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Tika the Lab Rat–New therapy starting soon (Interleukin-2 liposome inhalation therapy)
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30 July 2009 - 8:33 am
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Hi all:

Hope you are all doing well.  We've been great, Tika and Caya are enjoying their new RV.  Tika has ruled the campground up at the lake by our house.  We learned a new trick from Tika, if she is swimming in the lake and somebody says hi to her from their boat, she will attempt to swim to them. I about had a heart attack.  Luckily, these guys immediately stopped the boat until I could get Tika to focus back on me. We were all laughing (or they were laughing at me).

Anyway, the main point of this post.  My husband started doing some research about treatments again (it was stemmed from the release of the Palladia news) and started having long conversations with the docs at University of Missouri and University of Minnesota. Long story short, Tika will be starting IL-2 inhaled therapy for lung mets very soon.  We have our first meeting with our oncologist next week and then we procede from there.  We have many wonderful people assisting us with this.  The pharmacist that compounds Tika's piroxicam has volunteered to see if he can create the perfect doggie attachment to the standard nebulizing inhaler that humans use.  All of the docs are very supportive (especially since they know we are willing to cough up the $$$)

I don't have all the details yet.  One of the advantages of IL-2 is that it can be administered at home as opposed to inhaled chemo therapy.  It is more expensive.  But it also can be used in conjunction with the metronomic protocol (so they say).  Below is the abstract from Dr. Khanna about the initial test done awhile back. We are trying to be realistic about this, but if it were to work?  Oh man, that would get us so much more time with our baby girl.  If anybody has heard anything about IL-2 therapy, I'd be happy to hear it.  I will be trying my best to keep accurate notes of our experience with it.  I practiced having Tika breath in a bag (grocery sack) last night, Tim rubbed her belly. She just rolled her eyes up at me like, “Now what are you idiots up to?”

Interleukin-2 liposome inhalation therapy is safe and effective for dogs with spontaneous pulmonary metastases.

Khanna C, Anderson PM, Hasz DE, Katsanis E, Neville M, Klausner JS. (Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 55108, USA.)

 

BACKGROUND: Systemic in vivo toxicity of interleukin-2 (IL-2) has been problematic. Antineoplastic activity of IL-2 has been modest. The authors have previously demonstrated the biologic activity and safety of aerosols of IL-2 liposomes in normal dogs. They now report objective regression of naturally occurring pulmonary metastases in dogs after 1 month of nebulized IL-2 liposome therapy.

METHODS: Dogs with pulmonary metastases (n = 7) and primary lung carcinoma (n = 2) were treated with aerosols of IL-2 liposomes. Response to therapy was monitored with serial chest radiographs. Effector populations, collected by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and from heparinized whole blood, were assessed for cell type, immunophenotype, and tumor cytolytic activity. Immunogenicity of human IL-2 and human serum albumin (HSA) in dogs was assessed by immunofluorescence assay.

RESULTS: Two of four dogs with metastatic pulmonary osteosarcoma had complete regression of metastases; the regression remained stable for more than 12 and more than 20 months, respectively. One of two dogs with lung carcinoma had stabilization of disease for more than 8 months; the other had disease progression. Toxicity was minimal. BAL cell numbers increased more than fourfold (P = 0.01) and included significantly greater proportions and total numbers of eosinophils (P = 0.006) and lymphocytes (P = 0.008). Mean BAL effector lytic activity was significantly greater after 15 days of IL-2 liposome inhalation compared with pretreatment activity (P = 0.01); however, mean BAL lytic activity decreased after 30 days and was no longer significantly greater than pretreatment BAL lytic activity. No allergic reactions were associated with inhaled IL-2 liposome therapy. Canine antibodies against human IL-2 and HSA were detected in all dogs.

CONCLUSIONS: Pet dogs with naturally occurring pulmonary metastases and primary lung carcinomas accepted inhalation treatments easily. Nontoxic and effective treatment of pulmonary metastases of osteosarcoma is possible with nebulized IL-2 liposomes.

Kim and Spirit Tika http://www.tika.....ogspot.com

Kirkland, WA
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30 July 2009 - 8:49 am
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Oh my gosh, this sounds so promising!!!  Two out of Four dogs?!?!?!!?  Are you KIDDING me?!  I look forward to hearing more about this and how Tika does and I wish her the very VERY best!  Would you mind if I asked the cost?  If you're not comfortable sharing, that's fine…I just want to know how much I need to start saving 🙂

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30 July 2009 - 9:04 am
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Hi ldillon:

I will post that info when I find out more.  We keep getting mixed reports on how much of the IL2 we need/how long, etc.

