Therapeutic vaccine for canine lymphoma looks good

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A therapeutic vaccine for canine lymphoma is looking pretty good in an early stage trial.

Though the trial was rather small, the therapeutic vaccine--an RNA-loaded CD40-B vaccine
plus standard chemotherapy--induced a second remission rate in dogs of 40 percent, compared with just 3 percent by chemotherapy alone.

The therapeutic vaccine (as opposed to a prophylactic vaccine) is developed from canine B lymphocytes along with RNA from the dog's tumor. The RNA helps to signal the dog's immune system to recognize the cancerous cells as pathogens to be destroyed.

Administration of the vaccine is given when the dog is in remission; chemotherapy would otherwise negatively impact its immune system.

The full efficacy of the vaccine will not be known for some time, but it should give hope to dog owners, since lymphoma--or lymphosarcoma as it is often called--is a common killer among canines.

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