Immunotherapy is a new ground-breaking treatment option for dogs with cancer. Cancer cells normally grow and spread because the immune system fails to recognize them as abnormal, allowing them to continue to metastasize. MediVet Biologics Analogous Cancer Product is an experimental immunotherapy vaccine used to help the dog’s immune system recognize the cancer cells as detrimental and attack them.
What is K9-ACV?
K9-ACV stands for Canine Autologous Cancer Vaccine. Cancer cells can be recognized as foreign by the immune system if those cancer cells are presented to the immune system in a manner that “breaks immune tolerance.” Decades of research in mouse and human models have shown that tumor cells are very much like normal cells in that they express self-antigens that the body is taught to ignore early in development and throughout life. An immunosuppressive environment produced by growing tumors promotes an immune response toward the tumor that is ineffective, allowing the tumor to grow unchecked.
An appropriately designed vaccine, like K9-ACV, can break this cycle of tumor immunosuppression, generating tumor-specific immune cells that have effective anti-tumor reactivity, improving survival and quality of life in veterinary patients. K9-ACV is specifically designed to make the patient’s tumor or disease appear foreign, thus inducing an effective anti-tumor immune response, like an immune response against viral or bacterial infections. This is the basic theory behind immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer.
Using the therapeutic approach of immunotherapy, the scientists at MediVet Biologics have developed a cancer vaccine, created personally for your pet that can be incorporated in your pet’s cancer treatment plan. K9-ACV can be used to treat your pet’s cancer independently or in combination with other traditional treatment methods such as chemotherapy or radiation. We hope that K9-ACV will improve and extend the quality of life for your dog. K9-ACV is designed for all operable canine tumors.
How does Immunotherapy fight canine cancer?
If the dog has a tumor that can be removed, a vaccine can be created for that patient. First, the tumor is removed and shipped to MediVet Labs where the tumor and the cancerous cells are used to create a vaccine that alerts the body that those specific cancer cells that are harmful. The personalized cancer vaccine is administered to your dog, by your veterinarian, which “wakes-up” the immune system and helps it to recognize the dangerous cancer cells within the dog’s body. The immune system then naturally starts killing the cancer cells and potentially helps prevent them from spreading further.
The immunotherapy vaccine is created in the MediVet laboratories using your dog’s own specific cancer cells. The team at Cashmere Veterinary Clinic will then be able to administer the vaccine.
Who are the ideal candidates for K9-ACV?
- Dogs of any weight or breed, greater than 1 year of age
- Dogs with a solid cancerous tumor that is accessible for surgical removal.
- Dogs with a predicted survival greater than one month without therapy.
K9-ACV May Not Benefit All Dogs With Cancer
The following list describes patients that are not suitable for K9-ACV canine cancer treatment.
- Leukemia or a cancerous tumor that cannot be removed
- Any previous forms of immunotherapy
- Pregnant dogs
- Histologic diagnosis of benign tumor in the resected tumor or low-grade malignancy
What is the treatment protocol?
The first step in treatment is a surgical procedure, performed by your veterinarian, to remove your pet’s tumor. This procedure is followed by three visits to your veterinarian. At each of these visits, your pet will receive an injection of the vaccine just under the skin. These visits are quick, easy, and your pet goes home with you.
How successful will the vaccine be on cancer in my pet?
The goal of immunotherapy is to put cancer in a state of equilibrium for a period of time. Tumor regression and elimination are a possibility of immunotherapy but the more likely scenario is an increase in survival beyond palliative care. The vaccine was designed from the success of treating human cancer patients with similar immunotherapy approaches. In a recent publication, 85% of patients displayed an increase response against their cancer post-vaccination. Clinical success has been marked across many different cancer types. K9-ACV is designed as an affordable and simple treatment protocol when owners are looking to move beyond the standard of care.
What side effects could occur?
K9-ACV offers an alternative treatment option for dogs with cancer that has little to no side effects. The treatment was tested in a recent trial and proved to be safe and effective at promoting an increased response for a variety of cancer types.
What is my responsibility as a pet owner?
K9-ACV is made from the patient’s tumor cells. It is important to discuss K9-ACV with your veterinarian before your pet’s surgery to remove the tumor. Once created, finishing out the vaccination schedule is crucial to increasing the odds of response for your pet.
Contact Cashmere Veterinary Clinic at (509) 782-3572 for more information on how the K9-ACV can help your pet.