Our local pharmacy quoted us a price of $900/vial (ouch!) and how long the vial lasts is up for grabs. We've heard everything from 14 days to a month.

Early high estimate my husband came up with was perhaps $3,000-5,000 dollars for the treatment series (it is not ongoing like the metronomic protocol) I think that's including the radiographs, etc.  Hopefully, we'll get that narrowed down more next week. Is that worth even a extra month with Tika?  You betcha!  If we got the full year? Priceless!

BTW–did you ever succeed in convincing 'the family' to come to Colorado?  Winker

Cheers!

Kim

Kim and Spirit Tika http://www.tika.....ogspot.com

Kirkland, WA
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30 July 2009 - 10:08 am
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Sadly, we will not be joining y'all in Colorado 🙁  My boyfriend didn't want to spend his vacation driving 9 hours a day.  Lame!  Try to have fun anyways (hehe).  Thanks for the cost info. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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30 July 2009 - 3:33 pm
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Tika, WOW! We are blown away by the news of this therapy. Hope you don't mind that we modified the title of your post to make it easier for pawrents to locate info about this treatment in the Forums.

When I had lung mets, we talked about traditional inhaled chemotherapy, but my oncologist wasn't convinced it would work in my situation. This therapy sounds far more promising. We have tears in our eyes right now, just thinking about all of the dogs who can hopefully benefit from it and get loads of extra time. It's wonderful to imagine, right up there with getting rid of cancer altogether.

Lead the way Tika, we're cheering you on!!! Keep us posted with all the details here, OK? SuperstarSuperstarSuperstar

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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30 July 2009 - 4:33 pm
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I had recently been wondering how Tika was doing – sounds like she has non-stop adventures (and not only medical ones!)

We will DEFINITELY be watching the new therapy with great interest. I wonder if the therapy would be effective if applied earlier, to prevent lung mets.

GO TIKA GO

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30 July 2009 - 4:55 pm
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Oh, I am so excited.  Was even more excited before I saw the price.  Yikes!  Hopefully, the price will come down.  Like everyone else I hope lung mets never happens but realistically I know to fear it.

Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.

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30 July 2009 - 8:37 pm
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Hi all:

First of all: Thanks Jerry for posting the full name.  I have been out of town and yesterday afternoon on 4 hours sleep I got hit full bore with my husbands research and several pages of emails and information.  Today….Lab Rat was the best I could come up with!

Tika just gave me kisses and laid down in my lap. So she won that immediate priority.  

So with further emails today, our oncologist (Dr. Heeb of VSEC in KC), Dr. Selting (Univ of Missouri) and Dr. Sahora (Univ of Minn, part of Dr. Khanna's staff, I believe) are all on board with this.  We have our baseline radiographs on Monday, and we already have been informed that our first vial of IL-2 is ready. We just need to get a compresser nebulizer and refit the intake for doggies at this point.  Fortunately, we've found quite a few at places as easy as Walmart and Target for under $200.   I will be emailing the doctors on what I (as official record keeper/research assistant) I need to be documenting.  I can't tell you how nice everybody has been and informative. Wow!

So in reality, yes, it might not work. But Tim and I agreed to try any non-invasive or non-traumatic treatment we could try.  Inhaled chemo was an option, but supposedly this gene-based therapy is having almost as positive results and it can be done at home. How cool is that?  It's really the same treatment that is used on humans right now.

Tika had another practice round with breathing into a rebreather bag (think airplane oxygen masks) and she did really well again.  She's starting to think it's a game.  Good. Works for us.

So, even if it doesn't work for Tika, we hope beyond all hope that the doctors, us and everybody else learns something to forward the care/treatment of that nasty little C-word.  This is part of Tika's legacy.  Hopefully, for everybody, the price will go down also. We are lucky that we are in the position that we can try this on Tika. (good thing I know 1,000 ways to prepare Ramen noodles!!!)

So everybody, let's cross our fingers and paws!  The 'objective' outcome (Pam and Tazzie could explain that better probably) is realistically more around 20%, but if we could start something here? Oh, yay!  I will start a post under treatment, or, or, or, get the blog up and rolling as I post the results.

So to end with a cheezy cheer.  Wonder Tri-Pawds UNITE!

