Dog cancer vaccine nearly doubled survival rate: Study

(NewsNation) — A breakthrough cancer vaccine for dogs could double your furry best friend’s chance of survival.

Yale University scientists say the “rescue therapy” vaccine has shown favorable results in clinical trials dating back to 2016.

More than 300 dogs have been treated with the vaccine, and their survival rate has increased from 35% to 60%. Plus, the benefits and science behind the vaccine could potentially be used to treat cancer in humans down the road.

Dr. Bruce Smith, a licensed veterinarian and professor at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, said Wednesday on “Morning in America” that immunotherapy — using the immune system to chase after cancer cells — has been around for some time now, but only in very crude ways.

The new vaccine, known as the Canine EGFR/HER2 Peptide Cancer Immunotherapeutic, has been designed to attack several different cancers by stimulating immune responses, antibodies and T cells, according to TheraJan. Smith said the vaccine will hopefully reduce the death and illness rate for most dog cancers.

Oncologists in the veterinary world treat dogs similarly to the way oncologists do in the human world, Smith said. He explained that they use radiation therapy and chemotherapy on dogs as well, which all have pretty significant side effects.

However, when oncologists can use the immune system to fight the cancer, they can use it to focus the treatment solely on the disease itself, Smith said. Using the body’s immune system to fight cancer would also help reduce all the harmful side effects of other treatments.

“We take that tumor cell and we ask what proteins are being expressed in it. And then we base our treatment on the proteins that are being expressed. So it’s very precise,” Smith said.

While the vaccine remains promising for our beloved pets, it remains in clinical trials and its safety and efficacy has not yet been established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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