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From OncoLog, March 2012, Vol. 57, No. 3

Graphic: In Brief

T Cell Therapy Prolongs Survival in Dogs With Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

T cell therapy given after the completion of standard chemotherapy has been found to prolong both overall and disease-free survival in dogs with advanced non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

In a veterinary trial conducted by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, eight dogs with advanced-stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma were infused with autologous T cells after receiving the standard 19-week chemotherapy regimen of cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and prednisone (CHOP). The T cells were derived from peripheral blood taken from each dog at the time of trial enrollment.

“We learned important details about the interaction between chemotherapy and tumor cells.
– Dr. Colleen O'Connor

While the dogs received chemotherapy at Texas A&M, their T cells were separated and expanded at MD Anderson using methods that are used to grow human T cells. The dogs were all pets whose owners wanted them to receive cancer treatment and enrolled them in the trial.

The survival data of the dogs in the trial were compared with matched historical data from dogs with non-Hodgkin lymphoma that had been treated with CHOP only. The median overall survival from the time of initial diagnosis was significantly longer in the dogs that received CHOP plus T cell therapy (392 days; range, 277–458 days) than in the dogs that received CHOP only (167 days; range, 68–413 days). Furthermore, the median disease-free survival from the time complete remission was achieved was significantly longer in the dogs that received CHOP plus T cell therapy (338 days; range, 104–369 days) than in the dogs that received CHOP only (71 days; range, 23–293 days).

The T cell treatment was well tolerated, with only one dog experiencing grade III adverse events (nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea).

“In addition to improving the dogs’ health and quality of life, treating dogs with cancer provides us with a great comparative oncology model for humans,” said Colleen O’Connor, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Experimental Pediatrics at MD Anderson and lead author of the study’s report, which was published in February in Scientific Reports. “We learned important details about the interaction between chemotherapy and tumor cells that can be harnessed to improve the body’s immune response. This is something we hadn’t appreciated thus far from our clinical research in humans.”

For more information, talk to your physician, visit www.mdanderson.org, or call askMDAnderson at 877-632-6789.

Other articles in OncoLog, March 2012 issue:

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