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

Fight Cancer With Local Chemotherapy

Updated: August 7th, 2019

Many dog lovers hear grim survival statistics after receiving a dog cancer diagnosis, and it is extremely overwhelming.

So much so that they go on a search for new and innovative ways to get better odds, longer survival times, and better life quality.

Well, the same thing happened to me!  Why settle for stats that are so dismal, when we can perhaps sharpen our ax by looking outside the box to deal with canine cancer?

Of course, this was the reason The Dog Cancer Survival Guide was written, and Apocaps created.  By using these steps, I have experienced patients who truly defy the odds.

Today, we will be looking at another new technology that can be used to help fight canine cancer.

Royer Animal Health has produced a product called Matrix 3 beads. These little guys are about the size of a small “BB”, and they are loaded with cisplatin, a chemotherapy drug.

The way they work is this:  the beads get implanted into an area that has cancer cells in it during surgery.  Then over time, the beads get broken down, slowly releasing the cancer-fighting cisplatin into the area around the beads.

Why are they interesting?

Well, when we are giving chemotherapy, we usually do it by vein as an injection, or maybe by mouth as a pill.  Then the drug has to get into the circulation, passed around the body, taken up into the tissues, and get a cancer-killing concentration in the cancer areas.

This usually takes a lot of drug.  And this is the reason why we get some of the side effects that we see with chemotherapy.  The cancer cells are not the only cells getting hit with the chemo drug- the healthy body cells do as well.

Now, if we put a little local “deposit” of chemo in a tissue, we can achieve high concentrations of the drug there while the body cells receive very little.  This way we can get higher concentrations than the usual means by themselves.

This is a very nice approach, especially for the tumors where we can’t remove all of the cancer cells with a simple surgery.

Some applications could be osteosarcoma, melanoma, fibrosarcoma, squamous cell carcinomas, and others.

Now, this is a new therapy, but it shows much promise.  Discuss it with your vet and oncologist.  It is a prescription and is available for veterinary professional orders though Wedgewood pharmacy.

I hope this helps!


Dr D

Leave a Comment

  1. Candy Chan on August 30, 2011 at 1:59 am

    Dear Dr Dressler,
    Thank you very very much for giving me many valueable suggestions!!!
    Yesterday, I went to the other vet and ask for second advice. The doctor said there is a second choice for my boy. He suggest a surgery that just cut the front side of his upper mouth and don’t take away the bone of nose.He said it will slown down the growth and spread of tumor .Also, he suggest to take a chemotherapy drug called cyclophosphamide(the drug have mentioned in your book) in lower dose every day!
    Now, I’m very afraid and stressful,I don’t know what to do next! I don’t know is it a chance to help my dog? or it will make him more painful because at this moment, he is young ,he eat, play and sleep as a normal dog. I feel so helpless!!

    • DemianDressler on September 6, 2011 at 7:36 pm

      Dear Candy,
      this sounds reasonable to me. Hang in there, and don’t forget the special exercises in the beginning of the Guide to help you deal with this very difficult time.

