgical removal and 5 chemo treatments). I thought it was only effective for MCT?
      Thanks,
      JoAnn & Jake
      (10-yr-old black lab, bladder TCC dx’d 10/09, toe melanoma dx’d 12/09)

    • Robin

      I have an 8-year old Golden Retriever who had a grade 2 mast cell tumor between her toe removed and then her toe removed. She has been given vinblastine chemo and now the oncologist has been recomending to follow up with Palladia. Is this necessary based on the the history of the drug? Is there anyone who has had this or a similar experience? We don’t know what to do.

  • Eric

    Hi Carolyn,

    I started the Palladia today. They had to have a compounding pharmacist make up a compound prescription since she is petite and needs 5 mg doses. What stinks is the pill melted in her mouth today and I hope that won’t upset her and I hope she got most of the dose. I have to try Palladia because her eating has declined and her water intake too.
    What dose was your dog on that caused the tumor to shrink? My vet put mine on 5mg and she is 5 pounds. The vet told me that I need to wait 4 to 6 weeks to see if it will help. I am really hoping that this is going to save her.

    I can’t thank you enough for the info you are giving me. I am really hoping the best for your lab.

    Take care,
    Eric

  • Carolyn

    Eric
    She really is petite, how old is she and what is her name?
    Have you tried hiding the pill in/wrapping it in wet food or a kitty treat? I do all my lab’s pills inside wet food, liver sausage, cheese whiz, peanut butter, basically anything she will eagerly eat. Will your cat lick water off your finger? Some day’s that was the only way I could get water into my lab.
    For my lab it was 3-4 weeks before we noticed any shrinkage (about 25%) in the tumor. I was disappointed and scared when the first 2 weeks we did not have any response, but we also did not have any new growth which I had to tell myself to take as a positive sign.
    My lab weighs 74- 78 pounds and we started out on 110 mg, which was the suggested dose for her weight. The 110mg dose was every other day for approximately 3 ½ months during which time we had some bad side effects. We then went to 110 mg every 72 hours for 4 weeks and still had unmanageable side effects lack of eating, lack of water intake, diarrhea, dehydrated, and personality change. We went down to 100 mg every other day and still had side effects that were not controlled even with supportive meds for the diarrhea. We are now on a dose of 90 mg every other day, which so far she is handling well. In fact she gained weight over the last 4 weeks, her appetite is better, and she is much happier. We were at the vet yesterday, the tumor has continued to decreased, the tumor sight looks at least near-normal, if not normal. From what the vet can see, they are unable to tell if the tumor is present or not, there is a small amount of gingival thickening (which may or may not be tumor. Also, all her ALT and BUN levels which last month were elevated above normal have gone back down to normal levels.
    So we did get a positive response using Palladia, we are at stable disease if not partial response, but it was a rough road.
    We will keep your cat in our prayer. Please keep us posted as to how your cat is doing.
    Carolyn

  • Carolyn

    Eric
    If you are interested there are a couple of web sites about the Palladia clinical trials you can access on line. If you are interested I will attempt to send you the link. Also, there are some pet cancer support groups on line that I have found very helpful. Let me know.
    Carolyn

  • Eric

    Hi Carolyn,

    You are awesome. I am so happy for you and your lab!!!
    My email is pray4animals@yahoo.com. If you do send me something, please put Carolyn in the subject line or Palladia. I get alot of spam.

    Quick question…Is it normal for her to be sleepy on the night of the day she received the Palladia?

    Her name is Princess and she is 16. I saw a bumper sticker that says “Who rescued who?” That is perfect. She gives me more love than I could ever give her.

    Take care,
    Eric

  • Eric

    P.S. Carolyn,

    What are you feeding your pooch? I am reading so many different opinions what to feed that I am confused.

    Thanks!!!

  • Eric

    HI

    Is anyone experiencing weight loss? I am thinking it is from her eating but I am curious

    • http://www.level88.ca Jennifer

      Help please! Our English Bulldog who is 8.5 years old has a very large aggressive mast tumour on the right side of his face and neck, it has grown and wrapped around. After spending loads of cash, and seeing the Oncologist, the answers were all so very diluted. Go on Chemo, then maybe shrink it, maybe surgery, radiation not really an option but considered, could be a good candidate for Palladia. Long story short, my husband and I are very frustrated and upset because the cost is insane and the prognosis is so poor. We decided to try Palladia because it is designed specifically for Mast Cell tumours. Does anyone know what the cost is for a 70 pound dog. The quote I just recieved is $3000 a month just for the visits to the specialist not including the meds. They want us to go weekly, pay them $700 for the visit and the blood work weekly, and they don’t have the costs yet for the Palladia.

      Please help me get some answers, I’m very angry with the way these matters are being handled and feel that we are being taken advantage of at this moment. I live in Vancouver, BC, and can easily make it to Seattle for treatment.

      I was under the impression that Palladia could be administered by the owner?

      Thanks anyone who has some info.

  • Lori

    I just started my dog, Riley, on Palladia today. He is 7yrs young and was diagnosed with anal gland carcinoma last March. He’s had two surgery’s to remove tumors and lymph nodes as well as a course of radiation. I am a little nervous about this drug as it is new and seems to have several possible side effects. He is in good spirits and otherwise good health. I’m afraid this drug may change that and make him sick. Has anyone had success with this drug in treatment of anal gland carcinoma?
    Lori

  • Eric

    Dr D

    Do you know if Palladia can put strain on the heart or hurt the heart?

    Thanks for your time

    • Andres

      Hi how are you.
      I writing you because i need to buy Palladia 50mg from Pfizer.
      My dog is very needed of this and i don’t know where to find it.
      The thing is that im living right now in Argentina, but i have firends who can buy it in the US
      I’ll pay the shipping and everything but it would be very helpfull if you can tell me this information.
      I can also send you my vet’s prescription.
      Thank you very much and i hope it can be done.

  • Eric

    Jennifer,

    Mu cat is on Palladia and I administer the dose at home. The Palladia was about $50

    Good luck

  • Vern

    Hello all,

    I have a Boston Terrier who has an enlarged heart which has made it impossible to use prednisone. She has a Grade III MCT which was removed with clear margins the first time and than it came back. This MCT is on her vulva, so there is not anymore room for them to remove again. I got 3 opinions on that to be sure that everyone was in agreeance to not remove it. She also had a Grade II MCT on her belly that was removed that they did not get clear margins on, but thankfully has not returned since its removal last August 2009.

    We have been down the road with a holistic approach and still continue those treatments. We have also been palladia users. She responded well to the palladia initially and the tumor started to shrink almost immediately, but after 1.5 weeks on the palladia, she acted like she could not see us and her eyes were as big as gulf balls. The oncologist took her off of it for a couple of weeks and than we restarted. Instead of every other day, we reduced to MWF. 1.5 weeks into it again, she had the same effect. We took her off of it again. The next time we started it up at half the dose 3 times per week and she had the effect the first day. Molly can no longer take palladia. This is I guess a rare side effect that they have seen where she is having “neurological” side effects to the medication. It was quite a disappointment because she did have success with taking the medication for the tumor reduction.

    Now, the tumor has flared up again and we have begun our treatment with masitinib under the compassionate program. The only thing I find interesting after reading here, is that she is only taking it every other day as with the palladia. I have not read anywhere else that anyone is on an every other day program, so I think I will call the oncologist to be sure. She just started this journey, so I will keep you posted on her progress.

    She will be 12 years old this August and is full of life when this tumor is at bay. She currently only has the one tumor that we continue to be challenged with. Because of where it is located, it easily bothers her, so I have to be on top of watching her every day.

    My prayers are with each person struggling with cancer and their dogs. I myself have been surrounded by cancer in my family and through animals, so it is a very nasty word to me. God Bless each of you during your journey with your best friends!!

    • TJ

      We have an 8 year old American Pit Bull Terrier who has just been through a 2nd round of surgery to remove a GIST. There is not alot of information out there about this type of tumor. We have recently started her on the Apocaps, 6 weeks after surgery. It has been suggested to also try Palladia. Is there any documentation that this will help? Our girl had two years between tumors. What would you suggest? We just started reading your book.

  • Lee

    In reply to Elena

    I’m not sure if your dog has a form of skin cancer, but you may ask your veteranarian about trying capsaicin cream. Capsaicin has been found to be effective in stopping cancer cells from replicating. The cream greatly reduced the size of the tumor one of my dogs had (by about 75 %) when nothing else was working. He did later die, but that was due to the efficacy of valproic acid treatment in killing cancer cells – a clot of which went into his heart.

    Currently am beginning cancer treatment for another dog that has congestive heart failure, too. She was supposed to have died from heart failure two years ago, but has done well with drug treatment. Am hoping the Palladia aids in keeping the cancer behind her eye at bay, so that she may have a comfortable interlude and be able to cross the rainbow bridge quickly and peacefully when the time comes.

    Best wishes to all of you and your lovely four footed friends

  • Lee

    P.S. Capsaicin cream is used externally and applied topically – my dog had skin cancer.

  • Izzy’s Mom

    We just started Izzy on Palladia for TCC last night after no success with carboplatin or mitoxantrone. He spent a few minutes groaning about an hour after treatment, but stopped and seemed ok. I would appreciate any anecdotal info on side effects. This is a last ditch effort on our part. Up till now, his quality of life has been pretty good. Just has to pee every hour and has some trouble defecating too, but he does it. He’s a ten year old Australian Terrier. Mark, please let me know what’s happening with your coonhound

    • Sean, Shadow’s Dad

      Greetings Dr. D., our Lab mix Shadow has been battling MCT cancer for about 2 years now. She has had numerous surgeries to remove malignant tumors on her skin. To no success the cancer has now moved to her lymph nodes. A tumor on lymph node in her groin and also one in her abdomen that only shows up on a sonogram. It has not reached her liver or spleen yet. We have tried a alternating combo of Vinblastine and Cytocin combined with Prednisone but have had little to no success in tumor shrinkage. Tomorrow, 11/8/10, we are going to give Palladia a shot. We have very deep reservations though about putting her on this drug as we have a 4 year old and 21 month old boys in the house. We are also very concerned about the side effects, especially the possibility of bone pain or as with any chemo drug something more severe. We are also concerned because Shadow is a licker and my youngest just loves pooch smooches. Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated. Also are you aware of any alternative medications that may be available to battle MCT cancer? I am located in Orlando, FL and was told the “best” canine cancer alternative medicine vet is employed by the University of Florida’s vet program and at this point we would be willing to try anything that is safe and may show promise. U fo F does have a vet clinic open to the public. Shadow is our first born and we would do anything for her. Thanks in advance for your response.

      Deepest regards,
      Sean

      • http://DogCancerBlog.com DemianDressler

        Dear Sean,
        So sorry to hear about this.
        The question you pose could fill a book. Anti-histamine diet, Apocaps, cimetidine, benadryl would be choices you should consider. We don’t yet have a cancer cure but these steps have helped patients under my care….all the stuff in the Guide which I would take some time to read (it is easy reading) . There are also multiple blog posts about mast cell tumors. As always, all steps should be under vet supervision.
        Best,
        Dr D

  • Angela von Collas

    We need help!!

    Hello all!

    My Labrador-Mix, called Arthur, 7 years old – has today his second resection of mastcell tumors. I get a information about Palladia from the veternary – unfortunatelly we can´t buy Palladia in germany as yet. Maybe someone could help us to get Palladia from the U.S.??? Sorry for my bad english but my dog needs help urgently. We can´t wait if Palladia is on the market in germany.

    Thanks in advance for every comment!

    Angela & Arthur

    • Dr. Dressler

      Dear Angela,
      you should see if you can get Masivet in your area (masitinib). It is approved in Europe.
      Best,
      Dr D

    • M. Bos

      Dear Dr. Dressler,

      What do you think of Oncept from Merial? Does it work?
      Kind regards,
      Mrs.M. Bos
      Holland

  • Petra

    I have a beautiful 12 year old Border Collie Mix who was diagnosed w/ MCT. It is on the bottom portion of her hind leg in the ankle area. Because of all we have read, and after visiting her vet and oncologist, we feel comfort treatment is her best option. Having the surgery is not an option for her as the oncologist does not feel he can get it all and her physical as well as her mental recovery would be extremely difficult. She is deathly afraid of going to the vet clinic and shivers and salivates nonstop the moment we walk in. We feel her quality of life would deminish greatly just due to stress. We have decided to treat her with prednisone, pepsid, benedryl, and DHA w/ algea. This should keep her as comfortable as possible AND hopefully allow her to continue with her daily life of chasing rabbits, squirels and lizards. Fortunately, our vet suggested my family make the decision to do what is best for our Sierra, NOT what is best for us. I treasure my dog so much. She was a rescue dog we aquired when she was a gangly teenager. I am lucky to have her in my life :)

  • Elena

    Angels, if you can leave your email address for me, I can try to help.

    • Emily Fern

      The vet has prescrbed this drug for our cat who is 15 years old, male and weigh about 9 pounds now. He has just finished 5 days of radiation. This is the third type of cancer he has had the other two treated successfully with chemo and radiation, all cancers have been in the nasal and mouth areas. He was a 28 pounder and now is just a shadow of himself. We are told that this drug has a different type effect on cats – is that true? He has a sister and they share a litter box. Is this a danger to the other cat, should we separate them if it is safe for him to take?

  • scrappy

    Eric can you contact me about how your cat is doing on Palladia?
    Dr. D, my cat is supposed to start palladia today. Do you have any suggestions on dosage or if I should even bother?

    He has subcutaneous hemangiosarcoma (metastasized) not to lungs yet though.

    • Joyce

      Dr. Dressler – do you know of any effective use of Palladia for treatment of hemangiocarcinoma? We understand that this is an incurable cancer and that we are merely buying time for our beloved golden retriever who was diagnosed following an emergency splenectomy 3 months ago. 2 weeks post-op there was no evidence of metastases so she qualified for a trial study of a new drug. We do not know what this drug is but have been told she is the only dog on the west coast participating on this study. In the 2 1/2 months on this drug, she has had no side effects except for one elevated temp that resolved within a few hours without IV hydration. At that point, she was taken off the trial drug for 7 days and was then put back on at a slightly reduced dosage. The ultrasound performed 2 weeks after being off the drug for a week showed an increase in a liver nodule from 1 cm. to 3cm but the next ultrasound 2 weeks after that, showed a 1/2 cm decrease in the same tumor but a slight increase in 3 other small nodules that were barely visualized before. The bottom line is that apparently this study drug is keeping a very aggressive cancer at bay with no apparent side effects. We are thrilled with her quality of life and hope her next ultrasound will demonstrate enough benefit to keep her on the study drug indefinitely after the initial 12 week study is over. If she doesn’t qualify, our oncologist has suggested going on Palladia or conventional chemo. Everything I have been able to find on Palladia indicates that it was originally developed for MCT’s and that veterinary oncologists are now “experimenting” with it on other types of cancer. After reading the input about side effects on this blog, we are extremely reluctant to put Sasha on Palladia, at a cost of $5,500 – $5,700 for a 6 week course if there’s no clear benefit for hemangiosarcoma.

  • scrappy

    To add to my last post, my email is : ScrappyUSA@aol.com Does anyoneknow how to reach Eric. This is the ONLY post I found with someone who has given Palladia to a cat.

    Lani Nolan

  • Allen Depta

    Thanks for listing all the comments you got on Palladia

    • susan

      My 12 year old mixed breed (30 pound) dog was just diagnosed with a tonsil tumor that has extended to the lymph nodes. It looks like squamous cell (based on needle aspirate cytology). Is there any role for palladia for this kind of tumor, what is the prognosis and do you advocate any other treatments?
      Thank you very much for your input.
      Susan

  • melissa

    Autumn has been on Proxicam for almost 3 monthes. 5mg once a day. She also takes Carfate 2x’s a day. Her stomach is getting upset. Proxicam is working well. Any suggestions how to make her stomach feel better and stay on Proxicam. She had dark stook last week and threw up 2x’s. We hate to take her off because it is keeping the immflmation down. Any suggestions as to what we can do? Thank you

    Melissa

  • Rowena Henry

    My 8 year old cat, Andy, was diagnosed with thymoma, a very rare type of cancer, at the end of April. Surgery was attempted but was unsuccessful because the mediastinal mass was invasive so he was given Prednisone for one month in an attempt to shrink his tumor.
    A chest Xray this week showed the cancer has progressed and now covers the front of his chest cavity. He is eating, is playful, and interactive so we started giving him Palladia this week in another attempt to shrink his tumor mass. Has anyone found Palladia effective in cats? Have any studies been done? I’d like to get more information if possible.
    Thanks,
    Rowena

  • Rae

    For Izzy’s mom and others who have requested anecdotal info on side effects… My 75lb shepherd mix was put on Palladia a few weeks ago. The dose was every other day, and was 90mg (low end for her weight). I only administered 4 doses. The difference in her condition on the days she received the drug was so dramatic that even after 4 times, I knew palladia was the cause. First, she began panting about 2 hours after the dose and continued panting at least 12 hours afterward. She was restless, antsy, and seemed jumpy. She was also withdrawn and wouldn’t respond to her name or come to me. Most significantly, she experienced rear leg weakness and stiffness (which she already has), but on the Palladia days, she would actually fall down and was barely able to walk up her ramp. All of these side effects happened on the first dose, though with each of the subsequent doses the side effects seemed to increase. I decided that even if the drug helped shrink the tumors (regrowth of a rib osteosarcoma with lung metastatis), these were side effects that I couldn’t live with.

