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From the UK "Veterinary Times" February 1999, p. 27. The author is Andor Sebasteny (BVSc, DipBact, MRCVS) and he is reporting the trial with CV247. An article in "Dogs Today", discussing the drug, was previously posted by me to the berner - l. My vet kindly photocopied this one for me. Let me know what you think.

Best Regards Michaela

A NEW APPROACH TO CANCER THERAPY

"Dear Sir I would like to inform my colleagues of a new approach to cancer therapy which has been developed by a member of our profession, John Carter. It is designated CV247. It is an oral treatment and a salt free and artificial chemical additive-free diet is part of it. Three controlled trials have been conducted on this treatment at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, Departemnt of Oncology, by Prof. Peter Beverley, then the head of the Tumour Immunology Unit of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund. CV247 was administered to mice with malignant tumours. He concluded that the treatment caused a statistically significant reduction in the rate of tumour growth in the treated, compared to the untreated subjects. He added in his report that there were no side effects attributable to the treatment. The Veterinary Medicines Directorate then suggested that an appropriate veterinary expert should study the treatment and submit his report on it. I was asked to do this because I have had 34 years experience of advising on animal studies for cancer research and have, since the 1986 Act, been the NVS of the Cancer Research Fund and of the Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research. Because I have also experienced clinical work in gerneral practice throughout this time, I agreed that I would monitor , in my personal capacity as an independent clinical observer, an open study on the effect of the treatment on firmly diagnosed cancers supported by pathology reports in cats and dogs. Twenty six cases were selected for the study, four of which had been diagnosed prior to it's commencement. Animals which would not eat, or where the owners lived at such distances that they were not prepared to travel regularly for treatment, could not be included, although some owners did come on a regular basis to Harrow from as far away as Wiltshire or Yorkshire. In this study I found no evidence of toxicity or side effects. In fact, an improvement in the general health and behaviour was not only obvious to the owner but also to the independent observer. Of the 26 cases treated, all were advanced and 16 were considered to be terminal. There was an observable regression of tumours in 15 cases and a considerable or an apparent regression in nine cases, seven of which are briefly described:

A collie bitch (13 Years)diagnosed at the Animal Health Trust to have sublingual melanoma. Prognosis will require euthanasia within four to six month. No drugs would have any effect. Radiotherapy might reduce it but will still die of secondaries. After seven month of treatment the tumour had shrunk to less than a quarter of it's original size. The dog was lively, alert and eating well. There was no indication of secondary tumours.

A K.C. Spaniel bitch ( eight years) diagnosed with lymphosarcoma. Prognosis guarded to poor. Response to chemotherapy likely to be poor. After 24 month treatment the dog appears to be well to be well with good appetite and normal behaviour. It's lymph nodes are palpable but considerably reduced in size.

A Rough Collie dog (10 years) diagnosed at the RVC Hospital to have gastric carcinoma. Prognosis without surgery survival is not likely beyond four months. Owner declined surgery. After two years' treatment the dog was fit and well with a shiny coat, good appetite and had no symptoms of gastric carcinoma.

A K.C. Spaniel (eight years)dog diagnosed to have lymphoma by biopsy. Despite chemotherapy it continued to deteriorate, so this was discontinued. The owner was then told that euthanasia would be necessary within two months. After 18 months' treatment with CV247 the dog appears to be well with good appetite and normal behaviour. Only one lymph node is still enlarged but reduced in size.

A Doberman dog (eight years)diagnosed at the RVC Hospital to have carcinomatosis with marked cachexia and ascites, the tumour extending into the the abdomimal organs. Prognosis: no possible treatment, immediate euthanasia recommended. After three month treatment he appeared to be in good condition with no ascites, normal weight, eating well and playing with other dogs.

A Doberman bitch ( eight years) diagnosed at the University of Cambridge Veterinary Hospital to have a transitional cell carcinoma of the urethra infiltrating the neck of the bladder. Prognosis grave, no treatment possible. Two years after commencing treatment with CV247 she was fit and lively, and passing urine normally wiith no signs of blood. On the treatment a rapid improvement was seen.

A female cat ( one year) diagnosed by biopsy to have fibrosarcoma of the forelimb, amputation recommended. Six years after the commencement of CV247 she is alive and well with no indication of the tumour. Initially the patient is treated either daily or on alternative days for the first two or three weeks. Then, if response is satisfactory, it is progressively reduced. Hopefully CV247 will be a licenced veterinary medicine available to all our members in the not too distant future.

Yours faithfully ANDOR SEBESTENY, BVSc, DipBact, MRCVS. Veterinary Supervisor Head of the Animal Health and Welfare Unit, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Clare Hall Laboratories, Blanche Lane, South Mimms. Potters Bar, Herts. EN6 3LD."

Sounds promising, doesn't it ? True, it was a very limited trial. But the only side effect to be found was enhanced well-being ! Surely this is a huge improvement to existing cancer treatment, especially in cancers such as histio which, to date, do not appear to respond favorably to conventional ( chemo and/ or radiation) therapy.

The good news are that the drug is in it's final testing phase ( info obtained via private communication with John Carter (DVM), the vet pioneering the treatment )and should be licenced by early next year. The bad news are that it is, as yet, unavailable to all those people who have contacted me- and whose dogs have cancer - since I posted the original article. I feel rotten - I feel I have given all those people hope which turned out to be unwarranted. Was I wrong to do so? Please let me know so that the next time I read something exciting, I will keep it strictly to myself. Regards Michaela