Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
My parents' dog has just been diagnosed with a tumor and a life expectancy of 6 months. The tumor is an invasive scirrhous carcinoma with a predominantly solid pattern of growth. Has anyone out there heard of any "miracle stories" of treatments or alternative medicines that may provide a ray of hope for our situation? All responses are very much appreciated.
Lili Duda, VMD, Editor of the OncoLink Veterinary Oncology Section, responds:
We will assume this a mammary carcinoma, although location is not specified in your e-mail question. Unfortunately, this is a tumor that carries a poor prognosis. We cannot address the question of alternative therapies. Although, traditional chemotherapy would probably consist of two cycles of adriamycin and cytoxan and then an assessment for response before proceeding with further therapy. If there is no pulmonary metastasis (spread to the lungs), surgical removal of the primary mass is indicated, if possible. The role of ovario-hysterectomy (if the dog is an intact female) is uncertain at this time, although recent data suggests that it might be beneficial.
Best of luck.