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    Posted October 3, 2013 by
    LIVS
    Location
    Plainview, New York

    Long Island Veterinary Specialists administering new anti-cancer vaccine in German Shepherd operated on for a brain tumor.

     
    NEWS RELEASE
    For immediate release
    Contact: Pat Rosen at Long Island Veterinary Specialists at 516 501-1700 Ext 243 or Dr. Dominic J. Marino at Ext 239

    Long Island Veterinary Specialists administering new anti-cancer vaccine in German Shepherd operated on for a brain tumor.

    Plainview, NY (October3, 2013) - Katie, a 12 year old German Shepherd mix had a specific kind of brain tumor, a meningioma, surgically removed last November at LIVS. A histologically identical tumor reappeared in the same area 7 months later and it too was removed. Now she is receiving a revolutionary new vaccine to prevent the growth of additional cancers. Katie is returning for four more treatments now given at two week intervals.

    This individualized treatment is available in the northeastern United States for pets afflicted with brain tumors, only through LIVS. It was developed in Minnesota at the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Medical Center in St. Paul for dogs with primary brain tumors.

    Previously, un-treated dogs would likely die from this and another form of brain cancer called a glioma in a few months. With this new vaccine patients can survive aggressive brain cancer longer without experiencing the side effects sometimes associated with chemotherapy. The implications for this groundbreaking treatment of brain cancer in animals and humans could be far-reaching as both are subject to very similar forms of these diseases.

    “This type of vaccine therapy has the potential to be used on nearly any type of systemic cancer in dogs, not just brain cancer, because the immune response covers the entire body,” says Dr. G. Elizabeth Pluhar, a veterinary surgeon at the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Medical Center in St. Paul, MN. Together with Dr. John Ohlfest, head of the neurosurgery gene therapy program at the Masonic Cancer Center in St. Paul, they developed the new three-pronged treatment regimen consisting of surgical removal of the tumor, treatment of the surgical site with a form of gene therapy to attract immune cells to destroy remaining tumor cells, and administration of an anti-cancer vaccine made from the dog’s own cancer cells to prevent tumor recurrence.

    Drs. Ohlfest and Pluhar work in the comparative oncology discipline. They use what they learn in veterinary medicine to help humans, and they extrapolate what they can from human medicine to help pet animals. Eventually, there is hope in developing a similar vaccine for humans that is both effective and cost-efficient.

    Long Island Veterinary Specialists is a veterinary specialist referral center located in Plainview, N.Y. that was established in 1998. LIVS is among the most active veterinary referral centers in the U.S., seeing approximately 30 thousand patients yearly. As chair of the Department of Surgery, Dr. Dominic Marino, has pioneered corrective neurosurgery of syringomyelia/Chiari like malformation in dogs, and instituted electronic brachytherapy for targeted cancer treatment in pets. It also has an extraordinarily active peer recognized veterinary neurosurgical service.

    The owner is willing to share his story and is available for photo/video reporting.
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