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FDA Approves Canine Cancer Drug

Pfizer Animal Health’s cancer treatment drug, Palladia, has been approved by the U.S. FDA.

Canine cutaneous mast cell tumor.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Pfizer Animal Health’s Palladia (toceranib phosphate), the first drug developed specifically for the treatment of cancer in dogs. All cancer drugs now used in veterinary medicine originally were developed for use in humans and are not approved for animals.

The prescription drug is approved to treat canine cutaneous mast cell tumors, a type of cancer responsible for about 20 percent of cases of canine skin tumors, according to the FDA.

The New York company said it plans to introduce the product to boarded specialists within weeks to expand the body of clinical experience with the therapy. The drug will be available for purchase in early 2010.

Palladia is an oral therapy indicated to treat Patnaik grade II or III recurrent cutaneous mast cell tumors with or without regional lymph node involvement. The drug belongs to the tyrosine kinase inhibitor class of compounds and works by blocking the activity of key receptors important for the development of blood vessels that supply tumors, as well as receptors critical for tumor survival, according to Pfizer Animal Health.

The most common side effects associated with Palladia are diarrhea, decrease or loss of appetite, lameness, weight loss and blood in stool.

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