PULLMAN – WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine is offering a financial incentive to pet owners whose dogs participate in a clinical trial regarding B cell lymphoma, a type of blood cell cancer.
Artemisinin is a drug derived from the plant Artemisia annua. It has been traditionally used by Chinese herbalists in the treatment of skin diseases and malaria. In addition to its well-known antimalarial properties, the drug has recently aroused interest as an anticancer drug.
In the laboratory, the drug causes cancer cell death and changes that could sensitize cancers making them more susceptible to common chemotherapy drugs. WSU’s clinical trial will examine this effect in dogs with cancer.
In order to determine the efficacy of compounds used to treat cancer in humans or animals, physicians and veterinarians who specialize in cancer often conduct clinical trials. Trials offer people or animal owners in this case some form of compensation for volunteering their dog that has cancer.
For this study, WSU is limiting care expenses an owner pays to $300, if their dog meets a special set of criteria for enrollment.
The study is funded by the Washington State Life Sciences Discovery Fund. Costs associated with the collection of samples, re-evaluating disease burden, bloodwork for chemotherapy, chemotherapy drug, and administration are covered, when performed at the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Lymphoma is the most common form of blood cell cancer in dogs and one of the most common forms overall. It strikes any age and breed of dog, although certain breeds are more susceptible. For dogs with B cell multicentric lymphoma, most will die on average within a year of diagnosis with aggressive treatment.
Standard chemotherapy for B cell lymphoma is well tolerated and provides an excellent quality of life during treatment. Now WSU veterinary cancer specialists want to further improve the well-established chemotherapy’s impact.