FDA Approves First Anti-Cancer Drug for Dogs

06/24/2009

The US Food and Drug Administration has announced the approval for the first anti-cancer drug created specifically for use in veterinary medicine.  The research efforts to develop Palladia, which is used to treat skin-based mast cell tumors, was led by Dr. Cheryl London of the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) began funding mast cell tumor research in 2000 with a grant to Dr. London, then at the University of California, Davis.  Since then, CHF has allocated more than $200,000 in support of mast cell research.  Dr. London’s original work studied the biological effects of c-kit mutations on mast cells, leading to a more detailed understanding of canine mast cell tumors.  This early work provided a framework for the development of new therapies and disease prevention.  Dr. London has also spent time research the biology of normal mast cells to provide a platform for future work investigating the genetic basis of mast cell disease in dogs.

Dr. Elizabeth Whitley, of Auburn University, has also studied mast cell tumors.  Dr. Whitley’s research has focused on the physiology of mast cells, and working to develop a system for matching tumors with appropriate treatment to improve treatment success.

For the full press release from the FDA, visit http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm164118.htm.

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