  • Rae

    Rowena Henry:
    I don’t know if this is an option for Andy, or cats in general, but the antibiotic doxycycline has been shown to help slow the progression of tumors in some cases due to its ability to prevent the formation of new blood vessels that “feed” the tumor and help it to grow. Just a bit of information I thought may be worth mentioning to your vet. It has few side effects and from what I understand it is very unlikely that it will do any harm. Of course, this is in relation to dogs, so it may be different or not an option for cats. Good luck with your boy.

    • Maryann

      I also would like to hear from Eric concerning his cat. My cat Rusty has
      cancer also, it is in his liver, spleen, pancreas also. The oncologist has suggested the use of palladia. Does anyone have any thoughts or know
      something about this drug and its use on cats. I need to decide asap as the
      cancer is growing rapidly. I’m looking for any kind of hope to keep Rusty around
      us a little longer.

  • jackie

    Dr. D, although you comment that the effectiveness of palladia only lasts about 3 months, in your opinion do you think there’s a role for it as a pre-surgical neoadjuvant?????

    Thanks!!

    • Dr. Dressler

      Dear Jackie,
      yes, and based on the information I have received from both clinicians and oncologists, my personal opinion is to consider masitinib also.
      Have your vet contact Dr. Albert Ahn at AB Sciences in New Jersey to see if your dog qualifies for the compassionate use program as another option.
      Of course, I am partial to the nutraceutical I developed to help as well- Apocaps.
      Best,
      Dr D

      • Randi

        My 18-month old pup was just diagnosed with Grade II MCT and conventional chemo and Masitinib were recommended. I’m heartbroken since she’s so young and I just lost my last dog to lymphoma less that a year ago. Radiation is out of the question since I have limited means. What’s your take on conventional vs. Masitinib? Also, what are the REALISTIC estimate on survival rates (assuming the cancer hasn’t spread)?
        Randi in LA

    • jenna

      @Priscilla:

      You said that the tumor was undifferentiated. Radiation and drug therapy don’t really work well on undifferentiated carcinomas. (Look up carcinoma on wikipedia–the information is not only out there, but easy to find.) I’m not a vet, so I have no idea why your vet even prescribed the drug.

      Good luck to you and your loved one. I can sympathize with your pain. My five-year-old beagle was recently diagnosed with an extremely aggressive mammary carcinoma with a mitotic rate of 10, and I’m trying to figure out how many months to expect her to survive.

  • Victoria Miraglio

    My Jack Russell/Corgi mix had what we thought was a fatty tumor on his side…it got a hard lump in the center after several months which we had removed.. The diagnosis was Low and Intermediate Soft Tissue Sarcoma with narrow margins. Surgery date was 6-10-2010.
    My question is what can I do now.. I have read about Palladia… He is on
    Expecta antioxidants. Please advise.

  • lovewrinkles

    I had contact with a woman from Italy who gave her cat masitinib (kinavet). the vet told her never to stop (life long treatment)
    Unfortunately her cat died a view weeks after.

    I am wondering, if you stop treating with masitinib (I gave masivet to my dog) or Palladia, will the tumors grow back with top speed?? This is the idea I have. We had to stop Masivet to give our dog chemo therapy. The chemo did noting and the tumors grew very fast!

  • Stephen Fox

    Dr. Demian: I lost a dog earlier to hemangiosarcoma; it was quick and horrible as the splenectomy came too late.
    Now I have another probable case, and the vet has mentioned this Palladia. I would like to try it, but I can’t afford $15 per pill every other day. Are there any programs conducted by schools or by Pfizer or independent Foundations whereby I could get it cheaper? Frankly, the money is not there, and I don’t want to let my dog die without trying this drug, even despite the dismal statistics you cite so intelligently.

    • http://DogCancerBlog.com DemianDressler

      Dear Todd,
      So sorry to hear about your old friend.
      I do not believe there are publications at this time suggesting Palladia’s efficacy for osteosarcoma, but oncologists are trying out different protocols with Palladia, so we may hear more in the future.
      There is a short answer and a very long answer to your question. The short answer is:
      a. get a dog without known genetic factors setting up cancers (Boxers are known for this)
      b. feed a diet with limited carbohydrates (lots of them now) cooked at low temperatures
      c. supplement with additional omega 3 fatty acid

      http://www.dogcancerblog.com/the-inflammatory-diet-and-cancer/

      d. maintain regular (daily) exercise (heavy panting)
      e. social interactions daily if possible for your dog
      f. sleep in total darkness
      g. add the vegetables in the dog cancer diet (free pdf on blog home page)
      h. i suggest to my clients to routinely supplement with apocaps at 1/4 labeled doses for senior dogs without cancer (www.apocaps.com)
      g. direct sunlight 10 minutes 3 times weekly
      h. do not over vaccinate
      i. avoid carcinogen exposure when possible

      these are some initial thoughts…more in the Guide (www.dogcancersurvival.com).
      Best,
      Dr D

  • Priscilla

    I have a question. My dog has undifferentiated nasal carcinoma. my dog has been taking palladia for it but not really sure if it’s working or not. per oncologist, they think it’s working. I don’t even know what i wanna ask, i’m so confused and dont know what to do. I’m wondering if continuing with the palladia is even worth it.

  • Priscilla

    dr. D do you know of any vet in san francisco bayarea that has a lot of experience with undifferentiated nasal carcinoma?

  • Todd C

    3 days ago i had to euthanize my 13 year old boxer for a osteosarcoma on his ribcage. Would Palladia have been helpful for this and what are the steps to take in early care for the next boxer I get to try and ward off future cancer issues?

  • Sandeep

    Hi Todd,

    Sorry for your loss. I lost my dog two months ago to Osteo of the pelvic bone and frankly speaking it seems just like yesterday, I guess it always will. I like you am keen to know Dr D’s response to both your questions, though Palladia is for mast-cell tumours and people’s response has been a mixed bag ( not too enthusiastic ). I don’t think we have control over the genetic factors but yes we can exercise some control over environmental factors and a lot of control over dietary factors. A proper and balanced diet I guess goes a long way in helping to keep a check on negative processes within the body, maintain acid-alkaly balance, protect DNA-damage and inhibit unproliferated cell growth. I hope what I have mentioned is right and if not Dr Dressler would surely correct me. I learnt a lot of these from here itself as also from other sources but couldn’t fully apply them for various reasons.

    • Sam Costello

      My Doberman had otsteosarcoma in his shoulder. Three months after the amputation and 4 visits into his chemo, the cancer spread to his lungs. Our canine oncologist prescribed Palladia. My dog doesn’t seem able to tolerate the drug. Massive vomiting. Diaherrea. Lethargy that seems so forlorn and complete that I thougt he was dying.
      Anything we can do to supress these side-effects? The drug seems to be working, but isit really worth keeping my guy alive if this is what his life is going to look like?

      Sam

  • http://DogCancerBlog.com DemianDressler

    Dear Priscilla, there are a number of oncologists in the bay area. There is no subspecialist in nasal carcinoma to my knowledge. I have had numerous conversations with Dr. Aarti Sabhlok in SF.
    Have you done a treatment plan analysis discussed in the Guide?
    Be in touch
    Best,
    Dr. D

    • Sean, Shadow’s Dad

      Dr Dressler,

      What are your feelings on Mastinib?? It was just approved for use in the US in about the past month, although as you know it has been around for quite some time in Europe. Shadow’s cancer is not responding at all to the lower dosage of palladia so we are now going to give Mastivet aka: mastinib a shot. My vet does have a little experience with this drug, they did treat about 3 other canines with it in the recent past but had to jump through hoops to get it in to the country. My vet will know by the end of the week after speaking with the rep. on availability of mastinib. I was told it works very similarly to palladia but with less side effects, so hopefully with in a week we will be giving it a try.

  • Sean, Shadow’s Dad

    Dr. D,

    Sorry, I failed to mention that she is currently taking benedryl and pepcid as histamine blockers. Just returned from the vet specialist/endocrinologist and Shadow is now going to start with the palladia today. We also found blood in her urine today, obviously not good, hoping it’s just a urinary track infection and nothing worse. Shadow has been a trooper showing little signs of slowing down considering how advanced her condition is. One more thing, we have always fed Shadow the best foods available, Innova currently. She tried the Origins brand but really didn’t care for it. So we really can not blame her diet for the cause of her cancer.

  • Jared Grano

    Can Palladia be purchased online with a prescription from a vet?

  • stephan dellosso

    Hi Dr D… I have a similar question to the one posed Nov 7th. I have a 10 year old lab that was diagnosed with MCT and has been given Palladia among other prescriptions. The Palladia is offered by the vet but is seriously expensive costing more than $1,000 per month. I am attempting to find a less expensive source of the drug ….. Can Palladia be purchased online with a prescription from a vet and if so, can you provide names of vendors? Many thanks.

  • Sean, Shadow’s Dad

    As far as I know Palladia can not be purchased online. It is EXTREMELY toxic and should be handled only with gloves on and should not be any where near small children as it is a growth inhibitor. The Palladia worked fantastic for us as far as the tumors responding to it. Shadow had a complete response!! Meaning the tumors completely disappeared. Now for the bad news, first her liver enzyme levels began to shoot through the roof caused by the Palladia, we dropped her dosage from 100mg a day to 100mg 3 times a week and the weekend off. Enzymes still way to high, dropped her dosage to 80mg 3X a week and weekends off, tumors still responded well but Shadow began to have extremely bloody diarrhea. Another trip immediately to the specialist and find out Shadow had ulcerated lower GI tract and was anemic from the Palladia which then required her to receive a blood transfusion and fluids. Her red blood cell count was down to 15%. Gladly it is now back up to 36% and she has just started the Palladia again this week @ 65mg 3X a week, weekends off. and we are going to see how this works out. After being off the Palladia for about two weeks her tumors came back and grew with a vengeance, they are quite large again so we are hoping this dosage will at least stop the growth with out and of the adverse effects. As for the cost of the Palladia it is about $300 a month for us but on average we have been spending about $2K sometimes more a month on total cancer care.

  • Bonnie

    My dog is presently undergoing chemo therapy for a cutaneous/subcutaneous hemangiosarcoma(back of her head) She has had surgery and had two masses removed, One came back with clean margins and all clear, while the other was questionable, a small mass found on her skull bone. The surgeon removed what he could including a small piece of her skullbone as well as the mass that was on the bone. The question is whether there is more where that came from or not. She is doing 5 treatments of chemo, doxorubicin and the oncologist has mentioned Palladia following her treatments. I am hesistant given the cost, effectiveness and side effects. The side effects really scare me and I want her tto have quality of life after her chemo woithout makingher totally sick. What do you think?

  • Patti

    I read Joyces comment her golden with hermangiosarcoma. I live on the west coast also and my golden was diagnosed two weeks ago with the same disease. We tried one dose of chemo and he got so sick he had to be hospitalized on IV for four days. Is there anything we can do to buy some time . Palladia was suggested as well as palliative radiation to the tumor on his heart. We are giving him dha and trying to follow the diet we found on your website. Any help or suggestion would be appreciated. Maybe Joyce could email me about the drug her dog was taking. I live in San Diego

  • Becky

    Hi Dr. D,

    My dog has mast cell, found out about it this summer. 2 months ago took her in she was breathing hard all night long. The vet took xrays of her lungs and told me it had moved into her lungs. I was wondering about Palladia, I saw it on the today show. And now reading your blog on it. I liked it at first. But now am not sure. Would it even work for her since it has spread to her lungs?
    Right now she is on Famotidine and prednisone

    Thank you!
    Becky

    • http://DogCancerBlog.com DemianDressler

      Dear Becky-
      This is a good question for a blog post. I will answer it in the next post.
      Thanks!
      Dr D

  • http://www.agilgold.com KRudolph

    My 7 yr. old golden was diagnosed in May 2010 with a stage 2 mast cell tumor. He participated in a clinical trial giving both vinblastin and palladia. The tumor shrank 37% with no side effects from the drugs. Since the study he continues to take palladia, 100mg, every other day. There is no evidence of local recurrence, no evidence of metastatic disease, and no side effects. He is as healthy as he was before this journey began.

    • Ana Maria

      Dr. Dressler:
      My sweet Rafi had to be euthanized Saturday, May 5th after being diagnosed 8 months ago with anal sac carcinoma with mets to the lungs. We went to UT Knoxville Vet Med Hospital a total of 21 times since September 2011 for palliative treatment (carboplatin and adryamicin, which did not work). The last treatment was Palladia. It worked wonderful from January 2012 to and of March 2012, but then it started destroying my Rafi’s stomach in April 2012. I made the decision of taking him of Palladia last Monday and it seems that the cancer progressed with a vengance. By that Saturday my Rafi was having a lot of difficulty breathing so since I had promised him that I would not le
      t him hurt, he was euthanized. His life expectancy was only 8 weeks at diagnosis and the palliative care allowed him to live 8 months, 7.5 of tose months with good quality of life. Palladia is good but it has some serious side effects, specially GI side effects. I think that if I had known it would hurt by Rafi’s stomach so bad, I would have never put him on it. Thank you for your blog, it was a source of support for me while we were going through the cancer ordeal.

      • Dr. Demian Dressler

        Thinking of you, Ana Maria.
        Dr D

        • Roie

          Hi – Our 7 yo Boston Terrier named Riley was diagnosed with stage 3 MCT on his right rear leg and stage 1 MCT on his lower abdomen in May 2012. He had surgery to remove both and they were able to get clean margins. His scans were all good, but his bone marrow showed evidence of MCT. He has had 8 rounds of Vinblastin chemo and has done well. He had an abdominal scan on 9/4/12 which showed everything looks good. The oncologist would like to put him on Palladia now, but we have heard about all the bad side effects and are having some doubts. We want to do the right thing for Riley – any suggestions?
          P.S. Since May we have had him on Artemisinin in evenings, Benedryl 3 Xs day, 200 mg of vit C 2xday and 200 iu’s of vit E 2 x day.
          Thanks for any suggestions/help, Roie

          • Dr. Susan Ettinger

            Hi Roie,
            Grade 3 MCT have a high metastasis rate, so I agree that more chemo is recommended. Palladia is a good option especially for ckit positive dogs,nand it works in the mutation negative dogs too.
            Most of my dogs tolerate it very well and can stay on the medication long term without major issues. But it required close monitoring and regular check ups. Discuss it in detail with your oncologist, but I think it is a good chemotherapy option for dogs with MCT.
            All my best, Dr Sue

  • Sean, Shadow’s Dad

    Pardon my spelling but I believe it is spelled “masitinib”, sorry.

    Sean

  • Nancy T

    My 9 1/2 year old neutered German Shepherd was diagnosed with anal gland cancer this past May. Surgery done to remove the tumor, but the cancer was already in the node in the groin area. The estimate for chemo with Palladia was out of reach finance wise. The best I could do for him was supplements, and switch his food to Orijen for Seniors. But he has had such a good quality of life all this time. Couple months ago his rear hind leg started swelling, the side the tumor was on. Doc said the lymph node in the right groin area was hugh. He was not limping, eating well and still acting healty as a horse. A couple weeks ago I was able to start the Palladia thru my vet clinic. Before statring Palladia we put him on a daily dose of Prilosec and benadryl, and to be continued from now on. My gentle giant is 124 lbs, so his Palladia dose was 150mg 3X a week. Did it Mon, Wed & Frid. After 2 weeks he still has no side effects or problems what so ever. Took him in yesterday for re check and blood work. I could tell the leg swelling was down, but the tumor has alwo shrunk a lot. Starting monday we drop the dose to 100mg 3X week. I know Palladia will not cure him in his advanced stage, but if giving him more time. The boy loves to eat, so as long as he continues to do so, things are going well. We take one day a a time, and every day is a gift.

