No methods of quickly diagnosing and effectively treating cancer in dogs are available on the market. Late diagnosis significantly reduces the chances for full recovery.
Lymphoma and leukaemia constitute 30% of all cancer cases in dogs. There are no fast diagnostic tests nor effective treatment methods available, which means that in the majority of clinical cases, only patients at a more advanced stage of the disease are referred for therapy.
Late diagnosis significantly reduces the chances for administering effective treatment, thus also reducing the patient’s chances of survival.
The currently used treatments rely on chemotherapy using traditional cytostatic agents (e.g. doxorubicin, vincristine). However, traditional chemotherapy is characterised by high toxicity to the patient’s entire system due to doxorubicin’s high-grade cardiotoxicity in dogs. In therapies based on traditional cytostatic agents, there is observed remission followed by relapse and resistance to the currently applied chemotherapy. Therefore, there are no effective methods of treatment which would not carry the risk of the serious adverse effects connected with traditional chemotherapy.
Bioceltix, in cooperation with the Ludwik Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IITD PAN), is developing methods of using monoclonal antibodies for the diagnosis and targeted anti-cancer treatment of canine lymphoma and leukaemia. Diagnostics based on a test for detecting elevated concentration of antigens that is usually observed in lymphoma and leukaemia in dogs will allow early detection of cancer.
The oncology drug under development will be based on the use of a monoclonal antibody conjugated with a relevant cytostatic. The antibody will recognise cell-surface antigens specific to cancer cells.
Such a solution will allow precise administration of the pharmaceutical to cancer cells only, increasing treatment efficacy while minimising the systemic toxic effect of traditional chemotherapy.