The University of Missouri is partnering with a Columbia-based company to fight a familiar condition in cancer patients.
The University’s Veterinary Center is teaming up with biotechnical company Tensive Controls to test its drug that treats the effects of a syndrome called cachexia.
MU Associate Veterinary Professor Sandra Bechtel said, “Cachexia anorexia syndrome is a devastating end-phase of a wide range of disease processes. What it prompts is a decrease in appetite, then leading to lethargy, weight loss, and a decrease in muscle mass and an overall decline in quality of life.”
Tensive Controls President Ken Gruber said, “Our drug demonstrations to counteract those effects by improving weight and increasing appetite.”
Bechtel said in regards to 50 percent of people cancer experience these symptoms of cachexia. She additionally said dogs create diseases likewise to people, which is the reason Tensive Controls is as of now testing the medication on canines.
Bechtel said, “We have mutts that are wiped out and we need to improve them feel better. What’s more, we have a clinical trial that can improve them feel better, as well as can help us to improve individuals feel better in the future.”
Tensive Controls Lab Director Brittany Angle put her dog, Bubba, in the drug trial in August of 2016 when he began to show at cachexia.
Angle said, “I selected Bubba in this trial since I saw he progressively began losing a lot of weight. He turned out to be very bony, he wasn’t eating well, he was not really drinking any water, and he simply would not like to do anything at all.” After taking the medication for nine months, Angle said Bubba put on weight and muscle mass, and his body condition and appetite improved.
Angle said, “Within three or four days of being on the medication I saw a quick change in appetite, and in water intake, and activity level. It is remarkable how rapidly it functions. Weight gain was somewhat more gradual, however, he was glad, he was eating – I was cheerful.”
Bechtel said the other two dogs in the provisional MU trial likewise indicated comparative improvements on the drug, and Gruber said he hopes the canine trial can end in around two years.
Gruber said, “When we complete the veterinary trial, we’ll have the capacity to have a body of evidence to help our human application also”. As for potential side effects, Bechtel said the main one they have discovered so far is a change in fur color.