Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Susan Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.
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Topics from the 2nd World Veterinary Cancer Congress, Paris 2012

In my last blog, I was getting ready to travel to Paris for The 2nd World Veterinary Cancer Congress. The meeting also provided an excuse for my hubby and me to a vacation in Paris for four days before the meeting.

Our initial days were packed with incredible art, architecture, and views from the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. We tasted the most amazing food – at cafes we found as we wandered the streets to bistros selected by our Parisian friends. No question, the cheeses were my favorite.  Then we headed to the village of Bercy in the 12th arrondissement for the meeting.

Similar to the annual Veterinary Cancer Society (VCS) conference in the fall, the meeting consists predominantly of 10 minute abstracts. These are brief presentations that summarize an ongoing or recently completed study. These are typically research projects of current residents or staff oncologists at veterinary schools or teaching hospitals. The meeting does not review basic concepts; this is the meeting for specialists and those training to be specialists. You will not learn how to give chemotherapy or treat lymphoma here. It is expected you have that basic knowledge.  This is to see what is new and cutting edge.

For example, at a VCS meeting in San Diego in October 2010, a colleague of mine, Dr. Cheryl London, presented an abstract about Palladia in canine cancers other than mast cell tumors, the tumor that Palladia was designed to treat. I contributed some cases that I treated at Animal Specialty Center to the study.

This study was recently published, in June 2011, in the journal of Veterinary and Comparative Oncology, entitled “Preliminary evidence for biologic activity of toceranib phosphate (Palladia®) in solid tumors.” The tumors in the study included apocrine gland anal sac adenocarcinoma, metastatic osteosarcoma, thyroid carcinoma, head and neck carcinoma and nasal carcinoma. Clinical benefit was observed in 63 of 85 (74%) dogs.

The presentation at the VCS meeting allowed us to share this information eight months before it hit the veterinary journal, allowing other specialists to be aware of the cutting edge research.

So these meeting are an invaluable preview of studies to be published hopefully in the following year. But it is important to know that many studies are not ready to make final conclusions or to say the new treatment was effective or not. The clinical trial may still be adding patients, or it is too early to analyze the data.

So what I learn about at these meetings is often not ready to be implemented in my patients. The meetings keep me aware of what may be on the horizon.

What did I learn about in Paris? The highlights include:

  • A new side effect for Lomustine is being reported: kidney toxicity. We don’t yet know how common it is, but I will be double-checking for this in my own patients.
  • Preliminary results of a study of rectal lymphoma in dogs shows they did quite well in treatment – only a small number of dogs but interesting data.
  • Chemotherapy being used for advanced stage mammary cancer was intriguing – a study from Russia.
  • A new palliative radiation protocol uses five treatments in one week, instead of four weekly treatments.

We’ll just have to stay tuned to see which of these studies get published in the coming months.

As always, see the Guide for more information about dog cancer and current treatments.

About the Author: Susan Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology)


Susan Ettinger, DVM. Dip. ACVIM (Oncology) is a veterinarian oncologist at Animal Specialty Center in New York and the co-author of Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog's Life Quality and Longevity. She blogs about dog cancer at http://DogCancerBlog.com.

  • Monica Pagan

    Did not attend because there were no credits approved. Please try to approve credits for next meeting. :(

  • Chuck Holliman

    Dr. Ettinger:

    Our Labradoodle was on Lomustine for 12 months after a Pelvic Amputation of his left hind leg for cancer. Dr. Macy had Rusty on a protocol of Vinblastine and Lomustine for 6 months and Lomustine only for the next 6 months. His Chemo treatments ended in January 2011; in December 2011, Dr. Macy diagnosed Rusty with Fanconni Syndrome. After seeing your comment on the relationship of Lomustine and Kidney toxicity I wanted to pass this on to you. If you are interested in any more information I can have Dr. Macy send you Rusty’s test results. Rusty is responding well to Dr. Gonto’s Fanconni protocol.
    Rusty is now 26 months post amputation and there have not been any signs of the cancer returning; we know the odds are against us, but he is putting up one heck of a fight against this terrible disease. Dr. Dressler’s Cancer Survival Guide was a great help to us when Rusty was first diagnosed, even though Rusty had a very high grade Fibrosarcoma, which is not the main thrust of the guide.
    Thanks,
    Chuck Holliman
    Palm Desert, CA

    • Dr. Susan Ettinger

      Hi Chuck,
      So great to hear about your Labradoodle’s success! We still have more to learn about Lomustine and whether it truly causes kidney toxicity – and if it does, the mechanism behind it.
      In the second edition of the Guide, I did write a chapter on soft tissue sarcomas, which includes fibroscarcomas. Hopefully that info will be helpful!
      All my best, Dr Sue

  • Penny S

    I hope there will be many more successful cases for treatment of Cancers in our beloved pets!!! With the numbers showing 1 out of 2 canines will have cancer is really so sad and unacceptable :( Not very good odds when you consider them our best friends…

    • Dr. Demian Dressler

      Hi Penny-
      just so we are all on the same page, it is 1 in 2 doggies over 10…1 in 3 doggies of any age. Just for the reader’s clarity..
      thank you
      Dr D

    • Dr. Susan Ettinger

      I agree Penny! We want more dogs with cancer living longer, and living well!

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