Making antibodies. The two most beautiful words in the world to the dog parents whose fur babies are enrolled in the Yale Canine Cancer Vaccine clinical trial. Campy and I got the good news in September, about 10 days after submitting our three blood samples.
The idea, and our greatest hope, is that the presence of antibodies means that immune responses are happening that will reduce and stop tumor growth, with the ultimate goal of eliminating tumors.
To backtrack a bit, Campy was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his left hind leg in early January of this year. He underwent successful amputation surgery in late January. A course of six Carboplatin treatments followed. A lung X-ray taken during his final chemo treatment in June showed a spot on his right lung that had not been present in two previous X-rays.
A crushing disappointment for sure! Everything had gone so well until then. Campy tolerated the amp surgery and came through his chemotherapy with flying colors.
The Yale vaccine trial was our last hope for Campy to truly kick cancer’s ass. He continues to suffer from sterile abscesses near the injection sites, which are a side effect and continued reaction to the vaccine.
They are unpleasant and make Campy uncomfortable, but are indicative that he is producing a strong antibody reaction.
Campy will be getting a follow-up X-ray on October 27, to see where we’re at with the lung met that first appeared in June.
October 27, is also Campy’s first Gotcha Day! This is a huge milestone for all of us, and that we would be able to celebrate this day was little more than a wishful fantasy dream back in January.
So while there is trepidation about what the X-rays will reveal, there is tremendous joy that Campy is still with us and continues to enjoy a good quality of life.
We really love this boy!