New Cancer Treatment for Dogs

‘Palladia’ Used to Treat Mast Cell Tumors

Dog with veterinarian

It’s a cruel twist of fate that our beloved four-legged companions can be stricken with cancer, a seemingly humanized disease.

Would it surprise you to learn that more than 1.2 million dogs are diagnosed each year with the deadly disease?1 Furthermore, that amount is not far behind the nearly 1.4 million people the American Cancer Society predicts will be diagnosed with cancer in 2009.2

Up until recently, however, cancer therapy for dogs has been limited in comparison to that which people receive.

This week, Pfizer Animal Health announced they had developed an oral therapy called Palladia to treat mass cell tumors in dogs that will be available through veterinarians. This is the first canine cancer therapy in the U.S. approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

How Does Palladia Work?

Palladia is a prescription-only therapy that will be used to treat grade II or III recurrent cutaneous mast cell tumors with our without regional lymph node involvement.

It works by blocking the activity of key receptors important in the development of blood vessels that supply tumors, as well as receptors vital for tumor survival.

At the completion of a Palladia clinical study, approximately 60% of dogs had their tumors disappear, shrink or stop growing.

According to Dr. Cheryl London, a board certified oncologist and associate professor at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine who helped Pfizer Animal Health develop Palladia, the therapy is an exciting, new treatment option for dogs with mast cell tumors.

Dog skin condition

“At the completion of a Palladia clinical study, approximately 60% of dogs had their tumors disappear, shrink or stop growing,” London said. “Also, we determined that dogs whose tumors responded to Palladia experienced an improved quality of life.”

Mast cell tumors are the second most common tumor type and are often seen as lumps in the skin. These tumors are classified using the Patnaik grading system: grade I, II or II, with grade III being the most severe. If not treated, they can spread to the other parts of the body including lymph nodes.

How Can Dogs Receive Palladia Therapy?

Pet owners should consult with their veterinarian about their pet’s cancer therapy options.

If your dog is a candidate for Palladia, your veterinarian will likely refer you to a veterinary specialist for treatment. The new prescription-only therapy can be administered at a veterinary clinic or given to you to administer to your dog at home, per your veterinarian’s direction.

For more information on Palladia, visit

If you liked this article, you may enjoy reading more about pet cancer treatment.

Return to the VPI Pet HealthZone

1 Pfizer Animal Health Research, New York, New York

2 American Cancer Society’s Global Cancer Facts & Figures, 2009

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