Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs, and in humans it is second only to heart disease. For decades, chemotherapy has been the only option and a necessary evil to treat cancer. Most of us know someone who has gone through chemo, and side effects can significantly impact quality of life during and after treatment.
Chemotherapy targets cells at different stages of the cell cycle, and because cancer cells often form more quickly than normal cells, chemo can be effective in destroying cells and preventing them from growing, dividing, and making more cells.
Unfortunately, “chemo drugs can’t tell the difference between healthy cells and cancer cells. This means normal cells are damaged along with the cancer cells, and this causes side effects. Each time chemo is given, it means trying to find a balance between killing the cancer cells (in order to cure or control the disease) and sparing the normal cells (to lessen side effects).” (source: American Cancer Society)
Are There Other Options For Treating Cancer?
For several types of cancers, the answer is yes! Decades of research have brought alternative therapies into mainstream cancer treatment. The American Cancer Society discusses targeted therapy, hormone therapy, and immunotherapy as other types of cancer treatments.
Typically, a cancer diagnosis dictates traditional treatment protocols, often chemo regimens. At ELIAS Animal Health, we are approaching cancer treatment in new ways. Our ELIAS Cancer Immunotherapy (ECI®) is built upon 50+ years of intensive scientific and medical research into the interactions between cancer and the immune response. By empowering the immune system, we believe we can teach the body to fight its own cancer.
When people are faced with a cancer diagnosis, the treatment decisions they make impact them personally and they choose to deal with the consequences themselves. Pet owners, however, are speaking on behalf of their furry family members. It’s up to them to choose how to treat their pet. When deciding on a treatment plan, pet owners must consider:
- What are the side effects?
- How much will it cost?
- Does it work?
- What will my pet’s quality of life be like?
Quality of life is a major factor in deciding the right treatment path for a pet.
Treating cancer is no small feat and the body must undergo unique conditions in order to fight it, no matter the type of treatment. Here are a few things we’ve heard from pet owners about their dog’s quality of life after choosing to treat with ECI®.
How are ECI® and Chemotherapy Different?
Unlike chemotherapy, which destroys cells, immunotherapy activates the patient’s immune system to fight cancer cells (and only cancer cells). While there are side effects with immunotherapy, they tend to be less severe than chemo, and healthy cells are not damaged or destroyed.
ECI® is personalized to the patient, delivering precision medicine, which “uses specific information about a person’s tumor to help make a diagnosis, plan treatment, find out how well treatment is working, or make a prognosis.” (source: National Cancer Institute)
With ECI® our two-step treatment starts with a personalized vaccine that stimulates a cancer-specific immune response. Next, immune cells collected from the patient are multiplied and activated to be “cancer killers” which mobilizes their immune system to fight the cancer. ECI® is completed in just 2 months, whereas chemo can take up to 5 months.
To learn more about chemotherapy-free cancer treatment options, check out this webinar.