Doctors may have a new, more tolerable way to deliver mesothelioma chemotherapy — all thanks to a dog.

Researchers reported on a case of mesothelioma in a canine. The canine had the cancer in the pleura, peritoneum and pericardium: the linings of the lungs, abdomen and heart, respectively.

Doctors delivered the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel through microfragmented adipose tissue, which is fat tissue. The result was a slower release of the drugs in the dog’s body, leading to a long-lasting response.


Testing Chemotherapy Delivery Method on Dog With Mesothelioma

Dogs can develop mesothelioma. The cause is the same as mesothelioma in humans: exposure to asbestos. The cancer is especially rare for dogs, mostly due to the long latency period and dogs’ short lifespans in general.

The dog in the report had an advanced form of the disease, evident by tumors found in three mesothelial linings. The dog received 17 intracavitary injections of microfragmented adipose tissue carrying paclitaxel. The treatments occurred in the span of 22 months.

The therapy was “well-tolerated,” with no noticeable toxicity. There were low levels of the chemotherapy drug in the circulatory system. Rather, the drugs remained in the extravascular areas.

Chemotherapy drugs are often delivered into veins, traveling through the blood to the cancer. However, the drugs in the blood system can kill healthy cells and weaken patients.

Finding new ways to deliver chemotherapy — such as heated intraoperative chemotherapy (HIOC) — is a priority for cancer specialists. They’re looking to make the treatment more tolerable, and this report on the dog’s success with microfragmented adipose tissue and paclitaxel could be an option.

“To our knowledge, this is the first time that mesothelioma has been treated using such a procedure, and this should be considered as a novel therapeutic approach,” the doctors wrote.

    Sources & Author

    • Case Report: Microfragmented Adipose Tissue Drug Delivery in Canine Mesothelioma: A Case Report on Safety, Feasibility, and Clinical Findings. Frontiers in Veterinary Science. Retrieved from: Accessed: 02/22/2021.
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About the Writer, Devin Golden

Devin Golden is the content writer for Mesothelioma Guide. He produces mesothelioma-related content on various mediums, including the Mesothelioma Guide website and social media channels. Devin's objective is to translate complex information regarding mesothelioma into informative, easily absorbable content to help patients and their loved ones.

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