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Canine Vaccine Tested for Treatment of Melanomas in HorsesBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · February 26, 2013

In a project funded by the Morris Animal Foundation, researchers at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee have begun a study to determine the safety and efficacy of a vaccine approved for the treatment of melanomas in dogs. The vaccine could prove useful in horses, as these tumors are common in gray horses over the age of 13 where about 80% of this population are affected.

Melanomas are found most often in Thoroughbreds, Arabians, Quarter Horses, and Paso Finos, but horses of all breeds are susceptible. Early results of testing on two groups of horses have indicated the vaccine is safe at baseline and increased levels, and no signs of toxicity have been seen in treated horses. Further study will evaluate changes, if any, in the tumors.

Current treatment of equine melanomas has not been effective, and finding a helpful drug would give veterinarians a much-needed alternative.