The Oncology Service at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine will enlist the help of man’s best friend to launch a clinical trial for a new melanoma treatment drug.
“This study is designed to test a new drug that may be useful in treating melanoma, or skin cancer, which most commonly occurs in the mouth in dogs,” said Bruce Smith, professor in the department of pathobiology and director of the Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer.
The peptide MMX is the drug tested in the study to determine its effects on tumors.
“The melanoma is measured, the drug is administered, and we begin a series of treatment and monitoring the tumor to measure its response,” Smith said. “The dog will need to visit Auburn weekly for five weeks. In addition, owners will administer the peptide daily at home and keep a logbook about their dog while it is being treated.”
The drug is not chemotherapy, but rather, a medication tested on dogs with no known side effects.
“It appears to act quickly to shrink the tumors,” Smith said. “It has been under testing in a clinical setting for about 10 years and now, it is ready to be tested for FDA approval.”
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