New Cancer Drug for Dogs Also Helps Humans

Dogs suffering from certain types of blood cancers may have a new treatment alternative thanks to the collaborative work of cancer experts looking for options that can help both humans and their pets.

The drug, Verdinexor (KPT-335), works by preventing powerful tumor suppressing proteins from leaving the nucleus of cells, an exodus which allows cancer to grow unchecked. It’s the first new therapeutic option for dog lymphoma in more than two decades, potentially offering vets another alternative for treating the disease, which is the most common form of canine cancer.

“Verdinexor is a really different from chemotherapy, the current standard of care for lymphoma. It works by blocking a protein in the cells responsible for shuttling other proteins in and out of the nucleus, resulting in disruption of cell survival and eventual cell death ,” said veterinary oncologist Cheryl London, DVM, PhD, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, who led preclinical, Phase I and Phase II studies of Verdinexor. “Verdinexor could give veterinarians another option if first-line chemotherapy fails or as a potent adjunctive therapy.”

Lead researcher Cheryl London with her dog, photo courtesy of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Lead researcher Cheryl London with her dog, photo courtesy of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine

“A cancer diagnosis is tough on dogs and their owners. Dogs with lymphoma must go to a veterinary office weekly to receive chemotherapy infusions,” said London. “Since Verdinexor is a pill that can be given at home, it could help make treatment less traumatic for everyone.”

The similarities in the ways human and canine cancer drugs are researched and used are not coincidental. Many types of human and canine cancers are identical at both the cellular and molecular levels, making companion animal studies an ideal place to test drive experimental compounds that appear to have anti-cancer characteristics.

When it comes to cancer, dogs and humans have so much in common,” said London. “I think as human medicine becomes more personalized through the use of genomics, I think we’ll see the same happening in vet medicine.”

Source:  Newswise media release

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