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My oncologist says that inhalation chemo is not avaliable nationwide, is this true?
Also, has anybody heard of TUMEXAL? The link is here for that:
Thank you for any response on both of these questions,
Unfortunately, your vet is correct; inhalation therapy is usually found in veterinary teaching hospitals because it's such a new, experimental treatment option. Here is a list of veterinary teaching hospitals in the US.
As for the Tumexal, well, I'm going to try to be unbiased here since I have never heard of it before, but my instincts are suspicious about this "natural" cancer treatment option. The website will not list the "proprietary ingredients" and I cannot find any information on the web about the reputability of this "treatment." The other treatment this company sells says it will prevent canine cancer; according to the FDA, this is an illegal claim; nobody can say that their drug/therapy/whatever will prevent canine cancer. I see several red flags here; save your money for more legitimate therapies that may be an option for you.
5 April 2009
Didn't Caira Sue use inhalation therapy at UC Davis?
Yes. I included a list of teaching hospitals that might have it. I believe that Buck is in Maine
Thank you Jerry
I have run out of treatment options and found that on the web. I am franticaly looking for something to help him or, maybe there is nothing I can do......
You're welcome. I'm so sorry, I wish that there was something that could be done right now to make everything better. And while the treatment options might be unavailable, what you can do right now is this:
Love your pup as much as you can, every second. Make the most of your time, stop to be with eachother, smell the flowers and see the world as he does. Slow down, notice all of those little things like the smell of wet grass, the leaves turning gold, the pretty blue sky...things that in an ordinary time would seem insignificant. When you view the world from the eyes of your dog, it takes on a whole new meaning and shows that all that really matters is the Here and Now. Everything else is just a distraction.
The only way this awful cancer can win is if you allow it to rob you of whatever time you have left.
Wookie has a single lung met (from OSA) and his oncologist is contacting one of the researchers at the National Cancer Institute about whether inhalation interleukin therapy would be a viable option.
I will let you know what I find out.
This is his reply as to why not the third Chemo:
Given that he had progression of his cancer with the masses in his lung it would not make sense to continue to treat him with the same drug again. His cancer was resistant to the treatment and would not respond. I hope this answers your question.
Thank you wookie524
As difficult as it was for all of you to make that decision, it does sounds like standard protocol to me. For example, when my lung mets grew, it was clear that they didn't respond to the oral chemo I was receiving, so we stopped taking it. It made no sense to continue, and we spent the rest of my days free of pills and doctor visits and all that ick. In a lot of ways it was a relief, in other ways it broke my pawrents hearts. They know exactly how you feel, it just plain stinks.
Hello Buck and family,
I got an email back from Wookie's oncologist today and it looks like we will be able to do the inhalation interleukin therapy. He contacted Dr. Khanna (a veterinarian) who did the original paper on this treatment, and he said he'd send my oncologist the protocol for it and that he would be able to administer it himself and that the treatment is relatively simple. I was ready to travel with Wookie but fortunately that won't be the case, as the doctor is at the Center for Cancer Research/National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD. He told my oncologist that once he received the protocol to call him and they'd go over the plan on how to treat Wookie.
I know my oncologist is friends with this doctor, but I don't see how that would make a difference. I wonder if your oncologist contacted him, if he'd be willing to do the same. I know there is a difference between Wookie and your dog, as Wookie only had one met, but it never hurts to ask!!! I don't know how expensive the treatment is, but there are almost no side effects. In the original paper, 2 dogs with mets from OSA went on to have complete remission for 12 and 20 months, respectively, a few dogs had partial remission and a few had no response. So there's certainly no guarantee, but I really think it's worth a try if it's feasible.
Here is the link to Dr. Khanna, I'm not sure all the info is current there, but it may be a starting point for you and your oncologist.
Here is my reply from my oncologist:
Actually I know Dr Khanna well as a friend and in fact he was a resident doing this project at the University of Minnesota when I was a senior veterinary student and I know none of the dogs treated had anywhere near the amount of disease Stein has. With due respect taking out of the equation the severity of his disease, the cost of purchasing IL-2 alone is about $1200-1500/treatment just to get started. We would have to sedate Stein to do this as he has to have mask over his mouth and nose to administer the treatment, that and tech/doctor time would easily put treatment >$2000. I know you are trying to do everything you can but as your doctor I have not only a responsibility to offer you a treatment I think has a decent chance of working but also to look out for what you can afford. Likewise Palladia is expensive for a dog his size, is orally administed, does not work within the time that Stein has left as it takes months to work, besides no responses in general with this tumor type are seen to the best of my knowledge. Trust me if i felt he was a candidate for anything I would offer it but he is not a candidate.
If your not happy with this it may be best at this point to consider getting a second opinion at either Tufts Veterinary School in Grafton MA or Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston. I would not at all be offended and in fact think it may be good for you to hear the opinion of another board certified oncologist. I would offer you to be seen at the New England Veterinary Oncology Group (NEVOG) in Waltham MA but given my affiliation there I don't want you to feel I would be setting you up with any bias. This may provide you the closure you need to know that you are doing what you can. Let me know if this is something you would like me to arrange and I would be happy to do so.
Unfortunately but understandibly the more you read online in support chat groups the less I feel you are really looking at the problem staring you in the face and the reality that Stein is dying. My opionion with alll respect and desire as an oncologist to never give up the fight is that you need to turn the computer off, spend some true quality time with your friend, and say goodbye. My heart goes out to you Kim as I know you want to help him. The unfortunate reality at this point is the only way you can is by putting him to sleep.
Any thoughts from all are welcome. I have three thousand dollars saved for Stein
Maybe I shouldn't have been going on about the inhalation therapy, but you had asked and I just wanted to share with you what I had found. I know you are in a very different situation with your pooch, as his lungs are full of mets... is that correct?
Do you feel he is having quality of life issues now?
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