    • http://DogCancerBlog.com DemianDressler

      Dear Nancy,
      thinking of you and your dog during these hard days. Hang in there and be well.
      Dr D

      • Jeannette Botza

        I just have one question, after doing everything possible to save my beloved
        12 year old from Hemangiosarcoma. Thruthfully, how many dogs with cancer
        can you say have been CURED. I spent $11,000.00 to have her in my life
        fro 6 months. What is the cure rate, and is there one.

        • Dr. Demian Dressler

          Dear Jeanette,
          we still do not have the cure for systemic cancers that cannot be completely removed with surgery. In other words, there is no cure for cancer to this very day, I am sorry to say.
          Dr D

  • R Laing

    Our 5 year old Weimaraner, Jesel, has been on Palladia since early October 2010. He is responding well against the Lymphangiosarcoma.The tumour has shrank by 30 % and to date, none of the side affects, except for some hair loss around his nose.
    The dosage is 80 mg, 3 times per week. We also give him Metacam, Pepcid and 10.3 mg of Cyclophosphamide on the Palladia off days.His blood work as of this past Tuesday was excellent.

    • http://DogCancerBlog.com DemianDressler

      This is great news. Keep it up!
      Best,
      Dr D

  • Pingback: My Dog has Mast Cell Cancer. Tell Me About Palladia Results and Side Effects « Rosie's Road

    • Michael

      Our lab Gracie was diagnosed over two years ago with Thyroid carcinoma with pulmonary metastasis. She was an early trial participant and has been healthy and activity for two years. Pfizer just up’d the cost of her meds to $23 dollars a dose. Every other day, $23 dollars a dose. Nearly $350 dollars a month. Morally disgusting. And an irrational business case in my opinion. If anyone had hope they’d be in the 40%, they’re likely to opt out regardless.

  • Carolina

    Dr. Dressler,

    I´m writing from Madrid, Spain to ask you about your feedback and experience at using Palladia. Here in Spain, this medical treatment has not been introduced yet, but is under experimental use ( will be in the market n three month´s time). My dog aged 11 years, probably might have a carcinoma in her liver and the vet suggests the use of Palladia. Having read all the commentaries that other people left about the use of Palladia, its side effects and possible cancer recurrence, do you recommend its use for a liver carcinoma? Reality is that our vet, after having our dog passed a needle aspirate citology, confirms that she can have or a carcinoma (based on the high level of her liver enzimes) or a bening tumor, which is less possible. Our options are: the use of Palladia during 40 days´time or a biopsy, which has other side effects for her liver and once we are 100% sure our dog has carcinoma, then treating her with Palladia. Our dog was very skinny, but we have recently changed her diet and she has started to gain weight, she´s healthy, happy and you could not notice she might have cancer, so that´s why I really do not know if she undergoes this treatment, what are her opportunities and if there is no other less “aggresive” way of treating her. Many thanks in advance for your attention, quick response

    • http://DogCancerBlog.com DemianDressler

      Dear Carolina,
      I apologize this is not a very quick response :(
      There are a host of other non-invasive approaches you can use in the Guide. You should download the dog cancer diet pdf on the top of this web page. You might want to consider Apocaps with your veterinarian, as well as omega-3 fatty acids and K-9 Immunity and transfer factor from Aloha medicinals. Another chemo option is masitinib (Kinavet), which is in the same class as Palladia . This can get you started,
      I hope it helps,
      Best,
      Dr D

    • Edith von Stuemer

      My 13 year old spayed female beagle has been on oral Neoplasene since Aug.2010 as well as Chinese herbs after being diagnosed with bladder cancer.In Sep.2011 I added Apocaps which made a big difference – she feels great! The tumor continued to grow very slowly,so Neoplasene bladder infusion was begun and the tumor began to shrink. Now however, it is growing again (towards the urethra.) Can you recommend any other treatment that might help? I have your book, but am getting confused as to which is best.

      Also, I saw that you advised several people to use oral Neoplasene as well as Apocaps, which is what I have been doing, but in your book you advise against that. Which is correct?

      Edith

      • Dr. Demian Dressler

        Dear Edith
        I’ve started doing them together in severe cases since the book was published.
        Might add artemisinin at this stage.
        Be sure you have veterinary supervision for all.
        Also perhaps (discuss with your vet) IV Vit C with K3.
        Best
        Dr D

  • Jennifer

    Hello,

    I found your web site very interesting. My 13 yeaar old Maltese most likely has Liver Cancer. He has not been diagnosed because I have not done a fine needle biopsy. From X-Rays and Ultrasound the liver is enlarged and abnormal margians. Everything else in his body is clear. He will not eat unless hand fed chicken or turkey, and loosing weight. I am big into holistic and herbal. I have had him on a RAW and holistic diet most of his life, and on herbal supplements. I do not know how Liver Cancer hit him. Any advice would be appreciated. I currently have him on Milk Thistle and Chinese Herb for Liver and Spleen Cancer. He has a fever and not eating well. Also, loosing weight but bloated in his stomach.

    I dont think I have much time with him or to help him, but I will not do chemo. so I am not sure it’s worth finding out for sure whether he does have Liver Cancer.

    Thanks so much.

    • http://DogCancerBlog.com DemianDressler

      Dear Jennifer,
      Another good supplements you might want to try is Denamarin. Talk to your vet about appetite stimulants and diuretics too (if the swelling is from fluid in the abdomen).
      I hope this helps
      Dr D

      • Jessie

        My 7 yr old boxer, Brutikas, has been on Palladia for 6 months now. We had to take him off of the prednisone because it was crashing his red blood cell system when used in conjunction with the palladia. He now takes 95mg on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. He has been on 80 mg for awhile however last wseek I was one day late getting him his friday dose not giving it to him until saturday morning and he, by 1 or 2 p.m.on friday, was alost comletely crashede. He still has not recovered fully, almost a week later he still is limping a little sumtimes. I hope that he can stay with us for many years to come!! Palladia is truely saving my boxers life!!! Without it I would have had to put him down in october when we 1st found the cancer. Thanks pizer!! Good job !!!

        • Dr. Demian Dressler

          Great news, Jessie.
          Good responses are always good…. :)

  • Raymond van Faassen

    Hi Dr. D,

    When have been using the PALLADIA of Pfizer since 8 months with good results. After 3 weeks using it, the cancer completely disappeared.
    Do you know what the advisable period of treatment is? We are considering to stop with it. The medicine is quite expensive in Europe (350€/month).

    Rgds

    Raymond

    • http://DogCancerBlog.com DemianDressler

      Dear Raymond,
      your chemotherapy decisions should be done with your oncologists’ supervision. There are two different considerations here. One is financial. One is medical. They are not necessarily the same outcome. The best thing is to go to the oncologist and let him or her know what your budget is and you can come to an agreement that takes your wallet and your dog’s health into consideration simultaneously.
      Best,
      D

      • ritzenjammer

        Has anyone’s dog been extremely hyper on Palladia? Our pug started 2 weeks ago and is now not sleeping at night. Running around, acting like he can’t control himself and settle down.

  • Julie Brooks

    Hi Dr. D,

    Our dog Kelsey, about 8 yrs old, (we got her from a shelter so we’re not sure of her exact age) had exploratory surgery the beginning of March and was given a 10% chance of making it through or past surgery. It’s almost a month later and she’s still here! They removed the tumor (or the 2 halves of the tumor) since it had burst, and the surgeons were confident they got both pieces and they said there is some chance that some cells could have been left behind but they said the chances of that is remote.

    We had a stain test done on her tumor and it is a GIST and the oncologist is recommending Palladia. My husband and I have been STRONGLY leaning against chemo and just continuing her on many different holistic supplements that our holistic vet recommended.

    Do you think we are making the right decision in her case? I am glad I came across your blog about Palladia as it strengthens my feelings against chemo. She has a good quality of life right now. She has a good appetite, etc, loves to go outside. She is not back 100% to running like she used to but after surgery isn’t that to be expected? We are a little concerned that she is not drinking as much water as she used to, but she is on a much different diet now with no carbs so I am assuming that could have something to do with it.

    I didn’t mean to submit such a long post for you here, but any input is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for all you do for our fuzzy friends.

    Julie

    • http://DogCancerBlog.com DemianDressler

      Dear Julie,
      have you guys read the Guide? I wonder, because we talk about decision making in it and it seems like it applies to your case. As you will read, there is no “right” decision in systemic cancers. It sounds like you don’t want to do chemo. As long as you are aware of all the choices and what the consequences of those choices are, and you have defined what your priorities are as a Guardian, you have made the “right” choice.
      Best,
      Dr D

  • Nanci Bazzell

    Hello, my dog Frasier has anal sac ademocarcinoma since Dec 2008. He had surgery, radiation, and chemo. Cancer came back May 2010. He has been taking PALLADIA. His tumor is very tiny. Now we are not getting free samples. We cannot afford to buy 900.00 worth of pills for a two month period. We feed him WEllness, grain free dry food…along with Wellness Wet Food. Is there anything we should do? Change his diet, forget the pill, or add food to his regular food. He exercises, play with other dogs and out in the sun a lot. We do not give him vitamins or herbs… so, what should we do?

    • http://DogCancerBlog.com DemianDressler

      Dear Nanci,
      have you stared your Dog Cancer Diet (top of this page)? Apocaps, beta glucans, possibly artemisinin? Did you read the Guide? As for the chemo, perhaps you can apply for Care Credit. There is a post on finances here:http://waveco.com/the-cost-of-my-dogs-life-part-1/
      Hope this helps
      D

  • Nanci Bazzell

    I forgot……Frasier is twelve and a half years old and acts like a four years old puppy. He is an Asian mutt. Part sheba inu, chow, and jingo. Weighs 43 lbs.

  • Angie Moore

    I have a yellow lab, Joey, that was diagnosed in February 2009 with a mast cell tumor (grade 2-3) on his ear. His ear was removed with clean margins. If June of 2009 he was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor (grade 2-3) in a lymph node. We started traditional chemotherapy and were successful in shrinking the tumor into nothing. In October of 2009 he failed on the chemo and “broke out” with 9 visible mast cell tumors all over his body. We started Palladia in early November of 2009. I am happy to say that with a few minor set backs (2 surgeries to remove tumors) Joey is alive and well and still on Palladia. He has had a couple of times when we’ve had to stop the medicine for a few weeks due to bone pain causing lameness, but that has been the only side effect so far. One time we stopped the Palladia and tried Masitinib (sp?) but had so many negative side effects that we went back to the Palladia. It was when Joey was off the Palladia for that 2 months and on Masitinib that he had a tumor develop that we’ve had the surgeries on. He is currently taking Palladia and Prednisone. If you didn’t know Joey was sick you would never suspect it. He is a very happy active dog. I just wanted to let people know that it can work so it’s worth a try.

    • Aaron

      In November of 2010 my now 8 yr old Basset Hound woke up one morning having difficulty walking. I made a vet appointment that day and after X-rays no reason for the lameness was found. My vet did an anal exam to check for an abscess on his anal gland, which she thought could be the reason. What she found was a pea sized tumor on his anal gland. In December 2010 both anal glands were removed and pathology reports came back stating it was an anal sac carcinoma. I chose not to do any further treatment because I was concerned with side effects and promised myself to give my dog quality of like over quantity. A year later, December 2012, a visible tumor in the same location came back. I was referred to a specialist because my regular vet wasnt confident she could remove the tumor based on its location. The oncology dept at MedVet in Columbus Ohio were confident that they could remove it without any issues. He had surgery and they were able to remove it, but unfortunately without clean margins. So, no they are suggesting I choose a post operative treatment. I have decided that Palladia is the best option for us. I have done a lot of reading about it and I am really concerned about the side effects. As he gets older he already has some issues with his hind legs, so the potential lameness concerns me. I’m also concerned about the stomach issues. He currently has no tumors anywhere but they are hoping a treatment like Palladia could slow down the progression of the disease and tumor reoccurrence. I have two questions. First, how long should he stay on Palladia, is it really safe to remain on it indefinitely? Second, how long should I wait to stop dosage or adjust dosage once side effects occur?

  • Maggie

    Hi Dr. Dressler,

    I used to attend your webinars, and I always appreciated your helpful advice. My 7 lb. Chihuahua, Simon, has a nasal adenocarcinoma. He was diagnosed Jan. 2010, and after several rounds of radiation, is still doing well. My main concern has always been his quality of life. He has not had any apparent side effects, except for his nose being a bit dry. Otherwise, he eats and sleeps great, and is a very active and happy little guy. However, he does get stuffy again eventually, meaning that the tumor continues to grow back. We are getting to the point where more radiation could cause serious issues with the tumor possibly breaking through his soft palate. So, his oncologist has suggested we try Palladia. I have been a bit hesitant, since radiation has worked so well for him, and I worry about the possible side effects. But now it seems to be the best option we have left. He’s been on Apocaps and K9 Immunity w/Transfer Factor all along, and I also give him turmeric for inflammation. Can he continue taking these while on Palladia? Should I restart him on IP6/Inositol? I read something about cutting the dose of Apocaps in half with Palladia, but I’m really not sure where I saw it. Please let me know. Thank you! Maggie

    • Amal

      Hello Dr.

      I found this site after 3 days on non-stop googling for possible cure/relief for my 10 year old Dog.
      My Willow, a beautiful brown Lab, diagnosed last Tuesday with osteosarcomas in her left-front leg (proximal h.).
      Willow cant even run down the stairs without crying, and its all came so sudden (few weeks and getting worse everyday).
      i am considering the your Diet book and will be buying the recommended Apocas (Amazon has good reviews of these), but should i go for Palladia as well?
      Money is of no issue and i can invest as much as needed if it will relief the pain she is currently experiencing.
      I fear every day that she will break her bone (she is quite heavy,,,).
      Should i purchase it and start providing it, parallel to Apocaps? or..?
      i need your help.

      THANK YOU IN ADVANCE

      Amal

  • Jason

    I have a 9 year old Beagle named Max. The vet said he had a stage 2 tumor. I paid for the surgery and had it removed. Since then I was given a few options. Radiation which is just way too expensive, Palladia, a couple of other oral meds, and one given in the form of a shot. I went with Palladia and before I give it to my dog I would like to know what to expect. Right now my dog is very happy and loves to run and play. He shows no signs of lameness or loss of appetite. I was told Chemo will many time ruin the quality of life in a dog. I don’t mind giving him the pills just as long as I know he isn’t going to change. I would hate for him to go from what he is now to a sick lazy dog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    thanks and god bless all of us in this ordeal.
    J

    • http://DogCancerBlog.com DemianDressler

      Dear Jason,
      type this in your search bar using google:
      palladia FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SUMMARY ORIGINAL NEW ANIMAL DRUG APPLICATION
      You will find the summary, which is a pdf that can be downloaded. Within this document, you will find side effect frequency. They vary depending on dose used. There is a fair probability you could see a drop in appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. You might see hindlimb weakness. There are rare reports of bleeding in the stomach or intestine. The bottom line is that you need to get the data on what is the gained life expectancy with the use of this treatment (from your vet or oncologist) so you can weigh the odds of side effects against the benefit. You should read the treatment plan analysis in the Guide for more details on how to go about making these decisions…and of course don’t forget diet, apoptogens, immune support, and so on…
      Best,
      Dr D

    • Mel

      We are agonizing over starting our 10-yr old Jack Russell/Beagle mix (21 lbs) on Palladia. She has Squamous Cell Carcinoma in the back of her throat (Pharyngeal/Larynx area). She has been thru hell since we adopted her in 2001.
      She has IMHA (a blood/platelet disorder where she almost bled out and was hospitalized twice–2003 & 2005–for long periods of time) and came down with pancreatitis and colitis from the heavy doses of meds given to her for this condition. Later, she had a painful injury to her back (or cord) and became paralyzed in the rear legs. No MRI was performed as we didn’t want to put her under anesthesia for surgery anyway in fear of the IMHA condition. She has been on a maintenance 5 mg Prednisone to stabilize the IMHA but last March started coughing and gagging with difficulty swallowing. Endoscopy found the tumor but since she had been through so much, Chemotherapy and those side effects were out of the question. Surgery was not a good option either so we chose radiation to at least do something. She has tolerated 2 rounds of radiation well, but tomorrow is her last treatment and we are suppose to start Palladia tonight. My gut feeling is not to go through with it, but my husband want to give her every chance as presently she is eating well, taking walks and still wagging her tail. But she has had GI problems in the past and weakness in her hind legs. After reading some of the blogs (some encouraging and others not so much) we are so torn and truly cannot decide how to proceed but feel we are out of options to try.
      Any thoughts would certainly be appreciated.
      Melani

