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A Preclinical Study in the Use of Gene Therapy for the Treatment of Feline Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Virginia Snell; Kenita Rogers, DVM; Claudia Barton, DVM; Frank Marini, PhD

Objective- To determine if gene therapy for the treatment of soft tissue sarcomas is safe and will result in a longer disease-free interval (DFI) and long-term survival in cats. 

Sample Population- cats with soft-tissue sarcomas.

Procedure- When size of the mass allowed, cats were given microinjections in a 2 x 2 cm square ofβ-galactosidase marker gene.  48 hours subsequently, the mass was surgically resected and the first dose of gene therapy was swabbed into the surgical site.  Patients returned 3-4 weeks after healing to receive 4-5 further gene therapy treatments by microinjection over the site of the mass, every 4 weeks.

Results- No observable reactions to administration of the viral vectors were noted other than a mild fiver in one patient.  Data on DFI and long-term survival are pending.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance- Treatment of feline soft tissue sarcoma by adenoviral gene therapy remains a viable option for medical treatment for a class of feline neoplasm that currently has no effective treatment.