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UPDATE (Sept. 3, 2019): The 10-mL vial size of ProHeart 12 is the only size Zoetis Inc., is offering at the moment, a company spokesperson said. Zoetis will announce when the 50-mL vial size becomes available.

Study finds genetic similarities of osteosarcoma in dogs, children

Truman, a patient in an osteosarcoma clinical trial at Tufts University (Courtesy of Tufts)

Osteosarcoma is genetically similar in dogs and human children, according to a study published July 19 in the journal Communications Biology by Tufts University and the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix.

Tufts and TGen researchers sequenced the genomes of 59 dogs, finding that osteosarcoma in dogs shares many of the genomic features of osteosarcoma in humans, including low mutation rates, structural complexity, altered cellular pathways, and unique genetic features of metastatic tumors that spread to other parts of the body. The study also identified new features of osteosarcoma in dogs, including recurrent and potentially cancer-causing mutations in two genes.

Osteosarcoma is an aggressive disease and the most commonly diagnosed primary bone tumor in dogs and children. Though a relatively rare cancer in humans, with fewer than 1,000 cases each year, osteosarcoma strikes more than 25,000 dogs annually. "The genetic similarity between dogs and humans provides a unique opportunity and a comparative model that will enable the development of new therapies within a compressed timeline," said Dr. Heather L. Gardner, a doctoral candidate at Tufts and the study's lead author.

California governor signs horse racing safety bill

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed new legislation on June 26 that would allow the California Horse Racing Board to suspend horse racing licenses in an effort to protect the health and safety of horses and their riders.

The new statute (SB 469) is a direct response to the recent deaths at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Thirty horses have died at the track this season. "Business as usual has resulted in too many horse deaths," said Newsom, in a press release. "I applaud the Legislature for taking action to expand the authority of the CHRB to cancel or move race meets when animal and human safety are at risk."

Along with the new law, the governor called on racetracks to adopt more review processes and announced the appointment of Dr. Gregory Ferraro to the CHRB. Dr. Ferraro is the former director of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Center for Equine Health.

FDA approves ProHeart 12 for dogs

The Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine in July announced the approval of ProHeart 12 (moxidectin) extended-release injectable suspension for dogs 12 months of age and older for the prevention of heartworm disease caused by Dirofilaria immitis for 12 months.

Manufactured by Zoetis Inc., ProHeart 12 is also approved for the treatment of existing larval and adult hookworm infections.

The ProHeart 12 formulation is the same as the previously approved product but contains three times the concentration of moxidectin, resulting in a 12-month duration of action, the FDA said in a statement.

The drug's safety was evaluated in five laboratory studies and a field study in client-owned dogs. The effectiveness of ProHeart 12 was demonstrated in two laboratory dose confirmation studies and a field study of 297 client-owned dogs that were administered the product.

ProHeart 12 is available in a 10-mL size and 50-mL size.

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Related JAVMA content:

Recent deaths charge up horse racing safety conversation (May 15, 2019)

Vaccine to treat osteosarcoma in dogs receives conditional license (Feb. 1, 2018)

Finding a future for osteosarcoma patients (Dec. 1, 2017)