  • Lori

    I read with interest your post on Palladia; having had a dog who was on it, it peaked my interest. I realize that the numbers are not overwhelming for Palladia’s life-saving abilities, but I do not believe that this – or any chemotherapy – is necessarily intended to be a cure. If looking at the potential for extension of quality life, Palladia can be a worthwhile endeavor – especially if given at slightly under recommended dosage to limit side effects (I think that the doses are not refined yet, especially since it is still relatively new to the canine market). I have an elderly Irish Setter, diagnosed with sarcoma (for which radical surgery was advised, but his CHF and IVC obstruction from a carcinoma prevented that). So, we tried Palladia for a 2.5 weeks at a dose somewhat lower than recommended. We stopped because he was having some GI issues, and our promise is that we would not do anything to worsen his quality of life…so we stopped it. But, in the second week of treatment, the tumor had shrunk by about 5%, upon entering the 3rd week it had shrunk more, and – even after stopping the therapy – the tumor continued to steadily shrink. It finally nearly resolved – and has been that way for about 3 months. Now, it may recur, but in the meantime, he has lived another 3 months of high quality, happy life, unencumbered by what would have been surely a horrible cancer (it was growing so quickly and already interfering with comfort and ambulation!). I know he is but one dog, and the studies bespeak statistics involving hundreds (and only for mast cell tumors). But, I have was extremely impressed by the response and, thus, the potential of what it can offer in terms of extension of quality of life (ever mindful that one must cease the therapy if major side effects occur, as the whole quality of life thing can go out the window if one doesn’t; and, I realize the side effects can be pretty nasty with Palladia, like with any antineoplastic). All these antineoplastic are a horror, when you think about it – but Palladia might give some dogs a few more happy comfortable days (and not just for mast cell tumors).
    Thank you

    • http://DogCancerBlog.com DemianDressler

      Dear Lori,
      thanks for the information. Glad to hear Palladia helped. And yes, Palladia as well as other canine cancer chemotherapy is intended to be palliative as opposed to curative.
      Best,
      Dr D

  • Rick Ives

    Our dog kali was diagnosed with kidney cancer 3.5 years ago. The kidney was removed and the cancer returned and was diagnosed in April, 2010. Our Vet. an instructor at Washington State University Vet. School and on the Phfizer advisory board for Palladia recoomended Palladia. He was quite straight forward and did not promise anything, stating that not all dogs can accept the treatment i.e. they get pretty sick. We have been very fortunate. Kali has lived a normal life for the past 18 months. We give her 80mg of Palladia on M, W, and Friday. My wife is an avid walker and Kali has joined her 3-4 times a week for a walk of 4-8 miles. Other than her coat turning lighter, one would not know she had cancer. The doctors were straight forward and said we might get another year if her system could accept Palladia, which it did. We got 18 months. Unfortunately the cancer has finally overtaken the Palladia and she is now coughing up blood. X-rays show the cancer has advanced in her lungs. This has all happened in about two weeks with each day a liitle worse. We will be putting her down soon. Needless to say we are devastated, but are fortunate that she was able to tolerate the Palladia and give us another 18 months of joy.

    • Mary Palmer

      Dr. Dressler,
      Are you a board certified medical oncologist or radiation oncologist? If you are not, then you are not qualified to make the statements you have made. I work for a multi specialty referral veterinary practice at which we have 6 board certified oncologists. Pallaida is still a new chemotherapy agent but the advantage of having the option of using this chemotherapy is that it specifically targets a receptor on the surface of the cell which is uniquely different form the way the majority of chemotherapy drugs work. In the hands of someone trained to understand the biology of cancer and that can make the appropriate medical judgment for a patient, this drug is effective and safe. I have provided you with a reference to a publication in a peer reviewed medical journal for your review.
      London CL et al. Multi center, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, randomized study of oral toceranib phosphate (SU11654), a receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, for the treatment of dogs with recurrent (either local or distant) mast cell tumors following surgical excision. Clin Cancer Res 15(11):3856-3865. 2009.

      • Dr. Demian Dressler

        Hi Dr. Palmer
        I am not sure that the mechanism is as important as the outcome for a dog lover, nor is the mechanism nearly as salient as the overall outcome to me or the readers of this blog. The comment was made based on the existing outcome data at the time and the references are linked to within the post
        Sorry to disagree with you, but treatment plan analysis (the benefit of a treatment versus the financial, logistical, and life quality cost in the context of life expectancy) does not require board certification. The data is right there. Here’s what we get as a rough approximation from the treatment. Here are the odds of side effects.
        Dog owners and veterinarians are qualified to make these calls, as are board certified personnel, but it does not require board certification.
        Best
        Dr D

  • Kathy K.

    Our beloved Babe lost her battle to adrenal cancer on 10/12/11. She had a good 8 month experience with carboplatin. When it ceased to become effective she commenced trial of Palladia on 9/8. Her labs on 9/8 were all within normal range. After 1 month of Palladia she had lameness in her back legs, loss of appetite, etc. On 10/11/11 her creatin and BUN were off the chart and she was diagnosed with kidney failure and progression of her disease. I would be VERY cautious of Palladia. I had wished that we would have tried a different chemo option.

    • Demian Dressler

      Dear Kathy,
      I am very sorry to hear of your loss. Thinking of you, and sending my condolences.
      Dr D

      • Thomas

        Dear Dr. Dressler & Dr. Ettinger,

        I have a question about possible interactions between Palladia and Apocaps.

        Our pug Lexi was diagnosed with intestinal adenocarcinoma, which was resected. The mets to her liver were too numerous to remove. She received a single carboplatin treatment, which was discontinued after another tumor appeared near the incision site (biopsy showed cancer). We started Apocaps, but the vets in this practice take the old-school “evidence-based” view that NO supplements should be given because there are no studies supporting efficacy or showing deleterious interactions. The only concern I can see from reading your book is that Palladia has potential GI issues, and some of the ingredients in Apocaps like curcumin can aggravate GI problems and cause blood thinning. If the Palladia were to cause intestinal bleeding, might the blood-thinning effect of Apocaps aggravate the situation?

        Could you share your experience using Palladia and Apocaps? I’d like to arm myself to discuss the issues with the vet as intelligently as possible. Thank you in advance for your time.

        Tom

        • Dr. Demian Dressler

          Dear Thomas,
          sorry to hear this news about your Lexi. To answer, I would not be giving supplements to a dog with intestinal or gastric wall bleeding other than those to fix the erosion or ulcer. You need a healthy GI tract to be tolerating oral treatments of any kind well.
          There are definitely dogs who develop digestive upset on Palladia. Many times in practice we will make sure that the oral chemo is well tolerated, and then start slowly with the oral supplements. This goes for not only Palladia, but also Kinavet, Cyclophosphamide, and others. So I would be sure all’s well on the oral chemo for about 7-10 days, then start your supplements slowly, one by one, starting at half the labeled dose and increasing every 5-7 days up to the regular labelled dose, monitoring for digestive upset meanwhile. Please also be sure all steps are veterinary supervised.
          Best,
          Dr D

        • Dr. Susan Ettinger

          Tom,
          Sorry about Lexi. In my cases under my care, I typically use Apocaps on non-Palladia days and sometimes at a slightly lower dose, depending on the case, other medications and other medical conditions. In my cases I have found this very well tolerated. I use both in many of my patients on Palladia.
          All my best, Dr Sue

    • Elmo’s Mom

      Elmo is a 13.5 year old Cairn Terrier. In addition to Mast Cell tumors, he was recently diagnosed with oral squamous cell carcinoma. We took him to an oncologist who made her recommendations – Palladia seemed to be the only viable option. You see… Elmo also suffers from a narrowing trachea for which he is medicated. Because of this, I felt that putting him under anesthesia once for the CT Scan, perhaps again for another operation, and subsequently more time for raidiation treatments was not in his best interest. You see… he has been operated on 3 times to remove Mast Cell tumors and 1 time to remove the tumor that turned out to be squamous cell carcinoma. Within 2months of removing the tumor in his mouth, another developed inside is nose. Strangely enough, it was at this time we noticed the trachea cough subsiding AND that he was blowing bubbles out of the tumor-affected nostril. Exactly 2 weeks after discovering the new tumor in his nose, we noticed that another tumor had developed in his mouth – just to the right of the original one.

      So… this leads me to my question…
      Do you think that the Palladia will be effective for Elmo and what time frame (if at all) do you suspect he will have in remission???

  • nicole

    hi dr. dressler-

    my 9 1/2 year old lab hudson had a tumor removed from his left hind leg with clean margins. the results came back that it was hemangiosarcoma in the cutis and subcutis. he has had ultra sounds, chest xrays and blood work and they all came up clean.

    we saw an oncologist who recommended traditional chemo as well as palladia but could give no numbers/possible outcomes in terms of stopping any recurrence. so we have decided not to do either treatment.

    how often should we check for a reoccurrence?

    thank you,
    nicole

    • Dr. Demian Dressler

      Dear Nicole
      there is not black and white rule (welcome to dog cancer, I am sorry)
      I would do a recheck every 4-8 weeks. I would also be considering the other steps you have at your disposal– diet, apocaps, antimetastatics, immune support, etc (all under veterianry supervision)- these are in the Guide and can be helpful.
      Best
      Dr D

      • Karen

        My dog has nasal cancer

  • Leslie

    Dr. Dressler,

    Almost three weeks ago my dog, Lily, was diagnosed with mandibular osteosarcoma. Two weeks ago, Lily had a Rostral bilateral mandibulectomy. A week later she had to have another one, because her stitches didn’t hold. Four days later, we noticed more growth. The growth has doubled on size in a day. Tomorrow, I hope to take her back to the vet. The oncologist is on vacation ’til thursday, but we will see what can be done. Is there anything you can suggest?

    • Dr. Demian Dressler

      Dear Leslie,
      is might have to start the other modes of cancer treatment. This sounds hard, I am so sorry. Consider chemo, radiation, apocaps, neoplasene, artemisinin, diet change to Dog Cancer Diet, pamindronate, doxycycline, and the anitmetastatics in the Guide. Be sure to double check it is not infection. Also pain control, big time, is a consideration. Please have your vet supervise all treatments,
      I hope this helps
      Dr D

  • maryann

    Dr. Dressler, Our 8 year old cat, Dylan was diagnosed in March 2011 with a poorly differentiated sarcoma that grew on his head over his left eye socket. The tumor grew quickly disfiguring him, closing his eye and causing him to sneeze constantly. 17 doses of radiation were successful in shrinking the tumor, returning his looks to normal and to date he has had 5 of 6 prescribed adriamycin chemo treatments to keep him stabilized. After the 4th chemo, our oncologist prescribed palladia after his recheck appointment blood tests showed he was up to it. Palladia cost us $65 for ten tabs at 2 per week to be increased to 3 per week if it showed promise. Given the thousands we had spent for radiation, chemo and blood tests, that seemed worth trying. Unfortunately, in spite of anti- nausea drugs, the cat had a poor time of it on palladia, losing weight, vomiting, diarrhea the whole intestinal discomfort thing. He stopped eating and hid from us instead of showing up each morning to yowl at the dogs and demand his milk saucer. Our big red-orange tabby looked ragged, tired and exhausted. Of all the treatments, including boarding in hospital for radiation, this was the hardest for Dylan to tolerate. I have read that palladia doesn’t work beyond 12 weeks but after only 3 1/2 weeks , losing 1 1/2 lbs and down to 13 lbs, a new low for him, we had to call it quits due to his weight loss. ( I have read animals 11 lbs and under should not take palladia) We stopped the palladia a week before the 5th adriamycin treatment and he is now doing better after three weeks off palladia.
    I think the dosages for cats need a lot of work, but I also question whether the tyrosine kinerase inhibitor in palladia also inhibits some functions needed to repair the cat’s body. . No one has been encouraging to us about Dylan, who is the world’s greatest cat, or at least we think so. (Don’t tell the other two cats and two dogs) Given his aggressive cancer, my cat should not be alive 8 months after diagnosis, but yesterday he felt well enough to box with the 6 month old cat, patrol the perimeter, taste test my lunch and try to sneak out the door with the dogs and give the daschund a big howling fit. I think anyone with a dog or cat who has cancer must commit to more than one modality to prolong life and improve quality of life. There is no one magic bullet. To us, palladia worsened the quality of life more than either the radiation or chemotherapy treatments previously tried.

    • Dr. Demian Dressler

      Dear Maryann
      might also consider Neoplasene and acemannan injections- discuss with your vet..
      I hope this helps
      D

  • Gerry M

    We all do what we can, but please don’t remove half of your dog’s jaw. My little Beagle has Oral Squamous Cell and has been through Chemo and is now on Palladia for about 2 more weeks. Then, that’s it. He’s comfortable for now and happy. Eventually, we know it will return and finally do him in… but I would NEVER remove half of his jaw and/or put him through daily radiation for a month only to have the same outcome. You have to ask yourself how much time they would have with no treatment… and how much with some or major surgery and/or removal of limbs and jaw. If the difference isn’t significant, why put them through that hell?

    • Debbie

      My beautiful, mad, 10 year old English Springer Spaniel was diagnosed with multiple (over 20) grade I Mast Cell Tumours around 18 months ago. After referral at oncologists, and a clean spleen and liver tests, they advised Piriton (antihistamine) daily, but no surgery due to the number of MCTs.

      About 3 months ago Amber’s lumps on her hip started breaking out and ulcerating. We treated each breakout with a course of antibiotics and Prednisolone which did the trick. Again, we rejected surgery due to the number of MCTs and now also the size of the lumps on her hip (not enough skin to close wound after taking wide margin). At about the same time, another tumour popped up on her abdomen (actually a recurrence formed on scar tissue from original biopsy). This was diagnosed as a MCT from an aspirate but no grade was given (needed a biopsy which I wasn’t keen to get without total surgical removal – any manipulation makes the tumours incredibly inflamed). After a single breakout it died down and, in agreement with our vet, we decided to leave it alone as it didn’t seem to be bothering her.

      In the last 6 weeks however, both main lumps have got much, much bigger. After finding this blog and reading your book, Amber’s diet has changed dramatically, and whilst she enjoys the diet, sadly it’s not had any noticeable effect on her tumours.

      We’ve now started her on Palladia in a last ditch attempt to halt and hopefully reduce the MCTs. After a week on Palladia she collapsed when out on a walk and seemed to have a little seizure for a few seconds. Local vet (who has been really supportive imho) thinks it may have been a secondary infection (either as a result of the Palladia or from being on Prednisolone for a long time), or a reaction to the Palladia itself. So we stopped Palladia for a week (and have her on antibiotics) and are now trying Palladia at a slightly reduced dose. So far so good in that she hasn’t had any other side effects (no vomiting, diarrhoea, or decreased appetite etc) but the tumours are still growing at a steady pace (although admittedly it’s only been a week at this decreased dose).

      I feel that it’s now a case of waiting to see if the Palladia will help at all in the next few weeks, before making the heartbreaking decision of having her put to sleep. Her quality of life is the most important thing for me. Reading this blog has made me feel so grateful for the 10 years I’ve had with her so far. She’s still eating well, wanting to go out for walks and still stealing socks! I pray that I’ll know when the right time is.

  • Jennifer

    In Mar 2008, my 4 yr 10 mo old boxerlab mix was diagnosed with kidney cancer by Washington State University Vet Hospital. She was at the hospital for a knee surgery when they discovered the cancer. At that time we had her kidney removed. WASU was very pleased with the surgery but explained that renal cancer is terminal and that the surgery would extend her life from 1 to 1/2 yrs. Two years later we did a follow-up. They were surprised she was still alive. Tests showed her remaining kidney, liver, etc. were all clean. However, the cancer metastasized to one lung. There were 3 very small sites. WASU told us about Paladia which they felt could extend her life by maybe 1 year, without the drug she had 2-3 months to live. We decided to use Paladia. At 60 lbs she took 80 mg on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule. She tolerated it very well, especially when we switched to giving her the drug at night with her dinner, rather than in the morning. Kali recently passed away after 18 months of using Paladia. We had a very positive experience. In the end she lived 3 1/2 years from the time she was first diagnosed. They were wonderful years which my husband and I are so grateful to have shared with her.

