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Has anyone used the Oncept vaccine for melanoma?

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  • Has anyone used the Oncept vaccine for melanoma?

    If you have treated your horse's melanoma with this vaccine, I would be interested in any information, including: how you obtained the vaccine, the treatment protocol you followed, if you had any problematic side-effects, and what response you saw (if any).

    I am aware of the study going on at the University of Tennessee but have not been successful in contacting anyone there.

    Thank you
    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

  • #2
    You haven't been able to get ahold of Jeffrey Phillips? I found him very approachable and he responded to email for me. Have you tried that route?

    He told me "a local specialist" could get the vaccine, which I took to mean any veterinary oncologist.

    Interested in any other responses you get. I have my first grey horse and while she's still young with no melanomas, it is certainly a concern. I had considered adding the vaccine to her yearly series as a preventative, but the cost and availability issues ruled that out. I think it's an intriguing therapy and am eager to learn more about it as more info is published.


    • Original Poster

      I sent Dr. Phillips an e-mail a week ago with no response. Perhaps you could PM me the e-mail address you used, in case he doesn't check the I used often?

      I was interested in this vaccine for my mare when I heard about it months ago, and now that acute issues have arisen and we don't have any other great options, this is becoming urgent.

      It isn't intended as a preventative, but it is designed to trigger an immune response against existing tumors. It is given in a multi-dose series over several weeks in dogs. It is really expensive: $400-800 a dose depending on where you get it
      Last edited by CrowneDragon; May. 18, 2013, 05:29 PM.
      As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


      • #4
        Directly from his response from my questions:

        1) I don't have enough data to say whether or not it would benefit your horse...I (being the optimist) am hopeful that this therapy will prove to help prevent tumor formation but we don't know that yet.
        So sure, it might be useful as a preventative. Who knows. The cost made me far less interested in being that guinea pig.

        I have a me.com email. Is that what you're using?


        • Original Poster

          I am using a LMUnet.com e-mail address.

          If you could send me the one you have, I'd appreciate it.


          EDIT: I found the me.com address. No bother!
          Last edited by CrowneDragon; May. 18, 2013, 07:05 PM.
          As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


          • #6
            I would be very interested if there is any data about treating existing meolonomas. Is all the work being done using it as a preventitive?


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by dude.does.dressage View Post
              I would be very interested if there is any data about treating existing meolonomas. Is all the work being done using it as a preventitive?
              The work is being done to treat existing melanomas. This is a little overview of the study at Tennessee: http://www.lmunet.edu/CVCM/news/news.shtml
              As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


              • #8
                Here's another article about Dr Phillips' work:


                What made me curious about the potential for *prevention* was the discussion of the duration of the response to the vaccine. Having seen some terrible melanomas, I certainly never want to go there, and if the risk could potentially be negated or considerably lessened with a twice-yearly injection, I was certainly game for it. However, the cost is very high for a "who the hell knows" and I lost interest at that point. But wouldn't that be cool for grey horse owners if the cost was reasonable and it worked like that?

                If I had a horse with large, problematic melanomas, I'd probably do everything I could to get my hands on the trial info to attempt to repeat in my horse, just as CrowneDragon is doing. CD, I hope you're able to reach Dr Phillips. If you still have radio silence with the me.com email, could you have the oncologist you're working with reach out to him directly? Perhaps he's being inundated with requests for info and a call from another vet would break through the noise.


                • #9
                  Another thought, CD: if you really have no luck, I imagine my vet here in Colorado knows this guy, as she is a regular at the AAEP conferences and seems to know every vet out there who is doing ground breaking stuff. If you'd like to try to get to him through her, I can certainly send you her contact info and you can call to discuss.


                  • #10
                    Could someone PM me the email address? As the owner of a gray, I'd be interested!
                    Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique


                    • #11
                      The me.com email address was posted here: http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...90#post6227890


                      • Original Poster

                        If I can't get a response, I'll send my vet on the case. The mare is not doing well but I'm trying not to hound the guy to the point that he is avoiding me
                        We need something, soon. I'm sure we can get our hands on the vaccine somehow, but information from their treatment protocol would be very helpful.
                        As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.