Feline Cancer Resources - Treatment Options

Phil and Holly

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  First Step
    Common signs of cancer
  Get a diagnosis
  Good place to start

Emotional support


Cancer Overview

    Cancer diagnosis
    Types of cancer
    Cancer FAQs
    Oral cancer
    GI cancer
    Mammary cancer
    Skin cancer
    Tumor Tidbits

Treatment Options

      Side effects
    Other anti-cancer drugs
    Patient care


Medical Topics

    Pain management
    Blood tests
    Pilling a cat
    Compounding pharmacies
    Subcutaneous fluids
    First aid
    Caring for handicapped pets
    Veterinary supplies
    Pet hospice care


Nutritional Support



    Assisted feeding


Final Decision

    Definition of euthanasia
    Procedure of euthanasia
    Making the decision
    Grieving and support






Support Groups


Angels and Friends

  Holly the Lymphoma Trooper


Holly's Chemo Schedule



Overview of treatment options

Caring for Pets with Cancer: Three Rules for Managing the Cancer Patient - by Dr. Kevin Hahn, Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists.

Rule 1: Get a diagnosis.
Rule 2: Evaluate the entire patient.
Rule 3: Develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Choice 1: What Is Best For The Cancer?
Choice 2: What Is Best For The Pet?
Choice 3: What Is Best For The Family?

What Can I Do for My Cancer Patient (and His/Her Owner)? - Describes treatment modalities (surgery, radiotherapy - radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hyperthermia, cryosurgery, phototherapy, thermochemotherapy), various factors (patient-, owner-, and treatment-related) to consider, and treatment recommendation(s) and approximate cost for dogs and cats with common cancer. By C. Guillermo Couto, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University.

Treatment Options - OncoLink Vet, University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center.
Topics include:

- Chemotherapy in Veterinary Medicine
- Guide to Making Decisions About Cancer Therapy
- Limb Sparing in Dogs
- Palliative Radiation Therapy
- Radiation Therapy Information
- Surgery and Cancer Treatment
- Treatment of Nasal Tumors
- Tumors of the Nasal Passages in Dogs

Canine and Feline Lymphoma: Review of Prognostic Factors and Treatment Options - World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress - Vancouver 2001.

Adjunctive Treatment of Oral Tumors - World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress - Vancouver 2001.

WalthamUSA.com Educational Resources - Select "Cancer" from the left navigational pane.

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Surgery and Cancer Treatment - Explanation of the role of surgery in cancer treatment. OncoLink Vet, University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center.

Laser Surgery - Long Beach Animal Hospital. "One of the newest modalities we have to provide state of the art surgery is our carbon dioxide laser. This is a proven laser that has been around for 30 years. Only recently has it been adapted to veterinary medicine in a clinical setting. ... They are especially useful in oral surgery, growth removals, and amputations of small extremities." Advantages of laser surgery include: Pain Reduction, Swelling Reduction, Control of Infection, and Minimal Surgical Bleeding. The page contains several photos of actual surgery.

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Other therapies

Photodynamic Therapy of Facial Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Cats Using PhotofrinR - Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Chang Gung University, College of Medical, Taoyuan.

Photodynamic Therapy for Skin Cancers in Cats - UC Davis Center for Companion Animal Health CCAH Update, Spring 1999.

Photodynamic Therapy Response in Cats with Cutaneous Squamous-Cell Carcinoma as a Function of Fluence - KA Hahn, M Panjehpour, AM Legendre Univ Tennessee,Coll Vet Med,Dept Comparat Med,POB 1071,Knoxville,TN 37901 USA Veterinary Dermatology, 1998, Vol 9, Iss 1, pp 3-7.

Photodynamic Therapy as a Treatment for Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma in a Dog - Terry M. Jacobs, DVM, Diplomate ABVP; Gerald M. Rosen, DVM; Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, May 1, 2000: " Intrathoracic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma was diagnosed by endoscopy in an 11-year-old, castrated male Labrador retriever with signs of regurgitation and weight loss. Photodynamic therapy with photofrin was administered three times under endoscopic guidance over a two-month period. A partial response to photodynamic therapy was supported by a reduction in tumor size (noted on serial endoscopic examinations) and by a return to oral alimentation."