    • Dr. Demian Dressler

      Thanks for sharing your experience Jennifer
      Best
      Dr D

    • Kristin Sinnott

      Hi Dr. D:
      I have been stalking the forums for months and I have learned so much from the forums and your book.
      I just lost one boxer to a brain tumor last month. She had 19 radiation treatments and was not improving even after the treatments :(. She was only 9 years old. My other boxer is 13 years old and has had multiple grade 2 mast cell tumors over the years. She had her first one removed when she was 7. When she was around 11 years old I decided to stop with the surgeries. All together she has had 5 mast cell surgeries. So I figured that she had been through enough. After the decision to stop the surgeries we put her on chlorambucil for about a year and a half. The chlorambucil worked great for a long time up until a few months ago. She developed a big tumor on her throat. This might have caused her vomiting and diarrhea or it was from getting off the chlorambucil.
      The next step was Palladia. While on Palladia she experienced lameness in her back legs so I took her off of it. Then she went on Kinavet (Masitinib) which seemed to have the same effect. So we took her off these and she went on prednisone. She is doing fantastic (like a puppy) with more strength and energy. She is also on a grain free diet and tons of supplements prescribed by a holistic vet.
      My concern is that the tumor and other lumps are getting larger. I am tempted to put her back on Kinavet since I didn’t give it much of a chance and the oncologist said that lameness is not a side effect. Can Kinavet be given with Prednisone?
      At one point she got a cortisone shot in the tumor which shrunk it tremendously. But when I brought her back to the oncologist they said that they didn’t remember giving it to her in her throat and they couldn’t do that especially since she is already on prednisone. They just wanted to up the Prednisone dosage which I am afraid has stopped working.
      Since I still have kinavet and palladia which one would you recommend? Can I continue with prednisone, benadryl, pepcid, and tramedol if she goes back on palladia or kinavet?
      Thank you for your help and the great information,
      Kristin

      • Dr. Demian Dressler

        Dear Kristin
        so sorry to hear about all of this. Yes, many dogs tolerate kinavet with pred. This should be done under veterinary supervision. In my opinion I encounter fewer side effects with kinavet than palladia. Yes, you may continue those other meds too…but these are all questions for your oncologist, not me, as this is the person who knows what is going on with your individual dog. If you cannot communicate properly with your oncologist there is nothing wrong with a second opinion.
        I am wondering about the other supplements. Apopotogens, including luteolin? waveco.com/mast-cells-and-luteolin-in-cancer-treatment-part-1/
        Neoplasene? http://www.dogcancerblog.com/neoplasene-as-a-dog-cancer-treatment/
        These are conspicuously absent from the discussion. Have you read the Guide? There is much to do that I am not sure is being done…
        Hope this helps
        D

        • Elaine

          My service dog has been on Palladia for nearly 12 weeks. He is on 80 mg every other day with 40 mg then 20mg of Prednisone on the other days with Sundays off of all chemical therapy. He responded very well during the 1st month with his MCT decreasing from 4.6 cm to 3.0 cm. His initial Palladia dosage was higher but the diarhhea proved too much for him and I to handle so the dose was lowered. He is also on Prilosec, Benadryl and Cimetadine for the MCT histamine effects. He is doing really well. When he was diagnosed he was almost 6.6 years. Now he will be 7 in April. I think and I hope that your prediction of reversal of good progress after 12 weeks is untrue as pertains to my service dog. I think every dog is different in their response.

  • Karin

    Dear Dr. Dressler.

    There is a new clinical trial underway for treatment of osteosarcoma through conventional chemotherapy in conjunction with Palladia (the other drugs are Peroxicam and cyclophosphamide). It is thought that Palladia, with this combination treatment protocol may help prevent tumor recurrence. I have a close friend who has a wonderful dog who eras just diagnosed with bone cancer.

    After I contacted the principal investigator of the trial my friend will be able to enroll his dog in this trial (after further condemnation of it being osteosarcoma). Enrolling in a clinical trial is his only option for affording treatment. However, there is also an alternate clinical trial that uses a be drug that is injected directly into the affected area/tumor. It is not chemotherapy but some other sport of anti infection or anti inflammatory, or something like that.
    (don’t know yet exactly what it is).

    What are your thoughts on these clinical trials, and Palladia being used in such a “cocktail”?

    Thanking you in advance for your kind and wise response.

    - Karin

    • http://www.ourayvet.com docjoe

      Nice Article Dr. Dressler, Well said.

  • Michael

    Palladia does hit the digestive trac hard. In the over two years Gracie has been on it though we’ve learned how to manage it pretty effectively. In the past whenever she’d get a bout of upset she’d stop eating and she’d have diarrhea and everyone would panic. We quickly learned to stop the palladia, let her recover which typically took only a couple of days and then she was back to normal as quickly as it started. Once however she did have a serious GI issue, we quit the Palladia and put her on an antibiotic and a GI med (like an Imodium), she cleared up in a couple of days and was fine there after. Finding the right Palladia dose and a steady diet of prilosec (generics not recommended) has minimized the occurrences of GI issues.

  • Lisa

    Hi Dr. D,
    I have a 9 year old female Golden Retriever diagnosed in December 2011 with hemangiosarcoma. She had a tennis ball size tumor rupture away from her liver. Her oncologist and I decided to start her on 5 treatments of doxorubicin every 3 weeks. I am wondering if a drug called Palladia has ever been used in treating hemangiosarcoma in dogs?
    Thanks!

    • Dr. Demian Dressler

      Dear Lisa
      I am sure your oncologist will be giving you the best information concerning chemo. Palladia does have some merit in treating these cancers but would likely be lower on the list than doxo and also usual metronomic chemo drugs (cyclophosphamide and piroxicam).
      I hope also your Golden is getting the other steps you can use to help her cancer discussed in the Guide…
      Best
      Dr D

  • Tricia

    Hi Dr. D!
    My dog started Palladia, but the side effects were too severe do I stopped treatment. This was four days ago. She still won’t eat, she still vomits, she has lameness in her hind legs, and she is very lethargic. Any advice as to when this poison is out of her body so she can be normal again?

    • Dr. Demian Dressler

      Dear Tricia
      please be in touch with your vet/oncologist so your pet gets the needed care ASAP.
      Best
      Dr D

  • Jill Parisella

    I know no one has posted on this since last year, but a friend just sent it to me. I wanted to share my experience with Palladia because it is so different from the statistics described and very positive. I consider it a miracle drug so far!
    My 7 year old border collie/lab mix (45 pounds) got sick in March 2011 with listlessness and vomiting and then within a day or two developed two large lumps on her stomach and within 24 hours of those, developed a bright red skin rash and little lumps all over her body. It was incredible. She had the two largest lumps removed with clean margins at her normal veterinary hospital and was diagnosed with MCT (I can’t remember the stage or grade, but was told they were aggressive and likely to return even if we did treat them). We were sent to Oradell Animal Hospital in NJ where we saw oncologist, Dr. Dennis Bailey, and he went through our options with us (radiation and surgery were not among them because of the widespread rash and tumors all over her skin – it had not spread to other organs though). He said if we did not treat her, she would have probably weeks to live. We chose to use Palladia 3 times a week along with steroids and benadryl. Within 24 hours of the first dose, her tumors were shrunk to about 50% and drying up and her rash was gone. After the second dose, the tumors and rash were gone with very little flakiness left at any of the tumor sites. It was amazing. She was like new again and feeling much better, acting more herself.
    We continued this treatment until July 2011 when the Palladia was reduced to once every three days due to some diarrhea issues and nothing recurring in the skin. She continued the Palladia until October 2011 when all medications were stopped.
    The only negative side effect that occurred was some protein in the urine which was corrected with medication and as soon as all medication was stopped, her urine came back with no protein.
    She remained in remission for 8 months following the stopping of all medication. This month, June 2012, the MCT did return and just as quickly and widespread as the first time. Knowing what it was this time, she was put on Palladia and steroids the same day and has responded again as quickly and well as the first time. We are hoping for another full remission and to be able to keep it in remission for six months or more again.
    Palladia saved my dog’s life and gave us hope and so much more time with our angel. It is absolutely worth trying if the cancer is Mast Cell and the dog is young. I would never hesitate to use it again (I am now!) even with the extraordinary cost of her care.
    There is also now a new drug that is in the same family but attacks a different part of the cancer cell receptor that is available if or when her body becomes resistant to the Palladia. I am very hopeful with the new research and drug developments in dog cancer and pray that others have as wonderful experience as we did with treatment even though the statistics suggest otherwise.

    • Dr. Susan Ettinger

      Hi Jill,
      Thanks for sharing your story. I agree that Palladia is well-tolerated, but you need to be under the direction and monitoring of a good oncologist. Dr Bailey is a colleague and friend of mine. You are in great hands.
      Again, thanks for sharing and good luck with your dog!
      All my best, Dr Sue

      • Mike

        Obviously there’s a lot of different results going on but I can say that my bosses dog has been on Palladia for about a year for a massive intertwined tumor in her intestines. They had given her 3-6 months but since then the tumor has gone down about 1/2 in size twice over and she’s doing really well. Obviously things can take a turn for the worse at any time but so far so good. I just had her over to my cube giving me licks and jumping around, so it’s certainly been a great thing for her so far.

      • Daniella Uribe

        Hi, my chihuahua(mixed) Niko is 10 years old about a month ago I realized a lump on his face, I took him to the bet they said he had an infected tooth. So he had surgery to remove it, while he was under they realized he had more than 1 tooth infected so they removed 3. Then they saw some suspicious tissue and sent it out for biopsy. They called me and told me he had oral cancer I immediately started crying, he is like my son & I can’t picture my life without him I am so scared and sad for him. I just want him to be happy & healthy. I got referred to an oncologist they informed me about the 3 different types of treatment. Palladia is the only option I can really afford. The way the vet presented it to me I came home very optimistic & eager to start. But nw after reading all these comments & doing my research online I am a bit hesitant and concerned if this is the best choice for him. They made it seem like lameness & diarrhea are the only major side affects but now I am reading otherwise. Also there is only a 40% chance eh wil respond? I read somewhere else that it was a 60% chance does anybody know the correct percentage? Also I care more about his quality of life than dragging his life on if he’s going to be miserable. I’m scared of making him more sick, I ‘d rather be happy than wimpering or cryign throughout the night, because right now he is perfectly happy & active. I’d hate to have the Palladia change him and make him lazy and sad all the time:( So I really am torn if anyone can help me? I just wonder how long more he can be around without the treatment…

    • Katie

      Hi Doctors,

      I have a 7 1/2 year old Boxer/Pit mix (Tux) that recently had a stage 3 MCT removed from his right hind leg. They were able to remove all of it and we were referred to an oncologist in our area who is recommending Palladia.

      The thing that concerns me most is that Tux also has a rare condition – Ciliary Dyskenesia. Unfortunately, this is limiting the options for treatment for us. He’s already on Clavamox and Doxycyclene for the rest of his life, and he’s doing really well. I’m absolutely devistated that he now has to go thru this and I can’t help but wonder if I should do any additional treatment since the margins removed with the tumor were clean. I can’t believe there isn’t some kind of blood test to see if this cancer is floating around looking for a new place to land!! It’s so frustrating and I don’t know what to do! I know you can’t answer that question for me, but everything I’ve read seems 50/50 and isn’t helping me lean one way vs. the other. It seems people either think it’s a miracle drug or is nothing but poison.

      Do either of you have any opinion, based on the limited information I’ve just given you, which way we should go?

      Thank you!

      • Dr. Demian Dressler

        Hi Katie,
        sorry to hear about this!!
        In the guide we talk about grade 3 mct. This is aggressive! You want all the tools at your disposal. Might consider Kinavet which may (depends on who you talk to) have a higher safety margin than Palladia.
        You need to be thinking about all the tools…diet, apoptogens, immune stimulation, chemo…even possibly radiation to prevent recurrence.
        Please read the Guide.
        Load up on the beta glucan containing supplements to stimulate immunity with this condition (Apocaps, K-9 immunity, BioBran, ADCC, Astragalus, etc) under veterinary supervision.
        I hope this helps
        Dr D

  • Pam

    Dr. D. – I have a very active 12 yo Australian Shepard who was diagnosed with anal sac adenocarcinoma with mets to the sub lumbar lymph nodes two months
    ago. All other areas looked clear. He underwent surgical removal of the tumor and lymph nodes without any complications. As expected not all margins were clear,so he was started on a 5 dose course of Carboplatin. He has been on DHA for years but the dose was increased and Piroxicam was added. He is tolerating all well and no current evidence of active tumor recurrence. Now the vet wants to add Palladia, but after reading some of the reviews, and not having a known active recurrence I am wondering what the info is on using this for his type of cancer.

    • Dr. Susan Ettinger

      Hi Pam,
      Great question. There is early evidence of the use of Palladia for anal sac adeocarcinomas. It was published in the Journal of Veterinary and Comparative Oncology on Jun 1, 2011. (I was one of the oncologists who contributed cases to this study which included 32 dogs with this tumor – other tumors included too.) The name of the paper was: Preliminary evidence for biologic activity of toceranib phosphate (Palladia) in solid tumours(*).
      And I think Palladia is well-tolerated with good monitoring and guidance. I have many patients on Palladia long-term. So I think it is something to consider in dogs with anal sac adeocarcinomas.
      All my best, Dr. Sue

    • Angela

      Our oncologist put our dog on Palladia for 3 weeks. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma 4 weeks ago. We are now trying chemo.

  • Pam

    Dr. Stringer. I looked up the abstract on the article and it was interesting. But I notice that most studies are watching response from an existing tumor that can be measured. What about when there is no current tumor to measure and pt is already on an agent to try to kill any remaining cancerous cells? How do you know if it is doing any good? At this point are there any studies or data showing prevention of recurrence? Or am I throwing more stress to a system already stressed with the Carboplatin tx?

    • Patty

      Hi Dr. D,
      My dog (6.5 years old, 64 lb. Goldendoodle) just had a malignant (non mast cell) be-be sized tumor removed along with one of his anal sacs. The vet said that she felt she got everything because none of the sac/tumor seemed to be attached to anything. The lab results backed that up. The margins indicated that everything “bad” was removed. He had a follow up x-ray of his lungs which was clear and an ultrasound of his entire abdomen. His lymph nodes were clear and his organs appear to be in great shape. Despite this, the veterinary oncologist (he did the ultrasound) seems to feel that we should give our pup Palladia. We cannot see the advantage of doing this though. If he was on the med for 6 mos. and then came off, his chances of getting another tumor are equal to if we had not medicated him. We feel the better course of action would be to bring him into the vet quarterly for a rectal exam. Am I missing something here? Thanks for any advice you can give.

  • Julie

    I just got biopsy results for my 9 year old Akita…she has metastatic adenocarcinoma of the liver that originated from her thyroid cancer 4 years ago. She has several nodules and they are suggesting Palladia. She has not one clinical sign but was found on a routine examine by my vet. I am so scared of making her sick. I am just starting your book but want to know if there are any other new drugs to date I should be looking at. Everything at this point is so overwhelming. Thank you
    Julie

    • Dr. Susan Ettinger

      Julie,
      I am sorry that your Akita’s tumor has spread. Palladia is a good option for metastatic thyroid carcinoma. There has been evidence of anti-tumor efficacy for this tumor with this medication. I also personally have had some great response. If you are concerned about the side effects, discuss it again with your oncologist.
      I am glad you have the book. I do discuss Palladia in the Dog Cancer Survival Guide. It’s under metronomic chemotherapy.
      I personally think Palladia can be well-tolerated and used chronically with good monitoring under the guidance and supervision of an oncologist. I am glad you are considering it.
      All my best,
      Dr Sue

  • RG

    Hi doctor
    Do you have any thoughts regarding Palladia and transitional cell carcinoma? My 13 (now 13.5+) year old sheltie had surgery back in December 2011 to remove two masses from her bladder. Chemo (Mitoxantrone) and Piroxicam ended in April but masses are back and oncologist has given us the option of Palladia or just using metacam to ‘manage’ it. Any insight is appreciated.

    • Dr. Susan Ettinger

      Palladia is being used for the bladder carcinoma an anti-angiogenic medication, to target tumor blood vessels. It is believed that the mechanism of action is similar for piroxicam. If your dog has progression on piroxicam, Palladia is a reasonable option. I typically do not recommend Palladia with NSAIDS, like piroxicam or Metacam, together due to the potential for GI irritation or ulcers. Good luck.

      All my best,
      Dr Sue

    • Ronna

      Hello, My 12 year old Wheaten Terrier, Frankie has been diagnosed with tibial hermangiosarcoma. His left hind leg was amputated about a month ago after it broke- which is when he was diagnosed with the cancer. He had one round of Docorubicin(Adriamycin) with bad reactions- diarrhea, vommiting, and very low white blood count causing him to have to be hospitalized for two nights and put on IV fluids. His white blood count recovered thankfully and he has recently started acting more like himself. We saw a holistic vet who started him on Yunnan Baiyao (chinese medicine supplements) twice a day; new chapter lifeshield immunity activated mushrooms; and 4 drops of liquid vitamin A. We also add fish oil to his food. The vet oncologist is now suggesting trying him on oral chemo- Leukeran for 2 weeks, then combing it with Palladia for 2 weeks. We are so torn about what to do for our boy. We want him to have a good quality of life for as long as he can. Dealing with the amputation has been a challenge for him, but he’s doing pretty well. We are doing some hydro therapy to increase his muscle strength. Any suggestions out there or advice from experiences of others is welcome.

