New treatment for cats with feline leukemia and FIV

brown_tabby_cat

Guest post by Lorie Huston, DVM

Until very recently, feline leukemia (FeLV) and feline AIDS (FIV) were both considered to be untreatable diseases, fatal once an infected cat started to show signs of disease. Recently, a new product has been introduced that may change that fact. (In all honesty, this is not really a “new” product per se, having been around since at least 2008, but one which seems to be getting a bit more attention lately.)

TCyte: A New Treatment for Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline AIDS

TCyte, a new treatment for feline leukemia and feline AIDS is a lymphocyte T-cell immune modulator. In the simplest terms, that means that TCyte works on the infected cat’s immune system to improve the cat’s ability to deal with the feline leukemia or feline AIDS infection.

TCyte is used to treat cats infected with either the feline leukemia or feline  AIDS virus who are experiencing symptoms such as red blood cell or white blood cell abnormalities and/or opportunistic infections.

How Does TCyte Work?

TCyte has several different effects on the immune system of the infected cat. It helps increase the number of lymphocytes formed in the blood stream of the infected cat as well as improving the way the lymphocytes function. (Lymphocytes are specific types of white blood cells that are an important part of the immune system and they play a crucial role in the cat’s ability to fight disease. They are often decreased in feline leukemia and/or feline AIDS infections.) TCyte also increases red blood cell production, helping to fight anemia in infected cats. In addition, it increases IL-2 production, which is also known to stimulate the lymphocyte reaction against viruses, such as the feline leukemia and feline AIDS viruses.

Is TCyte Proven to Work?

TCyte currently has a conditional licensure granted by the USDA. This means that additional efficacy and potency studies are in progress. However, in a study published in the International Journal of Applied Research in Veterinary Medicine (Vol. 6, No. 2, 2008):

“A total of 23 FIV or FeLV-infected cats entered the study of which 22 qualified and completed as scheduled. No significant adverse reactions attributed to LTCI (TCyte) treatment were detected. Treatment with LTCI resulted in improvements in both clinical and hematological parameters.”

These results are encouraging. However, 23 cats is not a large number of animals. And the long-term benefits of treatment are still largely unknown although several of the cats in this study did survive for long periods. Much more research is needed in this area before we can really know how effective this product is in the long run.

Still, when you consider the deadly nature of these viruses, particularly once the red blood cell and white blood cell lines have become abnormal, this product might be worth trying if your cat is suffering from feline leukemia or feline AIDS. I have not, at this time, tried this medication in my veterinary practice yet. However, it is something I would consider should an owner be willing to attempt treatment, I think.

Have any of you had tried TCyte for your own FeLV or FIV-infected cats? If so, we would love to hear about your experience. Please share by leaving a comment below.

Lorie Huston has been practicing veterinary medicine for over 20 years. Besides a successful career in a busy small animal hospital in Providence, RI, Lorie is also a successful freelance writer specializing in pet care and pet health topics. 

Photo by Tomi Tapio, Flickr Creative Commons

208 Comments on New treatment for cats with feline leukemia and FIV

  1. Kristal
    October 27, 2016 at 1:11 pm (1 month ago)

    I desperately need this medicine for my kitty. Where does one get it from?

    Reply
  2. Marcella
    September 28, 2016 at 9:58 pm (2 months ago)

    I’ve never read anything about this RetroMADI.
    Does anybody know if I can get it in Brazil? Or in the US?

    Reply
  3. Joe
    September 10, 2016 at 8:35 pm (3 months ago)

    I just put my cat down because she was sick and tested Felv+ and FIV+…..Only 2 years old. I feel horrible. She just showed signs within the past few weeks. Mostly not eating, not herself, lethargic, tired, and skinny. Happened quickly and I got very concerned. I took her to the Animal Clinic and she tested positive for both felv and fiv….suffered from anemia and her breathing was not right. I feel terrible for putting her down as I think that I could have nursed her back, but the Vet said she would only continue to get worse. For some reason, I have a hard time and just feel guilty about it all. So in short, I just donated my car to the local SPCA. If I couldn’t help my cat, at least I know my donated car may help another. I am NOT a cat person, just a humane person and I just feel guilt about putting her down….