Feline Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Nasal Planum and the Pinnae: 61 Cases - Susan E. Lana, DVM; Gregory K. Ogilvie, DVM; Stephen J. Withrow, DVM; Rodney C. Straw, BVSc; Kenita S. Rogers, DVM, MS Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, July 1, 1997: "Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma is a common tumor in cats and frequently occurs on the nasal planum and the pinnae. The medical records of 61 cats were reviewed for this retrospective study. Typical presentation was an older (median age, 12 years) cat with an erythematous, crusty, and erosive lesion. Methods of treatment included surgery, radiation, and cryotherapy. Disease-free interval and survival time were calculated for each case and grouped according to lesion location and treatment type."

Cryosurgery for squamous cell carcinoma - Max's House.

Effie's successful treatment with cryosurgery for squamous cell carcinoma of the jaw - Feline Squamous Cell Carcinoma -- Personal Accounts.


Carboplatin - Encyclopedia of Cancer at enotes.com. Human information. "Carboplatin is marketed under the brand name Paraplatin; it may also be referred to as CBDCA, JM-8, or carboplatinum."

Carboplatin - Medline Plus. Human Information. "Also known by its trade name Novantrone."

Mitoxantrone - Encyclopedia of Cancer at enotes.com. Human information.

Mitoxantrone - Medline Plus. Human information.

Chemotherapy Tidbits - A summary of information obtained from the current veterinary literature and from personal experiences of Dr. Kevin Hahn. Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists.

Chemotherapy Protocols - A list of chemotherapy protocols used at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists.

Chemotherapy in Veterinary Medicine - Overview of chemotherapy for animal cancer patients. OncoLink Vet, University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center.

Cancer and Chemotherapy - The Veterinary Support Personnel Network.

Information on chemotherapy drugs:

Anti-Neoplastic Agents - List of popular chemotherapy drugs. Name, how supplied, diluent, concentration, standard dosage, usual route of administration, storage before reconstituion. (Purdue University). Drugs listed include: Asparaginase (Elspar), Bleomycin Sulfate (Blenoxane), Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Carmustine (BiCNU), Chlorambucil (Leukeran), Cisplatin (Platinol), Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), Cytarabine (Cytosar), Dacarbazine (DTIC), Doxorubicin HCl (Adriamycin), Gemcitabine HCI (Gemzar), Lomustine (CCNU), Methotrexate, Mitoxantrone (Novantrone), Vinblastine (Velban), Vincristine Sulfate (Oncovin), Piroxicam (Feldene), Vinblastine Sulfate, Prednisone.

Chemotherapy of Neoplastic Diseases - Very detailed description of various chemotherapy drugs in veterinary oncology. By Gordon L. Coppoc, Purdue University.

Cancer Care Ontario on-line Drug Formulary - Information about the drugs available for the treatment of cancer for human cancer patients. Includes Drug Listing by generic and trade name which is linked to Medication Info Sheet (PDF format) of individual drug. Also includes such topics as Disease Sites, Types of Treatment, Program in Evidence-Based Care (PEBC), Clinical Trials, and New Drug Funding.

Consumers Guide to Cancer Drugs - Lists the most common drugs on the market today and gives you the information you most need on the drug's action, how to take the drug, precautions, side effects and other important facts. For human cancer patients. (CancerSourceMD.com)

Physician drug database - CancerSourceMD.com's drug database for physicians. The database provides complete coverage of the basic principles of chemotherapy, the drugs and biologic agents available, and the treatment of specific cancers.

PetPlace Drug Library - Search by a drug name. Not all chemotherapy drugs are included.

