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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms
IF: 1.423 5-Year IF: 1.525 SJR: 0.433 SNIP: 0.661 CiteScore™: 1.38

ISSN Print: 1521-9437
ISSN Online: 1940-4344

International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushr.v11.i2.60
pages 167-184

Preclinical Evaluation of Concurrent Medicinal Mushroom-Based Immune-Enhancement Supplementation in Dogs Undergoing Chemotherapy for Various Cancers

Britt M. Gianotti
Aloha Medicinals Inc., Carson City, NV 89706, USA
Matt P. Cleaver
Aloha Medicinals Inc., Carson City, NV 89706, USA
Marie N. Mullins
Animal Hospital Specialty Center, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126; Veterinary Cancer Care of Santa Fe, NM, USA
Sharon Y. West
Veterinary Cancer Care of Santa Fe, NM, USA

ABSTRACT

Chemotherapy is one of the most common treatments for canine cancer, although it is frequently quite toxic and can result in disruptions of the dog's normal biochemical and physiological cycles. Chemotherapy is known to often drive the dog's white blood cell count down (neutropenia), causing the immune system to weaken and raising susceptibility to opportunistic infections. This often causes chemotherapy schedules to be interrupted, resulting in less-efficacious treatment. Neutropenic patients are commonly symptomatic, exhibiting such side effects as anorexia, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and death. Historically, neutropenia is one of the main factors considered in directing chemotherapy cycles. This study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of a popular mushroom-based veterinary immune-enhancement supplement, K-9 ImmunityTM, and its adjunct K-9 Transfer FactorTM, when used concurrently with chemotherapy. The objectives of this study were several: to determine if immune supplementation could reduce neutropenia when partnered with chemotherapy, to determine if the incidence of side effects would be reduced, and to determine the overall effect on quality of life in the face of the chemotherapy. In addition to their regularly prescribed cancer treatments and medicines, dogs in this study received a daily dose of nonspecific immune-enhancement supplements: one 500 mg capsule per 4.5 kg body weight per day of K-9 ImmunityTM and one 3000 mg wafer per day (for dogs greater than 11 kg) or 1/2 wafer per day (for dogs under 11 kg) of K-9 Transfer FactorTM. Four different cancer types were tracked and evaluated in this study: lymphosarcoma (LSA) (N = 21), osteosarcoma (OSA) (N = 20), mast cell tumor (MCT) (N = 19), and hemangiosarcoma (HSA) (N = 4). Various chemotherapy or palliative therapy protocols were used according to tumor type and patient suitability. Standard chemotherapy protocols were followed throughout the study, so long as biological parameters were found to be within the normal ranges. Blood parameters monitored included CBC, chemistry panel, and urinalysis, as well as radiographs and other tests per individual protocol. All patients remained in their homes with clients who were asked to make daily assessments of appetite, attitude, vomiting, diarrhea, diet, medications, and other supplements, by way of a questionnaire. Patients were brought to the clinic routinely for assessment by the veterinary staff and received treatment as prescribed. The results of this study indicate that as an adjunct to chemotherapy, these supplements do reduce the common side effects for dogs who become neutropenic. The study also showed that this type of immune-modulation therapy relieves many of the symptoms usually associated with chemotherapy and allowed the dogs to maintain a quality of life more closely related to their norm. These results indicate that further research into nonspecific immune-modulation therapy as an adjunct to chemotherapy is warranted, with the goal of improving the quality of care and quality of life that we can deliver to our canine cancer patients.


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