Lymphoma drug shows potential in dogs

A new drug is showing promise as a treatment for lymphoma in dogs, researchers at the University of Illinois have found.

The drug, S-PAC-1, targets an enzyme, procaspase-3 enzyme, which is present in lymphoma as well as other forms of cancer tumors. In a test on six dogs that had spontaneously developed lymphoma, treatment with S-PAC-1 stopped tumor growth in three dogs and reduced the size of a tumor in a fourth dog.

The researchers said the side effects were mild, and with recent adjustments to the dosages, those side effects were reduced or eliminated.

A new grant of more than half a million dollars from the National Cancer Institute will support an upcoming clinical trial in dogs. More information on the trial will be available on the university’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital website.

The study, “Discovery and Canine Preclinical Assessment of a Nontoxic Procaspase-3-Activating Compound,” was published in the journal Cancer Research.

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