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 11, 2016 at 5:47 am (3 months ago)

      I’m so sorry about your cat, Joe. Losing a cat is always hard, but when it’s a young cat like yours was, it’s especially difficult. I hope in time you can see that there’s nothing to feel guilty about. Be gentle with yourself.

      Reply
      • Joe
        September 11, 2016 at 8:32 pm (3 months ago)

        Thanks Ingrid…..Believe it or not, your words go very far. …Thank you.

        Reply
  4. Richard xia
    June 7, 2016 at 12:24 pm (6 months ago)

    I have had a number of infected kitties in the past, lost them all unfortunately, the last one was in 2013, another rescued young tom, Meiner, named for the neighborhood convenience store where I found him. I learned about LTCI late into his illness when it became virulent but used it anyway. He rallied for six weeks more and gave very optimistic signs. However, eventually he was overwhelmed by the illness. I believe that if l had used the LTCI earlier and over a longer period before his immune system had been so depleted and compromised, we might have saved. If we adopt another infected cat, we will be sure to administer the drug immediately. Studies have shown that using earlier reduces the viral load to an undetectable level.

    Reply
    • TheCatWhisperer
      June 8, 2016 at 11:48 am (6 months ago)

      You should look into getting RetroMAD1. Its an antiviral that kills and inhibits the reproduction of retroviruses like HIV, FIP, FIV, FeLV, and many more. It saved my kitten from FeLV when the Veterinarians said she only had about 10 days to live at most. That was 2 years ago. Its not holistic, its not something that boosts the cat’s immune system, its an antiviral that kills the virus in the blood. Its pretty much side effect free too. Its not a cure but it will keep the cat healthy for as long as you use it. It can be used in conjunction with LTCI but its much less expensive and it worked so well for my cat that I discontinued the LTCI and have been using RetroMAD1 ever since.

      Reply
      • Pat Shannon
        August 30, 2016 at 9:50 am (3 months ago)

        What is RetroMADI? I can’t even find it on google. Please advise. I’ve got an FIV+ cat and need some help. Thanks.

        Reply
        • Pat Shannon
          August 30, 2016 at 9:54 am (3 months ago)

          Where do you get the RetroMADI? From your vet?

          Reply
          • TheCatWhisperer
            September 13, 2016 at 4:31 pm (3 months ago)

            Vets dont even know it exists. Its an unapproved, antiviral that the makers (Scientists) were nice enough to give to me to treat my cat. Do you have an email address I can send you the contact info?

          • Pat Shannon
            October 19, 2016 at 10:43 am (2 months ago)

            Please send me more info on how to get RetroMADI. Thanks.
            pshannon@frontier.com

      • Loretta B
        September 11, 2016 at 9:49 am (3 months ago)

        Where did you get it? I can’t find anywhere that has it. I have a rescue here with 22 cats, all of which have FeLV in various stages of illness.

        Reply
        • Amanda
          September 11, 2016 at 5:50 pm (3 months ago)

          I’d recommend trying LTCI instead of RetroMAD1. It’s much easier to get those shots from your vet, or even straight from the US manufacturer. You have to get the RetroMAD from Malaysia, so it’s a bit more complicated. My vet has successfully treated several animals with FIV and FeLV using LTCI. They’ve made full recoveries and even test negative for it now. You just have to search quite a bit to find a vet who will use it. My experience was that most vets didn’t believe that it worked and refused to even try it, they were very cynical for some reason. But if you look at the LTCI website and call them, they will recommend someone close to you who offers it! Good luck!!

          Reply
          • Loretta
            September 11, 2016 at 9:12 pm (3 months ago)

            I found a veterinary oncologist a few towns over who uses it, but rumor has it, it’s very expensive. Any idea how much it costs?

