Stelfonta works by injecting it directly into the tumor. It activates the immune system and destroys both the tumor cells and its blood supplies, resulting in the destruction of the tumor. It then promotes healing of the tissue with minimal scar formation.
Adverse reactions to this drug cause extensive wound formation including cellulitis, severe tissue sloughing, bruising in the injection site, lameness in the treated leg, vomiting, and diarrhea but these can be managed with pre- and post-treatment medications. Dogs may also be sedated to safely administer the drug.
Veterinarians who tested the drug reported a satisfaction rate of 88% for the drug. It has also been accepted for use in Europe, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
“Stelfonta is a medical breakthrough for the treatment of mast cell tumors in dogs and there’s no other treatment like it,” said Dr. Cristiano von Simson, director of the veterinary services in Virbac, which is QBiotics marketing and distribution partner.
Dr. Simson added that “this drug is an alternative option to treat local skin tumors in older dogs who are at increased risk from surgery or chemotherapy, or in cases where the dog owner isn’t comfortable with surgery or anesthesia.” Puppies or dogs younger than 3½ years have not been evaluated yet for the safe use of this drug.
Dogs often stand to have a better chance of getting treated for cancer if diagnosed and treated early.