  • JV

    I have a 13 year old Parsons Jack Russell Terrier who was just diagnosed with a MCT in his groin area. A month ago he had a growth removed from his scrotum. Originally Our veterinarian thought that he had some kind of infection from a insect bite or a thorn. During the process with what he thought was an infection we were put on three different antibiotics. Two weeks into the antibiotics his prepuce swelled up and had pus filled blisters all over his groin area. The swelling eventually reduced and these blisters popped and a large amount of puss came out. He then removed his scrotum. Two weeks after the surgery a small area of swelling still present that had originally been filled with blisters and puss. That area has now turned into a tumor the size of a racquetball. We see the oncologist on Saturday.

    Today he had a shot of steroids and a shot of Benadryl and we will be keeping him on a daily dose of both. I understand the situation I’m faced with does anyone else out there have a Jack Russell and went through similar situation that could give me their advice or experiences.

    I would appreciate anything anyone would be willing to share with me. Thank you to everybody who posts on these websites I’ve gained a lot of information.

    • Michae G

      Dr. D

      I have a 9 1/2 yo English Bulldog and as everyone here, he means the world to me. He was diagnosed with a MCT recently. We immediately had it removed with with generous margins 1″ margins on each side. The margins came back clear and the tumor was determined to be the lowest grade 2 it can be (almost a 1). This has been the only tumor thus far. My vet has been very good and has reached out for opinions from oncologists he knows and what has been mentioned is 1. wait and see, 2. chemo which Paladia has been mentioned but heard good and bad, 3. go in and take another 2 – 2 1/2 cm margins in a couple of weeks are the main course of action I am hearing.

      Generally I feel we got are fortunate to have as low a grade MCT as he did but it has also caused a little bit of a dilemma when trying to decide how to go forward. I feel like doing nothing is being reactive but may very well be the best choice, chemo may be over doing it and I hear so many bad things about some drugs and the side-effects. At this moment I am leaning towards having my vet take more margins. I feel like we may be taking a shot into the dark and that goes against my nature. With what little I have given you (but is all we know) can you give me your thoughts?

      Thanks so much and prayers go out to everyone and their pups.

  • Winter

    My dog, Penny Lane, is an 11 yr old English Shepard mix. She was diagnosed with insulinoma two years ago. She had surgery to remove a tumor on her pancreas and there was some cancer cells on her liver at that time. Since surgery she has been on prednilisone 5 mg per day and has been doing well. Recently her blood glucose has dropped to 55-60 and her pred dosage up’d to 10 mg per day.
    Has there been any use for Palladia with insulinoma cancer? Is there a drug interaction with steroid use?
    Thanks!

  • Susan Richardson

    Dr. Dressler,

    My 10 year old Golden Retriever Harley was diagnosed with nasal adenocarcinoma (right side) in early March 2012. After radiation treatment, the oncologist recommended Palladia over the other IV chemo agents. Even though this drug is being studied in other cancers, such as nasal tumors, my dog Harley was excluded as the tumor had entered her cribiform plate. I was surprised initially how well she seemed to tolerate the Palladia. No common side effects have been seen since starting on Palladia the first week of April. However, in just 3 months with normal monthly labs, she became lethargic and her RBC count dropped to 150,000, with elevated AST and ALT levels 21/2 times above normal. Just took her back to the oncologist and they have determined that she has severe liver damage. Ultrasound does not show a mass, but the liver is abnormal. She also has a GI bleed. A biopsy cannot be performed unless they can stabalize her blood coagulation. Although they are only giving her a 10-15% chance of survivial, I’m am hoping a plasma tranfusion may help her in order to determine the cause of the toxicity to the liver through biospy. Being in the pharmaceutical industry and reviewing the clinical trials extensively on Palladia before opting to choose this treatment, I am in shock that she could have been doing so noticiably good on this drug, yet now showing significant liver damage. I have to believe the Palladia is the cause of the liver damage, but wanted to get your thoughts about Palladia and liver damage issues. I now believe that this drug is highly toxic and would have reservations utlizing as a choice for chemotherapy. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    • Dr. Demian Dressler

      Dear Susan,
      There are cases of liver toxicity with Palladia I am sorry to say. The drug is not good or bad…but it feels horribly bad when side affects hurt your loved one. And there is no getting around it after the fact. Again I am sorry. Hopefully once things stablize they will start things like denosyl/milk thistle with SAM-e, LD or other liver diet, Actigall etc..if indicated…
      As to not showing signs, see this post:
      http://www.dogcancerblog.com/signs-of-dog-cancer-and-decompensation/

      I’d be thinking of additional tools to treat cancer as discussed in the Guide.
      I hope this helps
      Dr D

      • Steve Morris

        I first started van blastein cycle then afetr a few months mast cells reappered, the next cycle with Palladia as it was just released 15 months or so ago. I got a 12 lb Toy Manchester Terrier (1) cycle went ok we lowered dossage form 30 to 20 mg 3 times a week went for 6 months all signs of mastcell tumors vanished.
        after 90 days + a month or two started back on Palladia 2nd cycle Saprky did not tollerate teh same dossage as before , would wimper or cry in in his sleep, loose stool, even at 12 years old he used to jump (fly) into my water bed within a few months of his cycle he would fall trying to enter bed a few times after about 3 months Vet’s said to take a break for a week , When Sparky was well he would cure up to sleep with me, under my chin for about 15 minutes then go to his side of the bed , But when he wa sick or did not feel too good , he would sleet teh whole night under my chin and cry and wimper in his sleep. After a week off of a 3 month / 6 month cycle -sparky necer missed a jump on the bed, began running afer his ball, adn acting like a puppy and playfull again now a about three weeks
        off palladia his quality of life in 99% My god forgive me, but I decided to abort anymore Palladia adn keep the 2.5 mg Predisome daily 1/2 tab Beneydril cas 2X a day along with Flormodiean 1/4 30mg cap 2x a day Saprky is 12 in January 7th been on Chemo for 6 years , now twelve healthy and off Palladia . I fully understand in about three months or so the mass cell cancer may return again
        I can only hope his quality of life will continue for as long as possible , as long as nature permits his life to be free of pain and a quality of life he will remain with me. It’s Xmas perhaps our last togeather , I will treat each day as special with my boy. And I’m thank-full that I’ve had someone to love that loved me back unconditionally going on 12 years now …I hope I made the right decession and again what ever time I have left with Sparky I will try and make his last year or hopefully years the best I can as a human … I guess I never loved anyone as much as my Sparky . Sparky’s Dad Steve

      • Danielle Sheppley

        My 11.6 yr old Cairn Terrier was diagnosed on Jan 15th of this year with hemangiosarcoma. He has had no surgery. We were told he wasn’t a candidate. He has had 3 doses of Doxorubicin. These treatments were discontinued this week as he has had continued fluid accumulation in his chest. He was started on Palladia two days ago. I had your book delivered 2 days ago and have ordered the Apocaps, K-9 Immunity and K-9 Transfer Factor. He takes 20 mg of Prednisone 2x’s a day to try to help with the fluid accumulation. His oncologist suggested implanting a port for more easily removing fluid from his chest. Are we following the right path? We are implementing your suggestions as quickly as we can. Our beloved boy has not given up in any way so we continue to try anything we can to help him.

        • Dr. Demian Dressler

          Hi Danielle
          This sounds very difficult, I am sorry.
          Other steps for you to consider, all under veterinary supervision:
          dog cancer diet
          milk thistle or denamarin (extra, on top of what’s in Apocaps) to assist with pred side effects
          yunnan baiyao (in Guide also)
          diuretics (furosemide, spironolactone), rutin, dandelion for fluid in chest
          If palladia does not work could try low (half) dose oral neoplasene combined with mirtazapine (in Guide)
          I hope this helps
          Dr D

    • Amy

      Hi….I have a 7 yr old black lab, female. She has had surgery twice now, for mct….one lump on her mouth, and another on her shoulder. Both tested positive for the mast cell carcinoma……. She now has another mass, and we have been referred to an oncologist. Palladia has been mentioned for her, but we were told it is VERY expensive. Anyone have any price range for me? She is going to the oncologist tomorrow, and she has a very weak stomach as it is. She is very healthy and active, but her stomach gets upset very easily. Just wondering if it is worth trying, or if there is something better available??

  • Debra

    Hi JV

    I am really sorry to hear about your Jack Russell. I too have a Jack Russell. Oreo is 14 years old and was just diagnosed this week with MCT. Did you start the Palladia treatment? I am stuck between buying her a little more time (according to the studies) and the quality of what remains of her life. Surgery is not a recommended option at this point and we have her on benydryl and previcid to help with shrinkage.I love my little pooch more than anything, but I do not want to cause her further harm. Dr. Dresser, Do the benefits of this treatment out weigh what is the most pobable outcome in a dog this age? I feel very conflicted about how I should proceed with her.

    • Michael

      Our 6-year old Portuguese Water Dog was diagnosed with nailbed digital melanoma 13 months ago, at which time they amputated his left front digit. Following the surgery, a chest x-ray and lab. work found no melanoma in his body. He, then, received a series of melanoma vaccinations with follow-up vaccinations to be given every six months. A chest x-ray, 5 months ago, showed no signs whatsoever of melanoma and his lymph nodes seemed to be fine. He went 13 months without any signs of melanoma and exhibiting very good health. However, yesterday, a new x-ray of his chest showed that lesions had formed and the diagnosis is grade 4 melanoma. He has been prescribed 60mg of Palladia to be given every other day (his weight is 52 lbs) to be followed by another chest x-ray in one month’s time. We do appreciate hearing your suggestions. Is their any hope for him at all? We love him so much. We don’t want him to suffer if it gets to that point. Any advice would be most appreciated.

      • Dr. Demian Dressler

        Dear Michael,
        well, things have been going pretty well so this must be devastating.
        At this stage is seems prudent to start considering some of the other tools we have in addition to conventional care.
        I would start here:
        http://www.dogcancerblog.com/an-overview-of-what-else-can-i-do/
        I think also the Guide would be a quite good investment and is an easy read as it addresses this question more fully and provides an action plan you can work out with your veterinarian’s input.
        I hope this at least gets you started in the right direction
        Dr D

      • Dr. Susan Ettinger

        Michael,
        Sorry to hear about the melanoma metastasis to the lungs. I agree with the Palladia as a metronomic chemo. The goal of this chemo approach is anti-angiogenesis – to target blood vessels. There is more about this in the guide. I would also booster with the melanoma vaccine if it has not been administered weekly. I also use Apocaps on non-Palladia days, so discuss it with your oncologist. Good luck and good health to your dog!
        ALl my best, Dr Sue

  • Renee

    My 11yro Corgi mix was diagnosed with an intestinal GIST. The oncologist told us our options. The medicinal option was Palladia. After speaking with them today, they said most dogs, as you have also mentioned, tolerate this drug well. We will be starting after we finish our Doxycycline. How well have you seen it work with GIST? Is there something else we need to look at before starting? I am slowly integrating your cancer diet. He has a sensitive tummy and he is a bit of a picky eater. But we will continue on and hope for the best!

    many thanks! Renee

    • Dr. Demian Dressler

      Dear Renee,
      I assume there was a biopsy that allowed the diagnosis with c-kit+ staining…this would provide some basis for the use of Palladia. I am not aware of data for Palladia with GIST but it likely will be coming in the future. The choice is theoretical based on how this drug works with certain cancer cell types that have specific signalling mutations. Its new stuff both in terms of understanding GIST and also Palladia.
      I would also read the following:
      http://www.dogcancerblog.com/an-overview-of-what-else-can-i-do/
      Definitely consider apocaps under veterinary supervision containing curcumin among other things:
      http://www.dogcancerblog.com/spice-of-life-curcumin-and-dog-cancer/
      Ginsing is another thought:
      http://www.dogcancerblog.com/ginseng-a-common-chinese-herb-for-dog-cancer/
      Probiotics might be nice too (low priority here)
      Might be a good time to read the Guide if you have not yet done it…hope this helps
      D

      • Amy Kennedy

        Hi i have a 7 yr old golden and she was just recently (4 days ago) diagnosed with a sqaumous cell carcoma up in her upper jaw. we are considering surgery depending on what the CT scan shows but our only other option is Palladia . We have been told it can shrink these type of tumours and get us good results have you heard much of this??

        • Dr. Demian Dressler

          Dear Amy,
          yes, Palladia is being used with this cancer type now. However, you may also want to educate yourself on some of the other things that can be done for a dog with cancer. Here’s a post for you to read:
          http://www.dogcancerblog.com/an-overview-of-what-else-can-i-do/
          Best, Dr D

        • Dr. Susan Ettinger

          Hi Amy,
          Surgery is definitely the treatment of choice for oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). If surgery is not an option, radiation can be considered, and is recommend if surgical margins are not clean. Palladia is an alternative option. In my opinion, I recommend surgery or radiation first over Palladia for oral SCC. Something to consider, but limited data showing efficacy.
          All my best, Dr Sue

    • Dr. Susan Ettinger

      Hi Renee,
      Yes I know of responses, but data is limited becauase GIST are uncommon. But many GIST have the c-kit mutation that Palladia targets. Under good supervision of an oncologist, most dogs tolerate Palladia, even with a sensitive stomach. I like to add a probiotic in these cases.
      All my best, Dr Sue

    • William Carter

      Fyi. I have a dog with mast cell tumor grade 3 and has been in remission for 3 years on pallidia

  • Renee

    Thank you Dr. D! Yes, we did the staining. I am following your suggestions from the book , which I can’t read fast enough. My oncologist and holistic vet were on board with probiotics and basically everything you talked about in your book. I will check out the links you attached. Palladia, as I understand from the oncologist, is suppose to turn-off the mutation of the cancer in the cell and hopefully by doing this we can achieve some sort of remission. I know this is a rare cancer, but any other info that you or Dr. Sue can provide me would be greatly appreciated!

    Many thanks! Renee

  • Ian S

    Our 13 y.o. Kerry Blue terrier was diagnosed with nasal carcinoma at the beginning of February 2012 following a couple of serious nose bleeds. This was only one month after he was diagnosed with renal insufficiency and put on a prescription diet for his kidneys. Our oncological vet offered options of palliative care (including pyroxicam), radiation, or Palladia which has shown some promise for the treatment of this cancer. While radiation is known to extend life for this type of cancer, we did not feel that the drawbacks were acceptable considering our pet’s condition and age. At the suggestion of our vet, we opted to try Palladia. Initially, we had trouble settling on a dose that our dog could tolerate but once we did, he appears to have responded quite well. Recently, he began to reject the kidney diet kibble and started to lose weight. However, we began adding a little low sodium broth to the kibble and he is now eating well and regaining his weight. His kidney function remains stable and there are no signs of the nasal tumor growing. Indeed, six months in, bloody seepage from the nose has all but stopped and he has all his old energy back. I should also say he is on yunan biayo to reduce potential bleeding.

    • dadude

      We have an 8yo Maltese, diagnosed with a Mast Cell Tumor a few weeks ago by fine needle aspirate by our local vet. The growth is complicated by location being just above the main pad on the right front paw. No other location/metastisis involved thus far. We were referred to both surgical and oncologic specialists, the surgeon performed a punch biopsy and blood work, results confirming Stage 2/3 MCT. The oncologist & surgeon indicated excision to a clean margin in this location was virtually impossible without amputation, and this would create other complications and not recommended due to the aggressive nature/grade of tumor and quality of life tradeoff. Between initial diagnosis and first visit with oncologist, the tumor had become ulcerated (likely aggravated by aspiration and biopsy), was growing rapidly and getting worse. After review of traditional options (amputation, chemo, radiation), Palladia was considered and eventually prescribed, along with steroid (predinsone) & Benydryl to alleviate pain/swelling. It should be noted vets indicated the dog may have symptoms of Cushings disease as well.
      Results of treatment have been excellent thus far (approximately 4 weeks since initial diagnosis). After approximately 1 1/2 weeks of treatment, ulceration resolved, the tumor has shrunk and skin healed, Benydryl was discontinued. Follow up evaluation and blood work last week has revealed elevated blood sugar and liver enzymes. Hormone therapy was reduced (from every day to alternating days).
      As we are early on this path, but encouraged by this pill treatment of a fatal disease, a lot of questions still come to mind.
      1. Could the elevated blood sugar/enzymes be affected/result of interaction with Cushings?
      2. Readings indicate Palladia typically prescribed as a post-operative treatment following tumor excision. Though surgery is not a viable option in this case, is it’s use as a primary treatment simply the best of the worst possible treatments?
      3. So far our dog has had relatively minor side affects, voracious appetite (more than typical but likely a result of hormone therapy), restive/restless cycles, possible mild GI distress (only 1 time), so overall very pleased with results thus far, but is there a possible build up of intolerance to this treatment regimen and should we be steeling ourselves for a remission/recurrence cycle?
      4. Does the discontinuance of treatment (if we ever get to remission) open the door to the possibility of a future metastisis, as so far the disease has only been local affected the paw or is this a rest of life treatment?
      5. Is there possibility the treatment could resolve to the point surgical treatment could become a feasible without amputation?
      We’re reading up and encouraged, but waiting for the other shoe to drop, thanks in advance for any feedback.

