Friday, December 21, 2012

Veterinary Highlights: Inhalation Chemotherapy?

The biggest problem with chemotherapy is that it doesn't discriminate. It affects all rapidly dividing cells, not just cancer cells. Finding ways of targeting cancer cells and leaving healthy issue alone is the major focus of much of the research.


One way of getting some control can be the delivery method itself.

When I read about inhalation chemotherapy on Tripawds Blogs, it was the first time I've ever heard of this. This method is meant to treat dogs with ostersarcoma (bone cancer) that has metastasized into the lungs.

Inhalation chemotherapy delivers the agent directly to the lungs.

This seems to make perfectly good sense. You want the agent in the lungs, why not send it there directly? Clever, isn't it?

Does it work?

It seems to be showing great promise. It is noninvasive and requires minimal equipment. It has fewer side effects compared to traditional IV chemotherapy. The downside are the logistics of the treatment itself (a mask placed on the dog's muzzle).

Will this become a viable treatment option?

It's a promising option, the only problem really seems to be issues with delivery. Presently, further research seems to have stalled because of lack of funding.

***

Source article:
Dr. Selting Explains Inhalation Chemotherapy for Osteosarcoma Metastasis

Further reading:
Breathe in, breathe out: using the airway to combat cancer

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