Promising research is underway to create a cancer vaccine for dogs with cancer. What is interesting about this approach is that the treatment is performed on an individual basis, where tumor cells are removed from the dog and then the cells are processed and combine with bacteria to then create a vaccine, tailored to that specific dog. The idea is that the vaccine will then cause the dog’s immune system to attack the cancer cells, and in some case, has slowed the growth of the cancer and even resulted in remission. At this time, almost 30 dogs with advanced melanoma, bone and liver cancers have participated in trials, according to an article in The Dogington Post. Results of the trial are not yet available, as the researchers are filing patents first.
This technology is not new, however, and there is a DNA-based, melanoma vaccine that has been on the market since 2010 (but this existing vaccine does not incorporate cells from the dog). The article states that studies of dogs with Stage II and III melanoma in the mouth have shown that using the vaccine results in average survival times of 20 months or longer, compared to less than six months without the vaccine. Note that the vaccine is used in conjunction with surgery to remove the tumors.
If your dog currently has melanoma and you are interested in learning more about the vaccine, you can find details at this site. It is available through veterinary oncologists.