Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Palladia Cancer Treatment for Dogs

Dr. Joanne Intile gives us the latest on Palladia a New Anti-Cancer Treatment

by Dr. Joanne Intile, DVM, DACVIM (oncology) 

Palladia ® (toceranib phosphate)
A New Drug for the Treatment of Cancer in Dogs

A new and exciting anti-cancer treatment option has recently been made available to veterinary oncologists in the United States.  Palladia ® (toceranib phosphate) is actually the first drug to be approved by the FDA for treating cancer in animals.

Palladia ® is a member of the receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) family of targeted anti-cancer therapies.  This class of drugs has caused significant excitement in the human cancer field.  The most widely known receptor TKI is Gleevec ® (imatinib mesylate), a drug that has revolutionized the successful treatment of human gastrointestinal stromal tumors and chronic myelogenous leukemia.  Palladia ® is a multi-receptor TKI that is similar to Gleevec ® and works by targeting mutated receptors involved in both cellular proliferation and tumor angiogenesis pathways.

Mast cell tumors are the most common cutaneous tumors seen in dogs.  Mutations in the receptor tyrosine kinase known as KIT occur in 20-30% of grade 2 and 3 canine mast cell tumors.  Palladia ® successfully targets mutated KIT receptors in mast cell tumors.  Specifically, Palladia ® is indicated for the treatment of grade 2 and 3 recurrent mast cell tumors, with or without lymph node metastasis.  Exciting information from preliminary clinical trials indicate Palladia ® may also have anti-cancer activity against some carcinomas and sarcomas as well, making this drug an attractive option for patients that previously may not have had any options for treatment.  Published information is not currently available about the use of Palladia ® in cats, however we have successfully used Palladia to control a variety of cancers in cats as well.

Palladia ® is a unique form of anti-cancer therapy for animals. It is available as oral tablets that are designed to be administered every other day by at home by the owners, rather than being given intravenously at the veterinarian’s office as we do for most other chemotherapy drugs.  Initially, patients receiving Palladia ® are scheduled for monthly rechecks with comprehensive physical exams and labwork for the first 6 months of therapy.  Rechecks are sometimes reduced to an every other month basis after that point, depending on the patient.  Treatment is continued for 12 months or longer, depending on rate of tumor control.  The major toxicities seen with Palladia ® are adverse gastrointestinal signs rather than hematological toxicity as seen with other traditional chemotherapy agents.

If you have a patient that you believe would benefit from Palladia ® therapy, please feel free to schedule an appointment with the oncology service at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates or speak with Dr. Intile (DACVIM – oncology) by calling 301-926-3300.


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  2. Thank you for this. Having access to cutting edge information and treatments is so very important. Keep up the good work!

  3. My cat was prescribed this drug for a tumor in his liver. His long term prognosis right now is poor but I'm hoping for a miracle. Do you have any info now on how this drug works for cats? Thanks!

    1. We have a rag doll cat and are weighing which drug to give her to help kill of the (hopefully little remaining) cancer that was removed from her lymph node. This drug seems to be the one we will try. What happened with your cat, if you don't mind me asking?

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  5. My dog has been on palladia for 4 months. Her mast cell tumors have shrunk, but she has been having more GI upset. Her oncologist suggests we try Gleevack which may have fewer GI effects. What are your thoughts on this?