A drug by Pfizer to treat canine mast cell tumors has just been approved by the FDA. The company has been making great efforts to develop new cancer drugs and yielded a breakthrough — for dogs.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first cancer treatment specifically designed to treat dogs, it’s called Palladia and is approved to treat canine mast cell tumors.
From the press release: “All cancer drugs now used in veterinary medicine originally were developed for use in humans and are not specifically approved for use in animals, the FDA said. “This cancer drug approval for dogs is an important step forward for veterinary medicine,” Bernadette Dunham, director of FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in a statement. “Prior to this approval, veterinarians had to rely on human oncology drugs without knowledge of how safe or effective they would be for dogs,” she said.
Pfizer said it would begin selling Palladia in early 2010, but will make the oral drug available to certain veterinary oncology specialists prior to that. Palladia works by killing tumor cells and by cutting off the blood supply to the tumor. The pill must be taken every other day and the dog will likely have to be on the therapy for several months or longer, depending on tumor response, Pfizer said.”
While we don’t know what the cost of this treatment will be yet, the approval of such a drug brings hope to all dog owners. Pfizer Animal Health has estimated 1.2 million new canine cancer cases in the United States every year. This breakthrough brings many people a lot of hope, both on behalf of their canine companions and hope for a similar drug to be developed for people.