Canine Melanoma Vaccine: where are we now?
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Malignant melanoma is the most common oral malignancy in dogs with a high chance for metastasis. This study evaluated adjuvant immunotherapy (using the Oncept melanoma vaccine) in 164 dogs with all stages and locations of Canine Malignant Melanoma following standard treatment. The median number of doses administered these dogs was 4. Death in 82 dogs (50%) was caused by the tumor. The median overall survival time (OST) for all dogs was 426 days with a 95% confidence interval range of 298-554 days and a mean of 763 days. We also analyzed our stage 2 and 3 patients separately, with a median OST of 418 days (95% CI 316-519 days) and mean of 617 days. Also, more specific subgroups based on castration status, location and type of surgery have been identified to have significant differences in survival time. Based on the outcome of this study, immunotherapy with the Oncept vaccine may be an appropriate adjunct to local treatment for canine malignant melanoma, although more controlled studies are needed to compare treatment outcomes, identify the influence on certain subgroups and prove its efficacy.