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UT MD Anderson, Texas A&M team up to treat canine lymphoma
Date:2/7/2012

A new immunotherapy for companion dogs with advanced-stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) has been shown to improve survival while maintaining quality of life, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports. The study resulted from a collaboration between The University of Texas MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital in Houston and Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine in College Station.

Using a T-cell therapy developed at MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital, veterinarians from Texas A&M saw a nearly four-fold improvement in tumor-free survival compared to dogs who received only chemotherapy. The median tumor-free survival for the Texas-based dogs increased by close to nine months, which is roughly equivalent to seven years in a human life span.

NHL is one of the most common cancers in dogs, according to Texas A&M veterinarians. Although standard chemotherapy can achieve remission, it is rarely a curative treatment, with the two-year survival rate remaining less than 20 percent. When investigators from MD Anderson and Texas A&M met, they explored the feasibility of administering T cells to improve survival.

"We followed the same rigid standards that we practice for human clinical trials at MD Anderson to ensure the safety of each dog," said Laurence Cooper, M.D., Ph.D., professor and section chief of cell therapy at the children's hospital and senior investigator on the study. "While these pets are benefiting from the T-cell infusions, this collaboration with Texas A&M is a driving force for undertaking similar clinical trials in humans."

To accomplish the T-cell therapy, researchers took a sample of peripheral blood from each dog entering the study. Then the T cells were separated and expanded in Cooper's laboratory over several weeks. As the T cells grew at MD Anderson, the canines received a chemotherapy regimen at Texas A&M similar to what humans with NHL receive, a combination o
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Contact: Sara Farris
sfarris@mdanderson.org
713-792-9133
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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