Oral cancers account for about 10% of all feline cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma is one of the most common oral cancers. It is a very aggressive cancer with a very poor prognosis. Even though these cancers can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation, survival time is poor, with a median survival time of three months, and an only 10% one-year survival rate.
Anytime a disease has such a poor prognosis, it’s encouraging when there is news about research that is looking for better and more effective treatments. Two new studies are looking at two different drugs to treat this invasive and aggressive cancer.
Oregon State University
Researchers at Oregon State University evaluated the effects of the drug Dasatinib in the treatment of FOSCC. In a study funded by Morris Animal Foundation, the researchers tested the drug on cultured feline oral squamous cell carcinoma (FOSCC) cell lines and found that Dasatinib suppressed replication and spread of FOSCC cells and interrupted the cell signaling circuits that promote cancer growth.
Dasatinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, a unique class of targeted anti-cancer agents, which has shown promise in treating oral squamous cell carcinoma in humans. While the data is encouraging, further study is needed to evaluate Dasatinib as a potential treatment for feline oral cancer. Next steps will include clinical trials to test the drug’s safety and efficacy in cats.
Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine
A study at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine is evaluating the drug Anginex to see whether it would provide a safe and effective means of treating FOSCC. Anginex is a peptide (small protein) that interferes with the ability of a tumor to make and maintain its blood supply, a process known as angiogenesis. Anginex has so far only been used experimentally in mice.
For more information about these studies,please visit VetCancerTrials.org.