According to statistics, each year, in the U.S., osteosarcoma affects more than 10,000 dogs. While, generally, chemotherapy works to kill some of the cancer cells, the large number of side effects can be painful. And, the side-effects are often resistant to chemotherapy.
To address this, a veterinary oncology team developed a vaccine from the tumor of a dog in collaboration with ELIAS Animal Health. The vaccine targeted to kill cancer cells in dogs that have osteosarcoma.
Approach receives Fast-track Designation for Clinical Trials in humans
With the success of this treatment, Food and Drug Administration has granted a rare fast-track designation for TVAX Biomedical – parent organization of ELIAS Animal Health. This is to allow the ELIAS immunotherapy approach for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme – tumorous form of brain cancer in humans.
“This approach uses the own tumor of the patient to make a vaccine. The vaccine stimulates the immune system against the abnormal protein specific to the tumor of the patient, causing the body to produce white blood cells.”
Later, the lymphocytes are harvested and expanded outside the body. These lymphocytes are highly aggressive towards their target. Thereafter, the lymphocytes are infused back into the body of the patient they can seek out and kill the harmful cancer cells.
Clinical trials completed at College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri found that dogs who received the therapy had survival of more than 400 days, compared to 270 days of survival of dogs who received chemotherapy.
Seeing the positive impact on health outcomes of dogs with bone cancer, FDA gave fast-track designation to the approach to be used in clinical trials for humans to treat brain cancer.