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22 February 2006 Squamous cell carcinoma of dogs and cats: an ideal test system for human head and neck PDT protocols
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Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is ideally suited for the treatment of head and neck cancer (HNC) in humans. Developing useful PDT protocols for HNC is challenging due to the expense of Phase I and II clinical trials. Moreover, the often-poor predictive value of murine models means that photosensitizers may proceed far into development before problems are noted. Dogs and cats with spontaneous oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) share striking similarities with humans affected with oral SCC. These similarities include viral and environmental tobacco smoke as risk factors, location-dependent prognoses, and relative resistance to chemotherapy. The relatively large oral cancers encountered in veterinary patients allow for light and drug dosimetry that are directly applicable to humans. The irregular shape of oral SCC allows a rigorous evaluation of novel photodynamic therapy protocols under field conditions. Because spontaneous tumors in dogs and cats arise in an outbred animal population it is possible to observe an intact host response to PDT. The shorter lifespan of dogs and cats allows rapid accrual of endpoint data. External beam radiation therapy and chemotherapy are commonplace in veterinary medicine, making dogs and cats with spontaneous SCC a useful resource to study the interactions with PDT and other cancer treatment modalities. Our preliminary results demonstrate that PDT is well-tolerated by dogs with oral cancer, and a Phase II clinical trial of zinc-phthalocyanine-based photodynamic therapy is underway in dogs with oral SCC. The usefulness of 5-aminolevulinic acid methyl ester-based PDT is being investigated in cats with oral SCC.
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Michael D. Lucroy D.V.M. "Squamous cell carcinoma of dogs and cats: an ideal test system for human head and neck PDT protocols", Proc. SPIE 6078, Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics II, 607834 (22 February 2006);

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