Improved Survival Rates for Hemangiosarcoma

Hemangiosarcoma is the first cancer that I have had experience with.  I found out that Porter, my nine-year-old Labrador Retriever, had this very aggressive cancer back in January 2008.  He passed away in April 2008, so I can attest to the statistics — less than 50% of dogs will survive 4-6 months and only 10% will survive one year post-diagnosis.

However, a breakthrough trial at the University of Minnesota brings hope to canine cancer patients with this type of cancer via a new drug called eBAT.  In many cases, typical cancer treatments can be very hard on patients because of the resulting side effects.  According to Antonella Borgatti, D.V.M., M.S., associate professor at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, “in this trial we aimed for a sweet spot by identifying a dose of eBAT that was effective to treat the cancer, but caused no appreciable harm to the patient. Essentially we’re treating the cancer in a safer and more effective way, improving quality of life and providing a better chance at survival.”

In the study, the eBAT drug was tested on 23 dogs of varying breeds and sizes, with hemangiosarcoma of the spleen.  The dogs were given three treatments of eBAT after surgery to remove the tumors and before chemotherapy.  The six-month survival rate was improved to roughly 70%.  And five of the 23 dogs that received the treatment lived more than 450 days.

More details can be found here.

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