The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that it's given conditional approval for the first new animal drug to treat canine lymphoma. Also called lymphosarcoma, lymphoma is a type of cancer in dogs. The FDA said the active ingredient in Tanovea-CA1 is rabacfosadine, a substance that kills rapidly growing cancer cells.
Lymphoma can affect virtually any organ in the body, but it most commonly starts in organs that function as part of the immune system, such as the lymph nodes, spleen, and bone marrow. The signs of lymphoma in dogs vary depending on which organs are affected.
Tanovea-CA1 must be prescribed by a licensed veterinarian because professional expertise is needed to correctly diagnose lymphoma in dogs, determine the best treatment, and manage potential side effects. Tanovea-CA1, which comes in a concentrated form, is diluted and given into a vein over 30 minutes. The infusion should be given by or under the supervision of a veterinarian experienced in chemotherapy.
The "CA1" in Tanovea-CA1 means the drug is conditionally approved. Only animal drugs intended for minor species, such as ferrets or fish, or for minor uses in a major species, such as to treat certain types of cancer in dogs, are eligible for conditional approval. Tanovea-CA1's conditional approval means that when used according to the label, the drug is safe and has a "reasonable expectation of effectiveness" for treating lymphoma in dogs.