          • Amanda
            September 11, 2016 at 9:34 pm (3 months ago)

            It depends on the vet I think, but between $50-100 per injection. If you order the shots directly from the manufacturer, they charge $50 per shot, but they are only allowed to ship within certain states. I’m in PA and they couldn’t ship to me, but another member on here was in NY and was able to get them. My vet said they normally start to show improvement after the first shot. The number required for a full recovery depends on the animal and how bad they are, but I’ve heard anywhere from 2-5 can be enough to clear the virus completely!

          • TheCatWhisperer
            September 13, 2016 at 4:26 pm (3 months ago)

            Im not too sure about LTCI. Ive seen people use it and it didnt work but other have had success. RetroMAD1 success rate is way above 95% and its so much cheaper. My cat was IFA positive which according to US Vetenarians is a death sentence but it was not. Two years later my Vet has come to terms that a laymen (me) found a treatment that nobody else knows about and “works miracles” Since you have multiple cats Im sure the makers of RetroMAD would love to work with you. They can use your cats and their healing progress for their studies and believe me they will begin to heal once treatment starts. Can I contact you off this site to give you the contact info?

            Amanda i’m not saying LTCI doesn’t work sometimes, but I wonder will it work on a cat that is IFA positive? Once the retrovirus gets in the cat’s bone marrow the virus can never be “cured” it can always replicate in the future. RetroMAD1 will kill any new replication of the virus and keep it from killing the cat but right now there is no cure for any retrovirus that imbeds itself inside the host’s DNA.

          • Loretta
            September 14, 2016 at 1:49 am (3 months ago)

            You can send the information to LBEN1@msn.com

          • TheCatWhisperer
            September 13, 2016 at 4:36 pm (3 months ago)

            I do know someone who used LTCI on her FIV & FeLV cat and the LTCI successfully treated the FeLV but not the FIV. The cat was literally on its deathbed being syringe fed when I was able to rush her some RetroMAD1 and after 3 days of treatment the cat began to eat on its own. After 3 months of RetroMAD1 the cats FIV viral load went from 13000 to 12 so I have the numbers to back up RetroMAD1’s claims.
            LTCI works by getting the cat’s immune system to kill the retroviruses, RetroMAD1 is an antiviral that kills the viruses by itself. Ideally they are a great combination to use together. Fight the viruses on two fronts.

          • Onder
            November 9, 2016 at 3:04 pm (4 weeks ago)

            Hello Amanda,

            We are a couple from Turkiye with 5 cats. One of them was unfortunately diagnosed with FIV(+). We have acquired LTCI from the US manufacturer and out vet applied the first three shots in one month. After those shots, her white blood cells have improved significantly but she started suffering from gingivitis and dermatitis. Because of that, our vet was afraid of applying further doses of LTCI, he suspected that our cats immune system have overreacted LCTI with allergic symptoms. This happened in April and we have been waiting since then.

            I was wondering if it would be possible for us to concact your vet, in order to take advice from them about how to apply the LCTI correctly, or ask if we have done something wrong. We really need some advice from a vet with FIV and LCTI experience.
            Greetings.
            Onder and Olcay

        • Suzie Loo
          September 13, 2016 at 9:29 pm (3 months ago)

          Dear Loretta B,

          I am from Malaysia and you can contact the maker of Retromad1 directly at contact.us@biovalence.com.my or alternatively call them at 603 79607550. You can speak to Tiffany.

          Reply
    • Cesar
      September 24, 2016 at 10:37 pm (2 months ago)

      I just found out that my kitten has Felv today and would like to help him out as much as possible! Any information you can share regarding RETROMad1 would be great! Thank you!

      Reply
  5. Loretta
    May 10, 2016 at 12:01 am (7 months ago)

    I have an accidental sanctuary of sorts for cats with FeLV. Right now I have 22 cats that have this horrible disease. Last year I lost 5 of them to it. I will have to ask my vet about this medication. I have 3 that are on daily meds to try to keep symptoms under control. Thank you for writing about this.

    Reply

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