Cancers occur in companion animals with an incidence similar to that in humans; share many features with human malignancies and have similar responses to chemo and radiation therapies. Yet, veterinary oncology has been largely dependent on human ‘hand-me-down’ interventions. Veterinary Oncology Services is changing this paradigm. In fact, each IFx-VET cancer vaccine is made specifically for each pet so that the immune system is alerted to the particular abnormalities of his/her own cancer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is IFx-VET cancer vaccine?
IFx-VET cancer vaccine is a multi-indication cancer immunotherapy developed by Morphogenesis and offered by Veterinary Oncology Services, Inc. The immune system, which normally functions to recognize, seek and destroy foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses, does not always recognize cancer cells as “dangerous” thus allowing the cancer cells to multiply. IFx-VET is a cancer vaccine immunotherapy that acts by “educating” the immune system to recognize cancer cells as dangerous and eliminate them. The use of IFx-VET is not limited to any specific cancer type and has been used to treat a variety of cancers in cats, dogs and horses.
Can the IFx-VET vaccine be used in combination with other treatments?
The IFx-VET cancer vaccine is most commonly used adjunctly with surgery to prevent or delay progression, recurrence or metastasis of your pet’s cancer. IFx-VET can also be used in combination with some types of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
How is the IFx-VET vaccine administered?
IFx-VET is administered intradermally (in the skin) as a series of injections. The vaccine is administered weekly and/or monthly. For patients with certain types of cancer, the vaccine is administered once per week for all treatments. Your Veterinarian will set the dose schedule with you. Each vaccine contains approximately 0.5 cc and is administered in the region of the lymph node closest to the location of the tumor.
Is the IFx-VET vaccine safe?
There have been no adverse reactions observed in any of the dogs, cats and horses treated with the IFx-VET vaccine. However, as a precaution, the first time the vaccine is administered, a dose of diphenhydramine (antihistamine) is administered, and the pet is observed for at least 4 hours before being discharged. If no reaction occurs, your veterinarian will decide whether to pretreat with diphenhydramine at subsequent visits or keep the pet for observation.
Is the IFx-VET vaccine effective?
The vaccine may be effective in preventing or delaying recurrence or metastases of a tumor that have been surgically removed. It may also result in a reduction of size in a tumor that cannot be surgically removed. Response to therapy may be noted as soon as 4-6 weeks after starting therapy. Although there have been remarkable successes in cases utilizing IFx-VET, like other therapies, the IFx-VET vaccine may be more effective in early stage disease. However, it is an exciting new treatment modality that offers improved survival in multiple types of cancer.