Your Impact: Extending the Lives of Dogs with Melanoma

05/22/2015

Update on Grant 01633: Novel Therapy for Melanoma, Lymphoma, Meningioma and Nephroblastoma
Dr. Heather Wilson-Robles, DVM, Texas A&M AgriLife Research

Even with aggressive therapy, the median survival time for canine melanoma is less than one year. Dr. Heather Wilson’s laboratory originally discovered that a molecular diagnostic marker for canine melanoma, S100B, significantly contributes to unregulated melanoma cell growth. Based on these early observations, S100B became a logical drug target, and her research group hypothesized that inhibition of the function of SB100 may halt melanoma metastasis. Using a very pragmatic approach, her group identified two drugs known to inhibit S100B function that were already approved for use in dogs: chlorpromazine, an anti-emetic and sedative, and pentamidine, an anti-protozoal drug. Within her research group, scientists and clinicians worked together to test the hypothesis that pentamidine/chlorpromazine therapy is safe for canine melanoma patients.

Outcome: After enrolling 13 dogs in a clinical trial, researchers found that the combination of pentamidine and chlorpromazine was safe and efficacious in tumor bearing dogs. 41.6% of dogs receiving the drug combination experienced partial remission, extending their quality of life and time at home. Dr. Wilson-Robles believes the outcome of this study may have application to other veterinary cancers with elevated S100B such as lymphomas, meningiomas and nephroblastomas.

Thanks to your continued support of CHF, progress like this will help all dogs live longer, healthier lives.

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