  • Lindsey

    Hi,

    My 15 year old cockapoo was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. He has two tumors on his lungs that the oncologist believes are primary cancer. Junior had a soft cell sarcoma on his leg removed a little over a year ago and they were unable to get clean margins however he did receive several radiation treatments after the fact. Because of Junior’s age I don’t think surgery is a realistic option at this point but the oncologist did suggest trying Palladia. I am a little worried after reading some of the side effects because Junior also had an auto immune disease 6 years ago and currently has cushings and I don’t know if the Palladia is safe with his auto immune disease. Does anyone have any experience in using Palladia to treat lung cancer? Thanks in advance for any advice or help,

    Lindsey

    • jody orso

      My dog tiffany has been fighting mast cell for about 5 months now. She takes benadryl prednisone and pepsin every day. We were doing vinblastine which shrunk the tumors but then stopped working. We switched to palladia, which she had a horrible reaction to after 1 treatment, vomiting bloody stools and lameness
      I almost lost her. We are now going to try masitinib and praying it works without the horrible side effects. Love her more them anything in the world and when she is having a good day its hard to believe she’s sick. If she gets sick from this I’m going to stop torturing her. My other dog has lymphoma and is doing awesome.All these drugs are a fortune if you have a costco nearby have your vet give you scripts they get all these dogs drugs for a LOT less. My vet charged me 350 for 1 pill costco gave me 4 of the same pill for less. If you call them they can get almost anything they order for you and the pharmacist has been awesome

  • http://www.dogcancerblog.com Maggie

    I have two dogs who have both had cancer this year. My little terrier x had a spindle cell carcinoma removed in jan,followed by radiation and chemo. She had her 3 month check yesterday and so far all clear. My other dog, a GS, Collie, Retreiver x has so far had 3 cancers this year. He was diagnosed with masses in both lungs in January. He has had every test Imaginable but they were unable to get a diagnosis as they could not reach the tumours. Since (9 weeks ago and 3 weeks ago respectively) he has had a hepatoid tumour and anal sac carcinoma,both removed surgically. The anal sac tumour was very small. His lung and Anal tumours were both discovered by accident. His oncologist has Recommended Palladia, 3 times a week, 80 mgs.

    I will post how he gets on. He will be having a review in 6 weeks.

    • Al Vasconcellos

      Dear Dr. Dressler,
      We at InCytu have been thinking about applying our immuntherapy in the veterinary field. Could you recommend any journal articles that might help us understand the demands of the patient population and aide us in choosing a first indication?

      Thank you,
      Al

  • Alli B.

    Dr. D: My 12 year old dog has osteosarcoma in rear leg. Large mass on tibia. Biopsy confirmed osteosarcoma. Chest x-rays show 4-5 mets in lungs. We have decided not to amputate at this time and treat bone pain with injections, patch and oral meds. Our oncologist suggested Palladia. Confused after researching it on internet. Do you think the 40% response rate decreases b/c the visible cancer in the lungs? Most concerned with our baby’s quality of life. Have you heard of much success for osteosarcoma? Thank you. Alli.

    • Kirk M

      Our 8 year old Chocolate Lab has been diagnosed with Neuroendocrine Carcinoma. We are still doing some testing to find exactly which organs liver and pancreas are affected and if surgery is an option. We are going to start her on Palladia in the coming days. I am new to all of the terminology, but have you had any experience or knowledge of how Palladia reacts to the Neuroendocrine Carcinoma?

  • Sibyl K and ‘Angel’

    Dr D: My 9 yr old spayed female Jack Russell mix has been diagnosed with stage HSA and underwent a spenectomy and mass removal 3 weeks ago. Surgery went well with no rupture. No spread was observed but 3 small liver nodules were noted, and one of those was biopsied, however the liver lobe or nodules were not removed. The spleen tumor and liver biopsy came back as stage 3 Hemangiosarcoma. My girl has recovered from surgery quickly, has high energy level, 35 hemocrat 2 days ago, and is doing excellent so far on just your cancer diet, augmented with a senior stress vitamin/antioxidants, liver support tablet, and pre-biotics/probiotic powder. I have also ordered Apopcaps and K-9 Immunity PLUS – which should be here today or tomorrorow. We have a well-respected oncologist (Dr Olgivie) who has discussed the various treatment options, and in addition he also recommended your K9 Immunity and Transfer Factor. I am very reluctant to put her on Palladia OR standard intervenous Doxirubicin chemo, so I am currently considering the oral Metronomic therapy option (without the addition of Palladia). I would like to combine that therapy with the diet, Apocaps and K9 Immunity-Plus. My main question is do you see any problem with adding the Apocaps in conjunction with the Metronomic drugs?? I am hesitant about Palladia because of the small margin of safety and other unknowns, plus in her case of stage 3 HSA I am concerned that any meaningful life extension or actual remission on Palladia would be slight if any, and would be outweighed by the risk of side-effects and the degradation of her current well-being/energy level, comfort and immune system. Dr Olgivie has not voiced an opinion regarding the benefit of Apocaps, but he speaks highly of you – and he did suggest the added benefits of IP6, Milk Thistle, K9 Immunity and Transfer Factor. Your thoughts about using the Apocaps with Metronomic therapy, as well as your own personal opinion regarding Palladia (concerns or praise) would be very much appreciated. Thank you. Sibyl
    PS: Does the K9 Immunity PLUS have the same strength, absorption rate and dosage of IP6 and other transfer factor ingredients as the original individual versions. Also, do I need to add any addtional Omega 3 or DHA source? Thanks!

    • Christine

      Dear Drs. Ettinger & Dressler,
      My 6 yr. old Yellow Lab had his 2nd MCT surgically removed from behind his left ear (neck area) 2 weeks ago. This one came back as a grade 3. His first tumor was removed from his left ear flap early July – that was graded as “low 2″. What is the connection, if any, of these happening so close together in the same area? We have also consulted with a well known oncologist in NYC regarding treatment. Ultra sound of the abdomen was negative. Lymph node aspriate has not been done yet. The recommendation was Vinblastine, then Palladia – we decided against radiation therapy. Your thoughts on treatment for an otherwise healthy, smart Lab….

      • Dr. Susan Ettinger

        Hi Christine,
        About 15to 20% of dogs develop more than 1 MCT – they can occur close together or over years. Also about 1/3 of dogs have the c-kit genetic mutation. I recommended chemotherapy for grade 3 MCT. I may start with vinblastine and Lomustine if the MCT is c-kit negative, and save Palladia. No right or wrong protocol, but some options to consider.
        Also I am just north of NYC if you would like a 2nd opinion in person. I don’t get to offer that to the majority of our readers. =) I am at Animal Specialty Center in Yonkers. Either way, good luck with therapy.
        All my best, Dr Sue

  • Angel

    Dr. Dressler,
    I continue to read about “early prevention” being key. I come from a family of holistic vets. My dog has eaten nothing but home-cooked grass-fed and whole foods since he was weaned. He has always been treated with herbs, homeopathy and energetic arts.

    He had a tumor on his leg, was treated with mushroom complexes, artemisinin etc., etc., etc. Resection finally was necessary. 8 weeks later, amputation. My dog is living with grade 3 Mast Cell Cancer and I have to decide if using cytotoxic drugs, and immunosuppressants is my only option.

    For my emotional health, I cannot believe that his diet and upbringing led to this awful diagnosis. I have done almost everything possible to provide him with a truly healthy lifestyle. I understand your concept, but the guilt pet parents such as myself might feel, that they did something wrong has to be accounted for. Sometimes cells just go rougue…and that’s just that. Now, at 9 years old, my best friend may finally have to process and deal with those nasty chemicals to no fault of my own, or anyone’s. Just wanted to share the feelings of someone who thought they were always “doing it right”.

    With respect,
    Angel

    • Dr. Susan Ettinger

      Hi Angel,
      I agree. It is not fair or easy to explain why some dogs (and people) get cancer. You clearly made good choices for your dog’s environment, and sometimes it is not enough. As you said, cells can still become cancerous, and in some cancers like Mast cell tumors, we are figuring out the genes involved.
      I personally think dogs tolerate chemo well, and am glad you are considering it for the grade 3 tumor. Chemo is not for every family, but you are educating yourself about the options and being open-minded. Your dog could not ask for more from a a Guardain. Good luck!
      Al my best, Dr Sue

  • Erin H.

    Hello! I have a 14.5 year old beagle who was just diagnosed with 2 liposarcomas and peripheral nerve sheath tumor. All three of them just sort of popped up. She’s had the nerve sheath tumor and one of the liposarcomas removed…both with dirty margins. The surgeon wasn’t even willing to try and remove the third liposarcoma due to location (on the back of her paw) and her inability to remove the other LS. Apparently both were low grade but locally very invasive. I had a consult with an oncologist and we started on Palladia this past Monday. The plan is to start Cytotoxan in two weeks as well. I’ve been doing research and am having a hard time finding info on whether or not Palladia and Cytoxan are effective on either tumor type. We’ve had scans of her belly and lungs and both were clear. Bloodwork came back great as well. My old girl has a host of other issues. Addison’s disease, hypertension, hypothyroidism, has had dual TPLO’s on her rear legs, arthritis and canine cognitive disorder. Is a combo of Palladia and Cytoxan appropriate? I’m not looking to make my old girl live forever, I just can’t stand the thought of her being uncomfortable and hurting because of cancer. The lump on the back of her paw appears to be growing very quickly and it seems like the other liposarcoma is growing back as well (it’s only been about a week and a half since it was removed). Am I doing the right thing?

  • Jonathan

    We have a female standard poodle with anal sac cancer who has been on Palladia for almost a year. She started out fine and had tumor shrinkage. Later on she developed diarrhea so we did several breaks and added Flagyl and Prilosec. This helped a little, but eventually it go worse. We recently did a two week break and she seemed much better, but had constipation. We put her back on Palladia last week and gave it to her Friday, Monday and Wednesday (Jan. 4, 7 and 9th 2013) On Wednesday she developed black stools with a little blood and very bad lameness. We took her off the Palladia since then but still has black diarrhea and bad lameness this Friday. She won’t eat and we have to almost force her to drink water, which she has been doing. Our vet is in the dark and won’t even discuss Palladia side effects as the cause. She just wants to do all kinds of testing and xrays. We just want to know if there is anything else we can be doing right now while we wait to see if stopping the drug will resolve things, as it had in the past.

  • Jonathan

    A follow up: She is now drinking water from a bowl and lets me give her veg soup stock with a turkey baster. She is still very weak, we can’t get her out because of the lameness, so we have her lying down. She is also very alert.

  • dan

    my cat is is 15 year old..and has been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.. Past treaments have not been sucessful in lowering her Globulin levels.. (Vincristine/Vinblastine) .. so instead of treating it like a lymphoma a NYC Vet oncologist is treating it with Palladia.. Have you had an experience with cat on Palladia . in terms of Multiple Myeloma or lymphoma? Overall Toxicity? What other treatments have you seen for Cats suffering from multiple Myeloma?

    Thanks in Advance

  • Glen Park

    Hello Dr. Dressler/Ettinger,

    I have a 12 year old pekingese named Sumo that was originally diagnosed with small intestine adenocarcinoma near the jejunum. He had it resected back in July ’12 followed by carboplatin treatments (once every couple weeks) for a few months. Unfortunately it had already returned so we switched over to Palladia for several weeks (three times a week). Follow up ultrasound indicated that the adenocarcinoma had grown from 1.5cm to 3 cm since last check. The oncologist suggested stopping Palladia at that point since it looked like the cancer just wasn’t responding to it (this was about 3 weeks ago). I started him on Apocaps and K-9 Immunity about 2 weeks ago to hopefully help him. The oncologist was resolutely opposed to allowing Sumo have the supplements while on any of the chemotherapy despite my willingness to do so.

    Next logical course was to do another resection of the small intestine which was done today. The surgery went well and my little guy is recovering but the surgeon said that he noticed nodules on Sumo’s omentum which he obtained a sample to include with the rest of the tissue to be examined by the pathologist. While he mentions that everywhere else looks ok (nothing he can see on the liver, spleen, inner cavity walls, etc), I’m extremely concerned that the cancer has spread to his omentum.

    Since Sumo’s cancer has seemed to be unresponsive to two of the bigger chemo drugs available, do you know of any other options (chemo or otherwise) that could help in his case? I plan on resuming his Apocaps and K9-Immunity as soon as he’s healed from surgery and he’s already had most of his diet changed to a high-protein/veggie diet per your book’s recommendations (although he still gets occasional dog biscuits or canned food). Replaced his plastic bowls with ceramic and he exercises twice a day with 20-30 minute walks.

    I apologize for the long post, just needed to get his history out there and find out what else I need to be doing as despite all my efforts I’m getting increasingly concerned for my little guy.

    Thank You,
    Glen

    • Dr. Demian Dressler

      Dear Glen,
      if chemo is out, I might consider low dose oral neoplasene along with mirtazapine under veterinary supervision. I hope this helps,
      Best
      Dr D

    • Dr. Susan Ettinger

      Glen,
      Sorry about all you’ve been through with Sumo. For GI ACA and chemo, I would consider doxorubicin. Talk to your oncologist about this option. I hope Sumo does well, and glad you have found the support of the Guide!
      All my best, Dr Sue

  • Suttinan Chattong

    Dear Dr Dressler/Ettinger,

    I have a dog named Gege (12 years old) who developed a big lump on her leg. The lump was removed on 14 Dec 2012 and was identified to be Mast Cell Tumor grade 3. Gege is doing fine after that with Prednisolone medication and doesn’t seem sick – although our vet say her life expectancy could be around 6 months.

    Our vet did mention Palladia as a choice, but I’m wondering if we should start it since Gege seems to be doing fine right now. She doesn’t seem like a sick dog.

    What is your opinion?

    Best Regards,
    Suttinan…

  • Michael

    This is a follow-up to my message of April 18, in which I forgot to tell you that our Portuguese Water Dog has not wanted to eat anything even after being given
    Mirtazapine pills. What to do?

    P.S. Your book is on the way from Amazon.com and will arrive in 3 or 4 days’ time.

  • Thomas

    I’d like to post a WARNING about a POSSIBLE interaction between Prilosec OTC and Zonisamide. Our little pug’s oncologist had us give her Prilosec OTC with chemotherapy with nearly disastrous side effects, and yet there are no reported interactions between Prilosec OTC and Zonisamide (seizure med).

    Our oncologist had us give her Prilosec OTC one hour before Palladia treatment (to help prevent any gastric problems caused by the Palladia). But about 15 hours after receiving the Prilosec, our little girl started exhibiting some rather disturbing side effects, which we realized were not likely associated with the Palladia (I’ll explain why shortly). She would “belch” up a load of yellow foam out her nose every few hours. Each episode caused her to be in real distress and she would furiously rub her face on whatever surface was handy. She appeared very scared and had a hard time breathing (probably from stomach acids burning her throat).

    Here is a key point: it wasn’t until the Palladia/Prilosec treatment that we made an important connection: we remembered that Lexi had once bee prescribed Prilosec alone, and the exact same symptoms appeared. Back when the vets didn’t know she had cancer, they suspected a possible ulcer and had us try the Prilosec. The symptoms appeared within about 15 hours, so the vet had us discontinue the Prilosec and bring her down for an ultrasound. That’s when they discovered her cancer. The vet said they’d never heard of this kind of thing happening to a dog on Prilosec, so everyone forgot about it and focused on the need for immediate surgery. It wasn’t until the oncologist put her on Prilosec/Palladia and the exact same symptoms appeared again that we made the connection. We immediately took Lexi off the Prilosec/Palladia and again the symptoms resolved in 24 hours. Still, the vet said they’d never heard of such severe GERD-like symptoms (at first they didn’t appear to believe us).

    It could be that the Prilosec alone didn’t agree with Lexi, but the vets began to wonder if there could be some unreported interaction between the Prilosec OTC and Zonisamide, which Lexi was taking on a daily basis for her seizures. Lexi was NOT on Apocaps the first time the Prilosec alone caused the problem.

