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Melanoma - Oncept - June 2020 - Update post 178

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    Melanoma - Oncept - June 2020 - Update post 178

    I have an 8 year old gray (of course!) Arab with an ocular melanoma. He had some melanomas when I bought him at age 3, but I had those removed. The ocular melanoma appeared in 2010 and I've had pretty good luck keeping it stable since then with cimetidine.

    I have toyed on and off with trying to locate a better or more long term treatment. I talked to the U of Florida about their study and did a lot of research about using off label Oncept (dog melanoma vaccine).

    All signs pointed to the Oncept, so off we went to Ohio State today and had his first injection. Everything went well and I'm crossing all my fingers that this works as well for him as it has for some other horses.

    The worst thing about today was hauling when it was -8 when I left the barn!

    I know there are a lot of fellow owners-of-grays-with-melanomas out there. I humbly hope that my experience will prove helpful to all of us!

    Peace and love and warm weather and no tumors!

    A Note from Oldernewbie (6/19/16) while this discussion is mostly about Mr Ay-rab and his treatment for the last 2.5 years, it now gladly includes the experiences of others using Oncept. Feel free to join in!
    Last edited by oldernewbie; Mar. 24, 2017, 06:50 PM.

    #2
    I may be able to use Oncept on my gray later this year. Do please keep us up to date on your progress.

    Comment


      #3
      OP -- Would you mind sharing the cost? I have a grey with onset of melanoma at 5 years of age, and I'd love to enroll her in such a trial.
      Nothing with horses is ever easy or cheap. And if it is, you're doing it wrong. They always rip out part of your soul when they leave. I guess that's how they find us later.

      Comment

        Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by twelvegates View Post
        OP -- Would you mind sharing the cost? I have a grey with onset of melanoma at 5 years of age, and I'd love to enroll her in such a trial.
        Any vet who is a board certified oncologist or internal medicine practitioner can administer Oncept. Just like the oncologist did today - they will have to tell you that the use of the drug in equines is off label and that the efficacy is unknown. So it's not a trial - you just have to find what is likely a small animal vet to work with a large animal vet to give it. I think a university is your best bet to find that - so try your local vet school.

        As for cost, it's 4 injections at first, given every two weeks. Then two injections, given three months apart. Then boosters every six months. (I think - I don't have the paper in front of me. ) It looks like it's going to be about $300 per injection, not counting exams etc.

        I just found this book chapter this week - it's a pain to read it on Amazon but I was able to see that the author has given Oncept to over 50 horses. That's a much bigger sample than the original study and it seems like they are getting some decent results.

        Equine Dermatology, An Issue of Veterinary Clinics: Equine Practice,
        By Rodney Rosychuk, Anthony Yu

        The U of Florida study had some good results too but the drug is not commercially available and it was too spendy for me to send him there. Not viable for you either I would imagine!

        Good luck - $%#@#$#% melanoma is how I always refer to it!

        ETA: Got the paper out - here's the schedule:

        1) 4 injections 2 weeks apart
        then
        2) 4 injections 3 months apart
        then
        3) 2 injections 6 months apart
        Last edited by oldernewbie; Jan. 24, 2014, 10:26 PM. Reason: get the correct info in the post!

        Comment


          #5
          Good luck. I will be following and hoping for an excellent response!
          As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you so much for the info, OP. I would love to hear how he does. I will get in touch with the vet school at CSU and see if this is a possibility for my mare. Best of luck!
            Nothing with horses is ever easy or cheap. And if it is, you're doing it wrong. They always rip out part of your soul when they leave. I guess that's how they find us later.

            Comment


              #7
              I hope it works and he is good as new.
              McDowell Racing Stables

              Home Away From Home

              Comment


                #8
                I really hope it works for you. I had to put my just 8 year old down due to her melanomas last summer.
                Pam's Pony Place

                Pam's Pony Ponderings

                Comment

                  Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Desert Topaz View Post
                  I really hope it works for you. I had to put my just 8 year old down due to her melanomas last summer.
                  I am so sorry to read this. That had to be heartbreaking. #$@! melanoma indeed!

                  <<<hugs>>>>

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by oldernewbie View Post
                    I am so sorry to read this. That had to be heartbreaking. #$@! melanoma indeed!

