By Susan Gridley, The Dog Files
The first cancer treatment drug specifically designed for dogs has been approved by the FDA. The drug has been named Palladia, a word which has roots to classical Mythology and the goddess Pallas, who is associated with protection. Palladia, manufactured by Pfizer Animal Health Inc, has been found to successfully treat mast cell tumors by cutting off the blood supply to them, thus preventing metastasis to other parts of the body, including the lymph system, which can occur with this form of canine skin cancer. The drug can be used effectively with or without lymph node involvement.
Mast cell tumors account for about 20% of canine skin cancer. They are usually seen as solitary lumps or masses in or under the skin, but can occur in a wide range of sizes and appearances. Currently, surgical removal has been the primary method of treatment. However, because of their locally invasive behavior, wide margins of what appears to be normal tissue around the tumor need to be removed to increase the likelihood that the tumor has been completely removed.
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