They came up with a winner: a vaccination for dogs that have malignant melanoma, a type of cancer of the skin or mouth.
This is not a vaccine that is used to protect from cancer. The word vaccine is a bit vague, because in common use this is something that is given in order to protect from a disease.
This vaccine is used only after a dog is diagnosed with melanoma.
Melanoma in dogs has different grades (some are more aggressive than others) and different stages (some have spread farther than others).
The usual stats are pretty dismal for the high grade melanomas, especially of the mouth or on the toes. Even with standard conventional care, these have a median survival of 2-4 months at worst, and about 5 months or so at best (remember, not every dog follows these stats).
The nice thing about this melanoma vaccine is that it has been shown to triple survival times. Not too shabby!
The vaccination just got conditional approval by the USDA last May and may be available through an veterinary oncologist near you.
Best to all,