                    <<<hugs>>>>
                    It was quite sad. She's the first horse I've taken from knowing nothing (she didn't stop, go or steer) to being a broke beastie. Her personality changed in her last few months. A couple of months before the personality change she had a bulge growing on her head and my spookless pony was spooking at things all the time and when I came off I decided it was time to retire her and let nature take its course. This was the underside of her tail at the end.

                    Oncept wasn't an option for us. It was already too far gone and the closest veterinary oncologist, 4 hours away, was not willing to work with a horse.

                    I really, really hope this works and that it becomes easier for everyone to get access to it.
                    Pam's Pony Place

                    Pam's Pony Ponderings

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks! Amazon just shows selected pages of the article and I didn't even realize it was by Phillips.

                        For those of you without university access, here's how you can buy the article. It's very comprehensive and well worth the money, I think.

                        http://www.vetequine.theclinics.com/...058-8/abstract

                        ETA: 2/28/16, the link above is a dead link. Use this link if you'd like to buy the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...49073913000588
                        Last edited by oldernewbie; Feb. 28, 2016, 08:44 PM. Reason: Fix dead link

                        Comment

                          Original Poster

                          #13
                          Don't want to jinx things but...positive, significant changes already. I'm in a state of disbelief.

                          Jingles for continued improvement much appreciated!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            AWESOME!
                            Still jingling!!!!
                            As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Fantastic news.
                              "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Wonderful news for you and horsie!

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Our immunology course contained a lecture about this vaccine. It is fascinating and has shown marked improvement in dogs. I am extremely interested in hearing about how your horse does! I am glad that you are able to get the treatment in your state, instead of hauling all the way down here.
                                  --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Great update. Please keep us informed. I'm VERY interested. Thank you.
                                    Nothing with horses is ever easy or cheap. And if it is, you're doing it wrong. They always rip out part of your soul when they leave. I guess that's how they find us later.

                                    Comment

                                      Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Happy News!

                                      Mr Ay-rab and I braved the -10 weather this morning and trucked up to OSU for his 2nd injection of Oncept.

                                      I'm very very very happy to report that the internal masses along his jugular vein have all *disappeared!!!* except for the biggest one, which is now much smaller than it was 2 weeks ago. There were 4 or 5 masses originally - I really figured I would have more time to count but...better gone than counted I say!

                                      The mass in his eye appears to be smaller. There is a patch of edema that seems to change with the size of the mass. The border of the edema is fading and it seems smaller overall. This was the most worrisome melanoma he had and any improvement is very good news.

                                      I started seeing changes 3 days after his first injection. I am totally and completely astounded, amazed, and ecstatic with the results.

                                      Just my personal opinion - if you are thinking about pursuing this option, do it sooner rather than later. It's just a gut feeling of mine - no scientific basis for that, but I wish I had chased this option 2 years ago when I first heard of it. Well, better late than never, and the darn stuff is still working, so it's all good!

                                      Keep up the jingles and I'll be back soon with more news.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by oldernewbie View Post
                                        Mr Ay-rab and I braved the -10 weather this morning and trucked up to OSU for his 2nd injection of Oncept.

                                        I'm very very very happy to report that the internal masses along his jugular vein have all *disappeared!!!* except for the biggest one, which is now much smaller than it was 2 weeks ago. There were 4 or 5 masses originally - I really figured I would have more time to count but...better gone than counted I say!

                                        The mass in his eye appears to be smaller. There is a patch of edema that seems to change with the size of the mass. The border of the edema is fading and it seems smaller overall. This was the most worrisome melanoma he had and any improvement is very good news.

                                        I started seeing changes 3 days after his first injection. I am totally and completely astounded, amazed, and ecstatic with the results.

                                        Just my personal opinion - if you are thinking about pursuing this option, do it sooner rather than later. It's just a gut feeling of mine - no scientific basis for that, but I wish I had chased this option 2 years ago when I first heard of it. Well, better late than never, and the darn stuff is still working, so it's all good!

                                        Keep up the jingles and I'll be back soon with more news.
                                        That's AWESOME, and FAST!! Super excited for you! We are looking to start my mare soon, and really really hope for a good result.
                                        Did you take measurements and photos at the onset of treatment? I would love to follow along.
                                        As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

                                        Comment

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