  2. Candy Chan on August 10, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Dear Dr Dressler,
    My dog is a beagle , five years old (about 50 pounds ,neutered) and he was diagnosed in (early July) oral squamous cell carcinomas. According to CT showed cancer cells spread to the upper mouth of the left front (crossed the midline ) and the canine roots. Because I live in Hong Kong, where no light therapy equipment, so doctors can only surgery to remove it (Premaxillectomy Bilateral), but we really bear to see him by the pain of surgery, so there is no surgery and now can only wait for euthanasia.
    A few weeks ago ,I find your website and then bought your book, we find hope to do something for him. After reading your book, I still have some doubts hope to get your suggestions:
    (1) In my dog’s case, if not for the Full spectrum cancer care in the first and second step? The second step of supplies mentioned in it (no chemotherapy and phototherapy) has no effect?
    (2) What kind of supplies it would help the larger? (especially for oral squamous cell carcinomas)
    (3)This type of tumor growth in the dog’s mouth, still have to avoid the sun?
    (4) The dry dog food mentioned in the book is not sold in Hong Kong, I found this one (Addiction) instead of that, but I do not know whether appropriate? (Ingredients are: Salmon Meal, Potatoes, Chicken Fat ( Naturally preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Smoked Salmon, Dried Blueberries, Dried Cranberries, Dried Raspberries, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Kelp Meal, Flaxseed Meal, Calcium Propionate, Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Carbonate, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin E Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), D-Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5), Thiamine (Vitamin B1), Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6 ), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement
    (5). Full spectrum cancer care in the third step is mentioned in all supplies used in rotation is better? Or to vote for their 2-3 turns using good?
    (6) My dog likes to bite things, sometimes his gums bleed .At the beginning of this years ,he need to do a surgery due to a broken canine tooth , then we found in the CT that in the same location have cancer, I do not know whether long-term inflammation caused by the cancer? Do you think it is taking COX-2 inhibitors help? if so, what supplements or food should not be taken simultaneously?
    Finally, thank you for your work, it is really useful for me! Thank !!!!

    • DemianDressler on August 17, 2011 at 7:58 pm

      Dear Cindy,
      I will do the best I can to answer your questions. I believe you want to avoid the surgery. You do not have to avoid sun for the oral form. You should be able to get beta glucans there (medicinal mushrooms like reishi, maitake, shitake, cordyceps, etc). You can get artemisinin too. Also you can get luteolin and curcumin and silymarin. Don’t be afraid of using COX-2 inhibitors if the kidneys and liver are healthy. If this were my dog, I would use everything all together as you have a serious case. Use veterinary supervision however. You should download the Dog Cancer Diet pdf on the top of this blog. The food sounds okay, but I worry that the carbohydrates might be a little high. I cannot say though as I don’t have this information.
      I hope this helps
      Dr D

  3. don on March 11, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Hi Dr Dressler,

    Would the benefits outweigh the risks for injecting carboplatin beads into a recurrent malignant melanoma palatal tumor presently about 15 mm that appears to be growing in thickness over 2 weeks time in a 16 year old jack russell without known mets with chronic renal failure last Cr 1.8 BUN 72 who is receiving subcutaneous hydration, azodyl and rubenal? I subscribe to your webinar but I’m hoping I can get a response from you sooner. Thanks!

    • DemianDressler on March 19, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      Dear Don,
      If you have decided that treatment is what you would like to do after clarifying what kind of person you are and doing a life quality analysis, I feel it is worth a try. I would also see if you can get an oncologist to administer the melanoma vaccine. I would also be using the other steps to support the body discussed in the Guide. You might also have them get some injectable Neoplasene to administer at the same time as the beads.
      I hope this helps,
      Dr D

  4. Becky on October 24, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    I have taken Chemo myself. I don’t know if I would want one of my furbabies to take any type of chemo. It is very painful. I know it is so hard to give them up. Each time I have given one of my babies up a part of me has went with them. But we have to keep this in our minds one day we will met our pets again. My Son past away and in 3 months his Sheba past also, she was only 2 years old. Reason was unknown other than she went to be with my Son. My Vet told me this. She was in perfect health. I’m starting to think it is our diet and our pet’s diet that controls cancer cells.

  5. Jomar on October 21, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Our Bailey has an undifferentiated nasal carcinoma, but the vet also said that it’s more closely akin to Squamous Cell Carcinoma. At the moment her tumor is isolated on the nose and as far as we know has not spread to any parts of the head and body. Can we use this chemo? She now has lost her septum due to the cancer and I’d like to know if this would help.

    We’ve done a full course radiation and carboplatinum, but it seems that it didn’t work that well.

    Here’s her site


  6. Randy Young on October 21, 2010 at 5:46 am

    my dog has cancer and because of a follower on Twitter, he sent me to your site !

    I would like to contact you for an interview about dogs and what can be done to help fight cancer ! I also bought your book awhile ago and found it very helpful

    Can you please contact me, I sure would appreciate it !

    thanks very much

    Randy Young

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