Friday, March 23, 2012

Veterinary Highlights: Bone Marrow Transplants For Dogs

Treatment for human cancer is going to the dogs!

Dr. Steven Suter, assistant professor of oncology at N.C. State University, started performing bone marrow transplants on dogs in 2008. 

Until recently, the transplants used stem cells from the dogs' own blood, so only those who had a disease in remission could be treated. The treatment is typically used on dogs with lymphoma.

The survival rate with current treatments for dogs with lymphoma is extremely low (about 0 to 2 percent).

The cure rate for dogs that have received a bone marrow transplant is at least 30 percent.  

Typically this procedure involves harvesting of healthy stem cells from patient's blood. After total body radiation, the harvested cancer-free cells are then reintroduced into the patient. This treatment is called peripheral blood stem cell transplantation.

Zeke, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, made the news when he received a bone marrow transplant to treat his lymphocytic leukemia.

Dr. Emma Warry, a bone marrow transplant fellow, and Dr. Steve Suter in the Randall B. Terry, Jr.
Companion Animal Veterinary Medical Center's Oncology Service Pavilion with Chip (left)
who donated bone marrow to his brother Zeke in the first allogenic transplant.

This disease can only be treated with donor bone marrow. Chip, his littermate, was the donor. Zeke is now doing great with a prognosis of a happy and healthy life.

Whether used to treat lymphoma, which is the main focus for this protocol, or leukemia, it is pretty exciting.

Higher cure rates? Who doesn't want to hear that?

Source article: University gives dog a bone marrow transplant

Further reading:
Canine Bone Marrow Transplant
CVM Performs Allogenic Canine Bone Marrow Transplant
Angel's Bone Marrow Transplant Story
NC State CVM Only University Offering Autologous Canine Bone Marrow Transplants
Canine Bone Marrow Transplant Provides Hope

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