Just like humans, dogs have an immune system that is responsible for protecting them against all sorts of diseases, including cancer. But, sometimes the body’s natural defenses do not work, and that’s when diseases like cancer become life threatening.
About Canine Cancer
When cancer starts to grow inside of a body, whether that body belongs to a human or a dog, it’s because the immune system is failing to recognize that the cancer cells shouldn’t be there. When you get sick with the flu, you get better because your body recognizes that there is a virus inside of your cells making them sick, and it attacks the infected cells until they die off. But unlike a flu virus, cancer is a master of disguise. To a body’s immune system, cancer cells look just like the other healthy cells that call the body home, like blood cells and lung cells. The immune system doesn’t know to attack the cancer cells because it can’t see them!
As most dog parents suspect, cancer is common in canines. In fact, cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over 10 years of age. Fifty percent (half) of dogs older dogs will develop cancer at some point. Because tumors can develop from just about any type of tissue, dogs can develop many types of tumors that can occur in a variety of locations. Early detection is the name of the game! It is important to monitor your dog for lumps and bumps, as well as other warning signs such as loss of appetite and fatigue.
Treatments for Canine Cancer
Most treatment plans for canine cancers involve surgical removal. The feasibility of surgery and other treatment options varies depending on the tumor type and location as well as the general health of the dog. In some cases, chemotherapy or radiation therapy might be recommended by your veterinarian. Both these therapies work by damaging rapidly dividing cells. On the other hand, immunotherapies are treatments that take advantage to the body’s innate ability to fight disease.
IFx-VET is one of the more promising immunotherapy approaches. Unlike single antigen, single indication immunotherapies, IFx-VET does not rely on an immune response to a single tumor-related protein to fight a constantly evolving, heterogeneous population of tumor cells. Because our proprietary vaccine protein is expressed alongside all the abnormal cancer proteins, a strong immune response is primed and educated to attack cancer cells throughout the body.