Pharmacology of Anti-cancer Chemotherapeutics - (PDF file) Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

Product Range Worldwide - Baxter Oncology. List their oncology products and their distributed countries. Includes: Ifosfamide (Tradenames: Holoxan, Duvaxan, Holoxane, IfexR IfomideR Ifoxan, Mitoxana, Tronoxal), Cyclophosphamide (Endoxan, Cytoxan, Endoxan-ASTA, Endoxana, Enduxan, Genoxal, Sendoxan), Miltefosine (Miltex), Mitoxantrone (Onkotrone, Mitoxantrone ASTA Medica), Mesna (Uromitexan, Mesnex, Mexan, Mitexan).

Chemotherapy side effects:

Chemotherapy Side Effects for Pet Owners - Provides brief description of typical side effects of chemotherapy drugs. (Purdue University)

Other anti-cancer drugs

Glucocorticoids - Clinical pharmacology of glucocorticoids, which nclude prednisone, prednisolone, dexamethasone, methylprednisolone (Depo-Medrol). Describes mechanisms, side effects, therapy guidelines, and more. Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

Prednisone Use in Lymphoma (for dogs) - Tumor Tidbits by Guld Coast Veterinary Specialists.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs - Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

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What is Radiation Oncology? - Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists.

Radiation Therapy Information - OncoLink Vet, University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center.

Palliative Radiation Therapy - OncoLink Vet, University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center.

When is Radiation Therapy Really Indicated? - World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress - Vancouver 2001.

Response of feline oral squamous cell carcinoma to palliative radiation therapy - Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2001 Jan-Feb;42(1):77-9. Bregazzi VS, LaRue SM, Powers BE, Fettman MJ, Ogilvie GK, Withrow SJ. PubMed abstract.

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Alternative options

CV247 - Ivy Medical Chemicals plc. "CV247 is a product that was developed by John Carter for clinical use in the treatment of animals in his North London Veterinary practice. Application has been made for CV247 to receive patent protection."

Supplements, Nutrients and Medications in Cancer Treatment - by Charles Loops, DVM. He discusses the following supplements: Amygdalin (Laetrile) - also known as Vitamin B17, Arginine (L-Arginine), Artemisinin or Artemether, Astragalus, Bee Pollen, Beta Carotene, Bioflavonoids, Carnivora, Cat's Claw (Una de gato), Chinese Herbs, Chlorella, CoEnzyme Q10, Colostrum, Curcumin (Tumeric), Echinacea, Essiac, Fish Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Goldenseal, Grapeseed Extract (Pycnogenol), Green Tea, Hoxsey Formula, Hydrazine sulphate, Inositol, Iscador (Mistletoe), Maitake Mushrooms (Shitake), Nosodes (Isodes), Omega 3's, Pau D'arco, Poly MVA, Quercetin, Selenium, Shark Cartilage, Soy Products, Spirulina, Superoxide dismutase (SOD), Tamoxifen, Transfer Factors (Transfer Factor Plus), Vitamins A and D, B vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Willard's Water, Wobenzyme, Zinc. New

Natural Options in the Treatment of Cancer in Dogs and Cats - Allen M. Schoen, D.V.M., M.S.

Therapies: Cancer Integrative Approaches to Cancer - Allen M. Schoen, D.V.M., MS

Nutrition and Complementary Healthcare - Cat-a-Tonic.

Alternative Cancer Therapies - Wellness Directory of Minnesota. List of various alternative cancer therapies. Some are folk remedies and some are scientifically studied. Please read with a discerning eye. Some of the substances may be toxic to cats. Consult a professional before deciding to try any of these therapies for their efficacy and safety in cats. The therapies listed include:
714-X Food Therapies Magnetic & Low Voltage Therapy
Agaricus Freezing MGN-3
Aloe Vera Garlic MSM
Anticoagulants Germanium Mushrooms
Antioxidants Glandulars Neem
Anvirzel Graviola Noni
Boluses Haelan Omega Oils
Bovine Cartilage Herceptin

Oxygen Therapy

Cancell Hoxsey Formula Pau D'arco
Carnivora Hydrazine Sulfate Phycotene
Castor Oil Packs Hyperthermia Poly-MVA
Cayenne Pepper Imm-Kine Protomorphogens
Chinese Bitter Melon Immuno Therapies PSK
Chiropractic Indirubin Resveratrol
Clodronate Insulin Potentiation Therapy RFLTA
Coley's Toxins Intravenous Vitamin C Rhodiola rosea & Rhododendron caucasicum
Contortrostatin Inositol (IP-6) Shark Cartilage
C-Statin Iscador Shark Liver Oil
D-limonene Jason Winters Tea Triptolide
DMSO Jiaogulan Urea
Ellagic Acid Laetrile Vitamins
Enzyme Therapy Live Cell Therapy  
Essiac Formula Low Dose Naltrexone  



The practice of Acupuncture in animals - The Veterinary Acupuncture Page. List of online articles on veterinary acupuncture and links.

