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Meet Jake! Find out how he was able to receive an autologous tumor vaccine!

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Meet Jake! Find out how he was able to receive an autologous tumor vaccine!

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Jake is a 10 year old Golden Retriever who came to Specialized Veterinary Services due to a 3 week history of progressive hind limb weakness. His examination by Dr. Reese, our Board-Certified Neurologist, showed that while he walked, his front legs were stiff along with a moderate hind limb weakness and ataxia (wobbly gait). His neurologic weakness pointed to a problem in his neck.

Jake had no abnormalities seen on his blood work and thoracic x-rays. An MRI was then performed, which showed a mass within his cervical spinal cord, which based on appearance was originating from the meninges (covering of the spinal cord).

The most likely cause of this lesion was a meningioma, which is a benign tumor growing from the meninges. Jake was taken into surgery for removal of the tumor. A sample of the tumor was sent for histopathology (tissue evaluation for an official diagnosis), which confirmed that it was a meningioma.

Another sample of the tumor was collected and placed in growth media, in order to grow the tumor in a cell culture. This sample was sent to have an autologous tumor vaccine made (vaccine made against his own tumor). Based on its location, there are often some residual tumor cells following the removal process. This vaccine should help make his immune system recognize the tumor cells that are left, in order to try to prevent tumor regrowth. The vaccines are administered every other week for a total of 6 vaccines.

Jake recovered well following the surgery and has completed the series of vaccines. His ability to walk has returned to being normal! Jake’s dad reports Jake is doing great and loving life!

For pictures of Jake’s journey, click here to see our Facebook post.