Cancer in horses is often treated similarly to cancer in humans: with chemotherapy. Recent research has shown that this choice of medical intervention can put horses with lymphoma into remission and give them several more months or years to live.
The Horse reports that Daniela Luethy, DVM, lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, discussed her research on the long-term outcomes of equine lymphoma cases treated with chemotherapy at the 2018 College of American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum.
Lymphoma is a blood cancer that can affect a horse's entire body (called multicentric lymphoma) or just the skin (called cutaneous lymphoma). While treatment does not cure lymphoma, it can slow or reverse the progression of clinical signs.
For the retrospective study, researchers used 11 horses: eight with multicentric lymphoma and three with cutaneous lymphoma. Treating veterinarians used a variety of chemotherapeutic medications. Overall, eight horses responded to treatment; five went into complete remission and three had partial responses. Two horses died from lymphoma complications during their treatment and one horse's disease remained stable.
The mean survival was 13 months, with additional lifespans ranging from one to 41 months. The horses with multicentric lymphoma has a shorter survival than the horses with cutaneous lymphoma, researchers reported.
The findings of the study prove that chemotherapy can be used effectively for treating equine lymphoma.
Read more at The Horse.
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