Acupuncture Therapy in Small Animal Practice - S Altman (Abstract).

Complementary Medicine: Acupuncture in Veterinary Practice - Kobluk, Calvin, DVM, DVSc, BSc., BSA, Diplomate, ACVS

Herbs & botanicals:

Herbs for Animals - by Susan Gayle Wynn, D.V.M. Gives good overview of use of herbs in veterinary medicine.

Using Herbs and Drugs Together Wisely - by Susan Gayle Wynn, D.V.M. "Herbs may be preferred to drugs by some doctors and pet owners for their broad spectrum and powerful effects. While they are not drugs, they may have interactions with drugs that powerfully impact an animal's health or disease. This handout will help you identify potential problem interactions in order to make decisions about herbal therapy."

Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association

Herb-Drug Interaction Handbook - Sharon M. Herr, RD, CDN Editiors: Edzard Ernst, MD, PhD, FRCP.
Table of Contents
1st Edition Updates
Herbs and Dietary Supplements With Potential to Alter Blood Glucose

Rainforest Plants Main Database - Raintree Nutrition's database of the plants in the Amazon Rainforest. "Diseases & Conditions" page lists plants that are said to have anticancer properties: graviola, espinheira santa, mullaca, mutamba, vassourinha, bitter melon, guacatonga, simarouba, cat's claw, anamu, pau d'arco, fedegoso, sangre de grado, suma, amargo, copaiba

Clinical Research Abstracts - Raintree Nutrition's page listing clinical research abstracts on rainforest plants.


Patient care

Monitoring Weight:

Monitoring cats' weight is very important when they have trouble eating. It is also useful in finding out whether a cat is dehydrated or not. It is desirable that the scale can weigh in smaller increments because cats are smaller and lighter than humans. You can weigh yourself while holding a cat and subtract your own weight from that weight, but a typical bathroom scale has only 0.2 lb increment. It might not be precise enough for monitoring the weight of a sick cat. One option is to purchase a pet scale, and the other is to purchase a baby scale. Better yet is to use one scale for two purposes.

I bought Tanita 1582 Digital Scale (Baby-Mommy scale) when I found out that my Phil had cancer. It is a digital combination adult and infant scale. That was two years ago. It worked very well in monitoring Phil's and later Holly's weight while they fought their cancer. We also use it to monitor our weight. It is rather expensive ($275 to $290 retail) but it has been worth the investment. The baby scale has capacity of 30 lb and the increment is 1 oz, which is precise enough for weighing a cat. The detachable baby tray is large enough to hold a very big cat. The adult scale can weigh up to 300 lb. The description can be found at:
http://www.tanita.com/PediatricScales.shtml. They also have veterinary scales at: http://www.tanita.com/VeterinaryScales.shtml.

Drs. Foster & Smith sells a pet scale for about $50, but the tray is rather small. American Weigh (www.americanweigh.com) sells Baby/Pet Scale that can weigh up to 44 lb in 0.5 oz increment. It costs $109.95, but there were many on eBay at less prices. Another inexpensive option: If your friends or relatives have a used digital (or mechanical) baby scale, ask them if they'll sell or give it to you.

Also it is worth noting that the scales in your vet's office might not be accurate. I have heard many people reporting the inaccuracy of the vets' scales. If you have a scale at home, that problem is solved. You always know what your cat's weight is.

Patient Care Tidbits - Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists.

Palliative Care in Companion Animal Oncology - World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress - Vancouver 2001.

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