Take care all, another fun lake weekend in store!  Will post pictures of the Dawg Hawse (that's what the RV got christened)

–Kim and Tika the Lab Rat Laughing

Kim and Spirit Tika http://www.tika.....ogspot.com


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30 July 2009 - 11:20 pm
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I have heard of this but could not find any trials out this way.  Tazzie is due for lung rads next month and I may do them a little early since she seems to be panting more.  I know that at some point most of our dogs wil have to deal with lung mets and anything that helps is welcome!  I will also try to find out what I can from our oncologist in Seattle (Dr Meleo).

The sample size of the study is small (4 dogs) and I wonder if all dogs in the study had OSA and how long it took for the mets to develop.  These are questions that might help determine which dogs may benefit.

Good luck to Tika!

Pam and Tazzie

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31 July 2009 - 5:12 am
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Hi Pam:

From what I'm reading further, they sent us the full paper that above abstract is from, some of the dogs in the study (9 total including controls) did have lung mets with OSA being the primary cancer.  

There's definitely not a lot of information out there.  I feel very lucky that these docs are supporting us going at it alone since nobody is doing a study at this time.

We will be using Proleukin, which is the same thing humans used, it will be diluted with regular saline for dispersal through the nebulizer.

For some reason the movie 'Lorenzo's Oil' keeps going through my head. 

Have a good day!

Kim

Kim and Spirit Tika http://www.tika.....ogspot.com

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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31 July 2009 - 8:39 am
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That is exciting news.  Hope Tika responds well and makes a new option available for all of us.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Winnipeg
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31 July 2009 - 9:07 am
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Hi Tika and Kim

First thanks to your husband for the huge research effort to uncover this information (hurrah, bow wow). You are also great at maintaining your humour through all this – I felt fairly humorless (note American spell in honour, oops honor of Tazzie's yankie canine tripawd friends).

Not to overwhelm you or anythingWink , but a couple of questions:

(1) Do you have the article in a form (pdf?) that you can send?

(2) The abstract refers to a sample of 7 having lung mets yet they only report four dogs. Did three fall by the wayside during the treatment? Or were those three the 'controls'?

(3) Is there a form of inhaled chemo (vs. gene therapy) that has shown any success? I assumed this was a form of chemo until the email you wrote this morning.

(4) Does this team of people want more dogs to participate or are they willing to incorporate more dogs who live in various geographical locations? I gues they'd only do that if they turned it into a study. Realistically, we know some of us will be there, sooner or later.

That should keep you busy! Enjoy the swimming Tika!

Susan and Tazzie 2

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3 August 2009 - 6:19 pm
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Hey Gang:

Well we did our first treatment tonight, we are not going to tell Tika that there's a minimum of 59 more treatments or maximum of 89 coming her way.  (2x day for 30 days, if it's showing improvement, then 15 more days)

She had her baseline rads today and yeah, them stinky old mets grew.  So we got the rest of the supplies to set up the nebulizer. We had received the Proleukin a few days ago.

I made the rebreather bag, Tim mixed the stuff up.  

So, all in all, it went pretty well.  I'm particularly impressed because having your parents shove a bag over your snout and blow a mist into your face can't be fun.  The treatment of 3ml took about 10-15 minutes.

Here's some pics, don't mind all the needles that's for mixing the Proleukin with a saline base and then drawing it out of the bag.  I really don't have my doggie in a headlock either, I'm holding the nebulizer and the bag so hubby could snap a shot.

Thankfully, Tika is a mellow mutt. I tried putting a practice rebreather on Caya and she flipped out. “Are you freaking kidding me?”

Hope she doesn't ever have anything that requires her to lay still for 15 minutes, the doggie don't have it in her.

So I'll be keeping a journal of any tricks we learn.  I'm hoping beyond hope that this can be successful.

Cheers everybody, paws up!

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Kim and Spirit Tika http://www.tika.....ogspot.com

Winnipeg
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3 August 2009 - 10:26 pm
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WOW – just for getting all this to work you deserve to have those pesky mets shrink. I can't even picture how it all comes together. And BONUS points to Tika for putting up with it all – I doubt many dogs would. Here the rest of us are discussing the mere task of getting a dog to eat a little pill, ha.

We all wish you incredibly shrinking mets with this treatment!

Susan & Tazzie 2

The Rainbow Bridge



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3 August 2009 - 10:46 pm
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Seriously, the tolerance Tika has for this new therapy really says a LOT about the beautiful relationship you have together. There aren’t too many dogs out there who would sit through this. What awesome people, and awesome pups. I know it will only make you even closer.

Stupid mets. Grrrr….. We’re envisioning this therapy doing it’s part to dissolve them into nothingness.

Thanks for the great details and photo. Great work, Mom!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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