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Bailey DB, Rassnick KM, Kristal O, Chretin JD, Balkman CE. Phase I dose escalation of single-agent vinblastine in dogs. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 2008;22:1397-1402.

Background: Vinblastine (VBL) is commonly used in dogs at a dosage of 2.0 mg/m2. The minimal toxicity observed at this dosage indicates that higher dosages might be well tolerated.

Hypothesis: The maximum tolerated dosage (MTD) for a single VBL treatment is higher than the previously published dosage of 2.0 mg/m2.

Animals: Twenty-three dogs with lymphoma or cutaneous mast cell tumors.

Methods: Dogs received 1 single-agent VBL treatment IV. The starting dosage was 3.0 mg/m2, and dosages were increased in increments of 0.5 mg/m2 in cohorts of 3 dogs. Hematologic toxicity was assessed with weekly CBCs. Gastrointestinal toxicity was assessed from medical histories from owners. Once the MTD was determined, additional dogs were treated with VBL at that dosage. Dogs whose cancers responded to VBL continued to receive treatments q2–3 weeks.

Results: VBL dosages ranged from 3.0 to 4.0 mg/m2. Neutropenia was the dose-limiting toxicity, with the nadir identified 7 days after treatment and resolving by 14 days after treatment. The MTD was 3.5 mg/m2. Sixteen dogs were treated at this dosage, and 3 experienced severe toxicity characterized by asymptomatic grade 4 neutropenia, febrile grade 4 neutropenia, and death. Gastrointestinal toxicity was mild and self-limiting. Preliminary evidence of antitumor activity was identified in 2 of 12 dogs with lymphoma treated at the MTD.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance: In dogs, single-agent VBL is well tolerated at a dosage of 3.5 mg/m2 IV. At this dosage, the minimum safe treatment interval is q2 weeks, and adjunct treatment with prophylactic antibiotics should be considered.

Key words: Canine; Chemotherapy; Oncology; Oncology treatment.

Rassnick KM, Bailey DB, Flory AB, Balkman CE, Kiselow MA, Intile JL, Autio K. Efficacy of vinblastine for treatment of canine mast cell tumors. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 2008;22:1390-1396.

Background: The optimal dosage and clinical efficacy of vinblastine (VBL) for treatment of mast cell tumors (MCTs) in dogs has not been established.

Hypothesis: Single-agent VBL has antitumor activity against MCTs in dogs.

Animals: Fifty-one dogs with nonresectable grade II or III cutaneous MCTs.

Methods: Prospective, open clinical trial. Dogs were systematically allocated (by hospital record number) to receive IV treatment with VBL at a dosage of 2.0 mg/m2 (weekly for 4 treatments then biweekly for 4 treatments; VBL 2.0) or treatment with VBL at a dosage of 3.5 mg/m2 (biweekly for 5 treatments; VBL 3.5). The primary outcome measure was reduction in tumor size.

Results: Twenty-five dogs were allocated to the VBL 2.0 group and 26 were allocated to the VBL 3.5 group. In the VBL 2.0 group, 3 (12%) had a partial response (PR) for a median of 77 days (range, 48–229 days). Overall response rate in the VBL 3.5 group was 27%. One dog (4%) had a complete response for 63 days and 6 dogs (23%) had a PR for a median of 28 days (range, 28–78 days). Toxicoses were uncommon in the VBL 2.0 group. Twelve (46%) dogs in the VBL 3.5 group had < 500 neutrophils/µL 7 days after treatment; 2 dogs with neutropenia developed concurrent fevers.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance: VBL, when used as a single-agent, has activity against MCTs in dogs although the response rate is lower than those reported for VBL-containing combination protocols. Further, findings suggest VBL at a dosage of 3.5 mg/m2 should be considered for use in future phase II/III trials.

Key words: Chemotherapy; Dog; Oncology.