    I hope this post helps anyone else out there experiencing this kind of problem while using Prilosec OTC, because the vets seem entirely unaware of this kind of side effect and they tend to use it with some of the chemotherapies. Sadly, our little girl lost her battle with cancer only 10 weeks after the surgeon removed an adenocarcinoma from her small intestine. The cancer had just metastasized for too long and she was too weak to fight.

  • gen

    My dog with osteosarcoma, age 14, lab mix, has taken Palladia for 10 months. It shrunk one lung met by 40% and lymph node metastasis which is very rare in osteosarcoma, has been stable, meaning not growing for 10 months!! This is considered a fantastic response to Palladia by her Vet oncologists and regular Vet and has prolonged her life by nearly oneear now! She has great quality of life, little side effects, some slight g.I. issues, ie, diarrhea occassionally. so, please note Palladia has been wonderful drug for my dog!! Drug efficacy is great for herand you will not know your dog’s response unless you try! Prayers help too and positive thoughts!! She has survived over 20 months now post amputation, miracle journey of love for this beautiful maniac of a dog!!,do your research on chemo, Palladia, etc. But take my advice and try what has a decent chance!! She has also taken Cytoxan, Piroxicam at the same time as part of Metronimic Protocol, to slow cancer growth. I would not change one thing and she continues with a great life. One day doggie heaven but Palladia has definitely aided her immensely, so please watch the words of warnings and bashing a bit viable choices since proper characterization of what may help a dog really matters. Vets have different philosophies about what should be tried, my dog and I will be eternally grateful to Dr. Mona Rosenberg and her entire team at veterinary Cancer group in los Angeles CA and to Dr. Ann Jeglum and her great staff in West Chester PA

  • jay brotman

    Dear Doc:
    My dog Max is going on 14 years old, and aside from anal sac carcinoma he is in real good shape. He is a Yorkshire Terrier. After being on Palladia for about 8 days Max began having loose stool and vomited on two occasions. The oncologist advised to cease giving him the drug until further advise once the holiday weekend has passed. After reading your article, I am now suspect of Palladia. What other chemo drugs should I discuss for a dog my size and age who is in good health otherwise>

    Thanks

  • Susan Kazara Harper

    Hi Paula,
    This must be devastating for you. You’ll find so much information in the blog on the diagnosed case. 18 months is very young, which also means your dog should be well able to fight. Please check out the Dog Cancer Diet, the bulk of which you can download from the main blog page (look on the right and insert your emails for your download). There is so much you can do, so please don’t despair. Get the information you need so you can make good decisions, and take a look at http://www.dogcancerkit.com. We’re here to help. All the best!

  • Brandi

    Does anyone on this blog have a dog with a sinus tumor being treated with Palladia?

  • KATHY

    My 9 year old male Golden Retriever was diagnosed with a large tumor on May 22, on May 28th we had surgery to remove it. The tumor was 13.5 lbs coming from his stomach and encasing the spleen. A biopsy of the tumor indicated it was Leomyosarcoma. I understand this cancer is very rare. We started chemo treatments right away, he had no side effects however a 4 week follow up ultrasound indicated growth on the liver. We switched to palladia and after 4 weeks new tumor had increased in size. A week ago the dosage of Palladia was increased and suddenly he is not acting right, he has horrendous gas now for 5 days, eats but needs to be enticed, isolating himself and just seems down. Can this be a typical reaction? Dr has recommended I skip the next 2 doses to see if he bounces back. Not sure what to do as I promised that I would do everything possible as long as it did not effect his quality of life.

    • Susan Kazara Harper

      Kathy, This may be a response to the increased dose of medication, or some other factor. Have you been back in touch with your oncologist? Has anything else changed?

      • Kathy

        Yes sadly within a matter of 2 weeks his 1 5cm tumour on his liver changed to multiple tumors on stomach and liver that they could see. Some had begun to leak, abdomen had blood in it. After 3 months of fighting and him having the best quality of life he had in years we had to admit defeat and say good bye on August 22. I promised him I would not make him suffer and although I am empty and broken I kept my promise. I am just stunned by how fast and aggressive the progression was. Is this normal?

        • Susan Kazara Harper

          Kathy, I am soooo sorry to hear you lost your boy. Is it normal? There’s no way to answer it. The causes of cancer are numerous and how each body handles it is very, very individual. But it’s regardless of anything else, it hurts so much to lose our friends. I know you will hear people telling you that you did all you could and gave him the best life he could have. And all of that is absolutely true. Yet it doesn’t fill your arms. He knew completely how much you love him, and I’m sure there is no where else he would have rather been, than with you through everything these past months. When your arms are empty, fill your heart with his joy, and memories of that wagging tail. It will never be OK, but it will get better. Just know that he’s running free again.

  • Michelle

    Mike, many of us DO use evidence-based medicine and alternative medicine to prevent disease or support the animal for what havoc the pharmaceuticals wreak.
    Of course, the reason alternative stuff isn’t measured in a lab is because big pharma can’t make money off natural stuff. I don’t have anything against chemotherapy (it saved but nearly killed my spouse last year) but I think Pharmaceuticals need to open their hearts a bit and do some studies that will prove that alt. meds support the animal (or human) both before and after the treatments.

    One of the CoQ10 pioneers lives out here, he’s a heart surgeon. That stuff WORKS!! He’s not just trying to make money, our cardio-thoracic surgeons out here really care.
    One of them who practices out here studied under Linus Pauling and he’s very pro-conventional and pro-vitamin, he’s a very caring doctor.

    Western medicine really needs to get off its arse and start incorporating conventional with non-conventional in the best interests of the patient.

  • Pam

    I was told today that the Vet. schools that have it will no longer be getting any. What they got is all they are getting. I was told there is a drug over seas. It is free but it cost $100. just to ship then there is the cost for all the tests and monitoring that needs to be done while the dog is on it. I have a Chinese Shar-Pei that will be 4 in Nov.. She has MCT. stage 3. We did her 1st surgery last year followed with 3-4 months of chemo. ccnu and vinblastin.
    It came back 3 months ago in the same place. Did another surgery, much more aggressive than last. Saturday found a lump in neck skin. Cells showed up in it and in the node on shoulder. Just got done this pm with a bone marrow extraction. Should have results on it tomorrow. Will go from there.

  • Danielle

    My 13 year old Benny, described above, had another tumor rupture 10/15. The tumors on 9/16 were unseeable with the altrasound. They had visibly grown in one months time. During this month he was on Palladia 100mg, and handling it well. Unfortunately it did not stop the growth. He is off of Palladia and we are living day by day. We took him off because it was not helping. Fortunately the bleeding episode was short lived and he regained energy after a day of rest. I just wanted people to know that just because they seem to be handling it well does not mean it is working. I wish all of you luck who are dealing with cancer and to those who have lost the fight cherish the memories.

  • Tami

    my golden retriever was just diagnosed with mast cell cancer in his right arm
    we cannot afford all the things the doctor wants to do including amputation. when i saw about palladia on the today show i ran to computer to read up on it. i think any thing is better than nothing.
    my major problem is where do i get the medicine? i have not seen the doc yet but am going tommorow. please help me find a site to buy.

  • Anne

    Tami,
    Palladia is still in clinical trials, and not yet available even to most vets. My doc was the only one in the state who had it. Ask your vet about specialists who might have it. You don’t pay for the drug, since it’s a clinical trial, but there is still a cost for check-ups and lab tests. You should also google Help with Vet Bills to find assistance in your area. There are several organizations that may be able to help you with the cost. Good luck.

  • http://rosiesroad.wordpress.com Michele

    Tami,

    This web site has an extensive list of financial resources to help with cost of vet services. Good luck! http://www.speakingforspot.com/helppayingforveterinarycare.html

  • Regina

    Tutu is a five year old fawn doberman that I adopted about 3 months ago. Shortly after she arrived in our home and out hearts, we found a tumor behind a nipple that was excised and found to be a grade 2 mast cell with metastases to the axillary lymph node. Surgical margins were good and the dog was started on vinblastin IV weekly which she has tolerated quite well. Palladia is in her future in about 2 weeks. After reviewing the study results (freedom of information), I am overwhelmingly concerned about the side effects and the absence of results for long term studies. I also worry about the problem of good cleanups in the house and the yard. Could my other dog be troubled by contact with this chemical Palladia? How have you handled sharing toys and water and beds?

  • Donna

    Thanks, Dr. D. I appreciate your response. Fred, I have more information on Kinavet (Masitinib) if you’re interested in pursuing it.

    My veterinary oncologist contacted the AB Sciences office in New Jersey and applied for compassionate use of the drug. They replied about a week later stating they needed a letter from her describing the situation. She also faxed them Pepe’s records so they could track all the treatment options we’ve tried.

    The New Jersey office made the request to the main office in Paris and they shipped a 3-month supply, which arrived just a week later. Cost for the 3-month supply was $280 at 250mg per day. Pepe’s weight hovers around 45 lbs.

    It is administered daily, unlike Palladia and, as far as I know, does not put the dog at risk for lameness. Vomitting and diahrrea are the most common side affects.

    Because Pepe had his last dose of Palladia on Monday, he has not started the Kinavet yet. He will get his first dose tomorrow, after the Palladia is out of his system, and I’m really excited and hoping for a good response. My vet said that, from the information she was able to get, dogs that don’t respond well or at all to Palladia are more likely to respond to Kinavet but, of course, there is no guarantee.

    Pepe has been battling his MCT since July and has been handling the treatment pretty well, all things considered. It has spread from his shoulder to his neck, but he still doesn’t let it get him down very much. He did have a pretty bad weekend before Thanksgiving, but has overcome whatever happened to knock him down. If he didn’t have such a zest for life there is no way I would put him through all this so I feel I owe it to him to exhaust all options.

    I hope this information has helped and I wish you good luck in finding a vet that is willing to work as hard as you are to do the best for your dog. I know there is not much information on Kinavet, but it’s definitely worth a try.

  • Fred

    Our almost 10 year old miniature poodle Starbuck (14bs) was diagnosed with a Grade III mast cell tumor following surgery on April 30, 2009 to remove a rapidly growing tumor in his inguinal area. The surgery margins were clear and a lymph node next to the tumor was free of cancerous cells. The surgeon said that he could not understand the Grade III classification since the margins were clear and no indications of cancerous cells in the lymph node. The surgeon felt that Starbuck would be fine.

    The tumor returned in the suture line and on July 15, 2009 our regular Veterinarian referred us to an Oncologist and an MRI etc. were performed on July 21, 2009. The Oncologist recommended Palladia treatment and advised us he was part of Pfizer’s experimental program and that the Palladia was free.

    A chemotherapy program involving Palladia was begun on July 22, 2009. The medicines were:
    Palladia – (two 10mg tablets) every other day
    Prednisone – 5mg Once daily with full meal
    Benadryl – One 25mg tablet every 12 hours
    Pepsid – 10mg, 1/2 tablet every 12 hours
    Thyroid – Soloxin, 0.1mg, two daily (a holdover from our regular Veterinarian)

    A program of weekly visits to the Oncologist was initiated, primarily for blood tests.

    After the first week the Oncologist stated that the tumor had shrunk 1/4 of an inch and he was pleased, but did not know if it was the result of Palladia or Prednisone.

    After the second week the tumor had grown and surgery was recommended to reduce the load for the Palladia.

    A second surgery was performed on August 14, 2009. The margins were not clean and the tumor was graded Grade III.

    Beginning with Week 9, Prednisone was discontinued. Starbuck has shown steady weight increases (he has reached 17.2lbs) and has had a voracious appetite. During walks, cigarette butts were always a target and you had to watch his every step because he could “sniff” them out even if he could not see them. If he was observed picking one up, a command to “spit spit spit” usually resulted in him spitting it out. However, if it got to the back of his mouth, he would not spit it out. He also loves sun dried earthworms which are common in the street where we live.

    On September 15, 2009 (Week 9) Starbuck vomited four times in fairly rapid succession and the Oncologist sent us to our regular Veterinarian for “hydrating” and Cerenia. There have been no recurrences of vomiting. The vomit contained strange items and it was my conclusion that it was something he had eaten during the morning walk.

    On October 13, (Week 13) Starbuck had diarrhea three times in rapid succession on a short 3 block walk. The Oncologist recommended ceasing Palladia and called in a prescription for Flagyl. There has not been any subsequent diarrhea and all stools have been normal.

    It was not possible to get an appointment with the Oncologist due to scheduling problems until Wednesday, October 21 for blood tests and review.
    Since Starbuck has been on Palladia ~14 weeks the Oncologist said he was going to reduce the amount of Palladia and said to give him Palladia Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I opined that MWF was not a significant change from every other day at which time he got a little testy and said he would go and re-calculate. Upon his return, he said that Starbuck was on the minimum dose and that MWF was what it should be or that we could take him off Palladia if we wanted to. It was up to us.

    During the time Starbuck was off Palladia, Benadryl and Pepsid (continued with Thyroid) his demeanor improved daily and he returned to some of his prior personality traiats such as requesting to be in my wife’s lap during coffee in the morning and climbing on the couch behind me to sleep in the “computer” room. He never did those things once while on Palladia.

    He is losing hair color (from a slight reddish toward white) and his skin appears to be going toward an albino kind of pink.

    We questioned the Oncologist about his itching which had been a long time problem of licking his feet, sometimes on the bottom and sometimes on the top and then rubbing his eyes. He stated that he did not treat itching and our regular Veterinarian would have to treat that. I should have, but did not, remind him that he set the schedule with Palladia to include Prednisone and Benadryl.

    The “Remission Status:” prognosis from the Oncologist began with “no evidence of disease until August 24th when it changed to “Partial remission” until September 12 which then stated “Apparent complete remission”.

    We resumed the Palladia on Wednesday evening October 21. It is now Thursday ~noon and Starbuck has returned to his demeanor while on the Palladia. When not active in eating or walking, he lays down and goes to sleep. Although he appears to be sleeping soundly, he is aware of his surroundings and watches the kitchen because he knows his “treat” of a pill of some kind will be forthcoming wrapped in a thin slice of roast beef.

    We are agonizing over the known side effects of Palladia over long term use and the possibility that long term use could be fatal, and are seriously considering stopping the Palladia before the cure becomes worse than the disease. The thought, however naive, would be to restart the Palladia if it recurred.

    We invite comments from knowledgeable people who have faced Starbuck’s type tumor and survived.

    Fred

  • Anne

    Hi Fred,
    I am absolutely not a vet, but I’ve got a couple of good ones and a similar story. First of all, we have a much nicer oncologist with some very timely info from a vet conference last week. (Honestly, your guy sounds like kind of an ass!) My dalmation had surgery in March for a Grade 2 on her rib cage, new tumors appeared in July on her head. We started Palladia after all the other chemo stopped working, and there was evidence of spread to the spleen.

    Some docs prefer the MWF to allow for a day of rest with the more potent chemicals. We did the same with Chlorambucil. Palladia did a great job getting rid of the tumors very quickly, but the disease still spread to her liver and we stopped after a couple of weeks. We all thought she was done at that point. Thankfully, she disagreed.

    I continued her meds minus the Palladia, similar mix to yours except with Ondansetron (anti-nausea)adding supplements (milk thistle and hesperidin)recommended by her holistic vet. We recently added Carafate for possible ulcers, and we have an antibiotic in the mix. I tried for a healthy diet, but it was whatever I could get her to eat. One week it was nothing but scrambled eggs. It’s been just over a month, and she’s finally eating and playing again.

    It hasn’t been smooth, and there have been a couple of crashes, but she always bounces back and she just keeps getting better. Both vets are amazed, but nobody can say what did the trick. Unfortunately, some new tumors are popping up now. Small, but all over her body and for the first time in the old suture line.

    We met with the oncologist yesterday about restarting Palladia. The dose will be lower (80mg to 60mg) The oncologist had just returned from a conference with other cancer vets doing the Palladia trials. Many are reducing the dosage and sometimes giving the dogs a break after 3-4 weeks. I’m hoping it will work quickly like before and we can do the same. She said internal bleeding has been reported, but it’s not frequent. There is also another new drug in the pipeline which could be in trials in a couple of months.

    I will be watching Luna closely with her second round of Palladia. We’re only doing this because of the new lumps, which I believe are more dangerous to her than the drug. The support of our holistic vet is key, and I highly recommend consulting one. A holistic vet can help support the dog while the cancer vet fights the disease, and will usually have good ideas for nutrition and pain management if that is an issue. I hope this is good info for you. Best of luck to you and Starbuck!

  • Andrea Robinson Frabotta

    What side effects did he experience? Did they differ as he continued to take the medicine? Our 10 year old GSD just was diagnosed with anal sac carcinoma, with spleen and lymph node involvement. She’s only a few days into Palladia treatment and she seems uncomfortable – but her appetite is still good. What should I watch for?