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Immunotherapy of Lymphoid Neoplasia

Immunotherapy of Lymphoid Neoplasia

Immunotherapy of Lymphoid Neoplasia

Veterinary Cancer Society
Veterinary Cancer Society
on behalf of Missouri Veterinary Medical Association


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Launch date: 16 Apr 2015
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Last updated: 09 Nov 2018

Reference: 150809

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The use of cytotoxic drugs has formed the basis of treatment for lymphomas and leukemias in both human and veterinary medicine over the last 50 years. While the initial response of lymphomas and some leukemias to chemotherapy is frequently good, lack of specific targeting and selection of drug resistant clones leads to unacceptable side effects and frequent relapse with drug resistant disease. Harnessing the power of the immune system to treat neoplasia has gained increasing traction in medical oncology as our understanding of the immune system and tumor biology have evolved allowing for more effective immune therapies to be brought into the clinic. In veterinary medicine, various approaches ranging from the use of monoclonal antibodies to strategies that generate tumor-specific, cytotoxic effector and memory T cells are being employed in clinical trials with the ultimate goal of tumor elimination and prevention of recurrence. In this presentation, these strategies including feasibility, safety and effectiveness will be discussed. Furthermore, combination approaches to augment these biological therapies will also be presented.


Immune therapeutic strategies are gaining traction in the treatment of canine lymphoma. However, as in human medicine, it is likely that their combination with chemotherapy and checkpoint inhibitors such as PD-1 and CTLA-4 antagonists will be required to enable the full potential of immune therapy in the treatment of lymphoma and other cancers to be realized.
Veterinary Cancer Society

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Veterinary Cancer Society
on behalf of Missouri Veterinary Medical Association

Dr. Nicola Mason: My lab focuses on the characterization and use of spontaneous canine cancer models to understand pathogenesis of malignancies, identify potential therapeutic targets and evaluate the safety and efficacy of novel immunotherapies to inform human drug and biologic development. The domestic dog shares a close phylogenetic relationship with man and is increasingly recognized as an extremely valuable spontaneous disease model that faithfully recapitulates the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to spontaneous disease in humans. My lab focuses particularly on immune targeting of cancers including Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) and osteosarcoma. Both malignanices have remarkably similar molecular aberrations and molecular targets in humans and dogs. We have extensive experience in performing clinical trials in client-owned dogs with spontaneous cancers including evaluating recombinant bacterial vaccines and cell-based vaccines. We are adept at performing immune assays in the dog to evaluate basic immunological function and vaccine-induced immunity. We have generated the necessary tools to interrogate both the innate and adaptive immune systems in dogs. Our work enables the canine model to reach its full potential and accelerate the translational of promising immune therapies into the human clinics. I am the Director of the PennVet Tumor Tissue bank and am also the Associate Director of the Mari Lowe Comparative Oncology Center where my focus is based on identifying and translating promising benchtop immune therapy approaches into the veterinary clinic.

Current Accreditations

This course has been certified by or provided by the following Certified Organization/s:

  • Missouri Veterinary Medical Association
  • 0.50 Hours -
    Exam Attempts: 3
    Exam Pass Rate: 60

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