Breakthrough in Cure for Hemangiosarcoma in dogs!

A breakthrough in the treatment of hemangiosarcoma in dogs came with the development of a genetically engineered drug called EGF bispecific angiotoxin or eBAT, said  Dr. Jaime Modiano at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.

Hemangiosarcoma is a highly invasive type of cancer that grows rapidly, and is very similar to angiosarcoma, which affects humans.

“hemangiosarcoma in dogs was initially recognized as an entity in the biomedical literature during the 1950s and 1960s, coinciding with the time when the relationship between dogs and humans had started to evolve from one where dogs largely served working roles such as herding, guarding, and hunting to one where they were considered members of the family,” says Modiano.

The Blood Test

The blood test is based on work Modiano’s team completed in the early 2000s. “It showed that we could detect a small, but a unique population of cells in the blood that seemed to be preferentially found in dogs with canine hemangiosarcoma,” says Modiano.

“The test uses a technology called flow cytometry, which allows us to identify very rare cells that are ‘hidden’ among hundreds of thousands or even millions of normal cells in the circulation.

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These rare cells are present more often and in greater numbers in dogs with hemangiosarcoma than in healthy dogs, or dogs with other diseases

The Prognosis

The prognosis of dogs diagnosed with canine hemangiosarcoma is dependent on where the tumor is located.

“Hemangiosarcoma in dogs that start in, or spread to internal organs, muscles, or the bone marrow are almost invariably fatal,” says Modiano.

“The principal goal of treatment for these tumors is not necessary to achieve a cure, but rather to slow down or delay the spread of the disease and to prevent or delay the occurrence of life-threatening bleeding episodes. This is why surgery to remove any visible tumor mass may be recommended for hemangiosarcoma patients whose condition is otherwise stable even if there is widespread metastasis.”

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