The Vaccine-Associated Feline Sarcoma Task Force met in May and reviewed proposals for studies investigating the etiology and treatment of sarcomas that arise at vaccine sites in cats. The following five highest-ranking proposals received support in the 1999-2000 cycle:
- "Evaluation of mutagenicity of feline vaccines using Al assay (year two of a 15-month study; principal investigator, Dr. Susan LaRue)
- "Molecular biomarkers of vaccine-associated feline sarcoma: characterization of a genetic predisposition (principal investigator, Sagarika Kanjilal, PhD)
- 'Selective inhibition of platelet-derived growth factor receptor activity" (two-year study; principal investigator: Dr. E. Gregory MacEwen)
- 'Defining the role of the oxidative DNA lesion, 8-hydroxyquanine, in vaccine-associated feline sarcoma" (principal investigator, Dr. J. McHugh Law)
- 'Idiotypic immunization with anti-p53 monoclonal antibody as adjuvant therapy for p53 positive feline vaccine-associated sarcoma; Aim 1A" (principal investigator, Dr. Elizabeth Hershey)
The task force will prepare and distribute a white paper summarizing task force study findings, their possible implications for clinical practice, and the direction the findings they suggest for future studies.
The task force has determined that it will continue for at least two more years as a self-funding organization. Study findings to date affirm an association between vaccinations and sarcomas in cats and indicate risk factors that need to be evaluated further. Requests for research proposals, review procedures, and time lines will follow the original schedule. The task force may recommend and fund directed studies and will persist in its educational efforts.
Since its inception, the task force has issued grants totaling almost $550,000 for funding research into the incidence, causes, and treatment of vaccine-associated feline sarcomas.
In June, the AVMA Executive Board approved a recommendation to continue funding for the task force.