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Evaluating the Effects of Acupuncture on Chemotherapy-Induced Side Effects in Dogs With Lymphoma

Feb 4, 2014

Chemotherapy-related adverse events are commonly observed during cancer treatment in veterinary oncology. Common side effects include myelosuppression (when the bone marrow does not adequately produce red and white blood cells) and gastrointestinal effects (nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea). Although generally mild and self-limiting, these side effects can lead to dose reductions or treatment delays. These side effects can also adversely affect patient quality of life and client satisfaction when pursuing chemotherapy. The use of acupuncture as a treatment for chemotherapy-induced side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea and myelosuppression is well documented in the human literature, but has not yet been established in the veterinary community. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of acupuncture on chemotherapy-induced gastrointestinal toxicity and myelosuppression.

Eighty (80) dogs with large cell lymphoma that have not yet received chemotherapy will be enrolled and receive the CHOP chemotherapy protocol. CHOP is the standard treatment protocol for large cell lymphoma. Dogs will be randomly assigned to either a group that receives acupuncture at each single-agent dosing visit, or a group that receives the same treatment without acupuncture. Side effects will be monitored by owners at home and evidence of bone marrow suppression will be monitored through weekly blood tests as is standard for dogs receiving this chemotherapy protocol.

Eligibility:

  • Dogs with confirmed multicentric, large cell lymphoma
  • Dogs have had no prior treatment except for Elspar or prednisone
  • Owners are interested in pursuing CHOP-based chemotherapy through the MJR_VHUP Oncology Service

Benefits:

  • Owners will receive several recheck blood tests at no charge
  • Acupuncture will be performed at no cost for those dogs assigned to this group

To Enroll:

If you are interested in participating in this clinical trial or would like to learn more about it, please contact the VCIC at 215-573-0302 or vcic@vet.upenn.edu