Veterinary oncology is an ever-changing field, with new drugs and treatments always on the horizon. There are several exciting and new therapeutics in veterinary medical oncology which have recently received full or conditional license by the FDA or USDA. These are therapies, which are either now, or may soon be available, to better treat our furry friends with cancer.

ENTYCE (Capromorelin) for Appetite Stimulation in Dogs

ENTYCE (capromorelin) is the only FDA-approved therapeutic designed to safely and effectively stimulate appetite in dogs. Approved in 2016, Entyce is a ghrelin receptor agonist. It works by mimicking the hunger hormone ghrelin to stimulate appetite in dogs. The therapeutic is available as a once-daily, flavored oral solution in 10 mL, 15 mL and 30 mL bottles. Appetite is an important aspect of any animal’s quality of life, especially with cancer. Entyce offers a new medication to help both dogs with cancer, as well as other acute or chronic medical conditions causing inappetance or anorexia.

Tanovea-CA1 (Rabacfosadine) for Lymphoma in Dogs

Tanovea is an exciting new chemotherapy drug for lymphoma, which became conditionally approved by the FDA in 2017. Tanovea-CA1 (rabacfosadine) works as a nucleotide analogue, and is the first new animal drug intended to treat canine lymphoma. In previous clinical studies, Tanovea has been shown to be highly effective with a 77% overall response rate. Tanovea was generally well-tolerated and demonstrated high rates of response in both dogs naïve to previous treatments as well as in dogs that relapsed or failed previous chemotherapy. Tanovea is administered IV on a 3 week schedule. The most common side effects seen in dogs treated with Tanovea-CA1 include decreased white blood cell count, diarrhea, vomiting, decreased or loss of appetite, weight loss, decreased activity level, and skin problems (hair loss, sores, and scabs). Rarely pulmonary fibrosis, hyperbilirubinemia, and proteinuria have also been reported. We are currently primarily using Tanovea in the rescue setting, although large scale studies are ongoing and recommendations may change in the future.

Canine Osteosarcoma Vaccine, Live Listeria Vector (AT-014)

A promising osteosarcoma vaccine may soon become available as well. Aratana Therapeutics announced that their Canine Osteosarcoma Vaccine, Live Listeria Vector (AT-014), has been granted a conditional license by the USDA Center for Veterinary Biologics. The vaccine will be available at about two dozen veterinary oncology practice groups across the United States in 2018 as part of an extended field study. In a previous clinical trial, 18 dogs with osteosarcoma were evaluated. These dogs had primary tumor removal, 4 doses of adjuvant carboplatin chemotherapy, followed by the new canine osteosarcoma vaccine every 3 weeks for 3 doses. The median survival rate was 956 days with the vaccine, compared with 423 days in a historical control group.  Common side effects reported included lethargy, diarrhea, and fever; only 4 serious adverse events were reported in a separate field safety study. If the new study receives successful results, the USDA may approve the vaccine and allow unrestricted sales throughout the United States.  Please see note below about the clinical study available at MedVet Columbus.


Clinical Study Opportunity at MedVet Columbus and MedVet Indianapolis

MedVet Columbus and MedVet Indianapolis are currently enrolling patients with osteosarcoma who have undergone amputation and chemotherapy in a study of the Canine Osteosarcoma Vaccine, Live Listeria Vector (COV-LLV), a conditionally licensed product. To learn more, please contact our Clinical Studies Team. Dr. Lisa Fulton (Medical Oncology – MedVet Columbus) at (614) 431-4401, Dr. Michael Lucroy (Medical Oncology – MedVet Indianapolis) at (317) 872-8387 or  Edna Moore (Clinical Studies Coordinator) at or (614) 310-1720.