The immune system plays an important role in identifying and killing cancer cells in the body. Another type of therapy that is rapidly gaining attention in the treatment of cancer in people is immunotherapy. In this therapeutic approach, the patient’s own immune system is used to target and kill cancer cells in the body.
Vaccines are being developed in veterinary Oncology to help target specific receptors on the surface of cancer or recruit the immune system to target certain cells for destruction. One vaccine that has been available for years, called Oncept targets melanoma in dogs. The vaccine is human DNA and codes for a specific receptor called tyrosinase which is only located on melanocytes. This becomes the signal to the immune system to help kill malignant melanocytes. Active research is being performed for vaccine strategies in Osteosarcoma, Hemangiosarcoma, Transitional Cell Carcinoma and Lymphoma.
BARC has Oncept for patients with melanoma. If your dog has been diagnosed with a melanoma, please call us to schedule a consult today!