Beloved dogs and cats are part of the family, and finding out that our four-legged friends have cancer is never easy. After getting the news, the natural next step
is exploring treatment options.
The earlier cancer is detected, the better. In her book “Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology,” Dr. Alice Villalobos DVM, includes a table of detailed information
to help pet owners identify early signs of cancer. These symptoms include abnormal swelling (especially enlarged lymph nodes); abnormal lumps in the mouth, mammary glands, testicles, vaccine
sites, or abdomen; sores or ulcers that don’t heal in two weeks located on the nose, ear tips, and face; pale gums; small red spots or red discoloration of the skin; loss of appetite; and weight
If you suspect your pet’s symptoms may be due to cancer, Dr. Richard Weller, DVM, DACVIM, a
board-certified veterinary oncologist ( Recently appointed Chairman of the Vivos Veterinarian Medical Advisory Board ), says it’s important to take them to the veterinarian
right away so a blood test or biopsy can be performed. He recommends getting a sense of how comfortable the veterinarian is when it comes to treating cancer. “Some private practitioners are
pretty comfortable administering those kids of services while others aren’t,” Weller says. “If your practitioner isn’t comfortable in that role or you’d like a second opinion about the best way
forward, my recommendation would be to seek the services of a board certified veterinarian oncologist.”
Surgery is a common treatment for cancer in pets. This could involve either completely removing their pet’s tumor or removing a part of it in order to examine the
tissue more closely. “Surgery is the primary treatment of choice in many cases,” Weller says. However, the location of the tumor is often a deciding factor in whether or not surgery is the most
effective treatment option. Weller explains that in some cases, the tumors are in areas that would make the surgery risky. “That’s something that owners would want to discuss in considerable
detail, either with the oncologist or the primary care veterinarian.” That discussion should focus on the risk versus the reward of performing surgery.
Chemotherapy and Radiation
Although surgery is the primary treatment of choice for most pets that are diagnosed with cancer, it’s not the only option. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can
be used to treat cancer in pets. These therapies are often used after surgery, or along with targeted therapies.
Advances in therapeutic technology and targeted therapies offer a variety of new ways to deliver treatment. Vivos’ IsoPet®, for example, is a liquid that can easily be injected into the tumor.
“IsoPet® would qualify as a therapeutic technology,” Weller explains, “but it also falls under radiation
therapy. It’s very novel and considerably different than any other radiation therapy out there.” Weller notes that it appears IsoPet will mostly benefit animals who have solid tumors and is less
effective if the animal has a blood cancer like leukemia. Discussing all of the options available with your vet will help you find the treatment best suited to your pet.
It’s also important to have an open conversation with the veterinarian about your expectations and what you feel comfortable with. For example, there are times when
it’s clear that the pet can’t be cured. When this is the case, Weller says some pet owners prefer to keep the animal comfortable for as long as possible, and then euthanize their dog or
“There’s a whole gamut of questions and forks in the road where the pet owner and the veterinarian need to be communicating with one another very clearly and very
openly,” Weller emphasizes. That’s why it’s so important to find a provider who you trust and feel comfortable with.
When you get the news that your pet has cancer, remember there are a number of treatment options and ways to ease their pain. The key is to work with the right
veterinarian to ensure that your pet is taken care of in a manner that you feel comfortable with.
Vivos’ IsoPet® uses Precision Radionuclide Therapy (PRnT) highly localized radiation to
destroy cancerous tumors by placing a radioactive isotope directly inside the treatment area using the company’s proprietary hydrogel formulation. The injection delivers therapeutic radiation
from within the tumor.
We recently added www.isopetsolutions.com to our
This will be the new home for IsoPet® veterinary information. The focus of this website will supply
Veterinarian's with pet oncology information and the on going training section for treating animals with IsoPet® Precision Radionuclide Therapy (PRnT). This will allow our RadioGel™ website to
become more focused on information related to future Human Therapies. While under construction to the current website has limited information with links to RadioGel™.
The complete website is planned to be launched in May 2023.
Michael K. Korenko, Sc.D.
President & CEO