Mary Lynn Higginbotham, DVM, MS, DACVIM

Associate Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine
Kansas State University


Associate Professor of Veterinary Oncology at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. I am an affiliate member of the Johnson Cancer Research Center at Kansas State University. Prior to joining the faculty of Kansas State University, I was a member of the faculty of Auburn University. I received DVM and MS degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine.  My professional interests include evaluation of novel treatments for canine and feline neoplastic disease with a strong interest in canine lymphoma.


Immunotherapeutic Approaches in Canine Lymphoma

It is estimated that one in four pet dogs in the United States will develop cancer during their life-time. Lymphoma is one of the most common malignancies diagnosed in pet dogs, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma predominates. Similar to humans, standard of care for this disease in dogs includes multi-agent, CHOP-based chemotherapy. This has been shown to induce remission and prolong life. However, the median survival time for treated dogs is less than 1 year. Immunotherapy is a promising approach for improving outcomes in this disease. Various immunotherapeutic options are currently under investigation for the treatment of canine lymphoma. Anti-CD20, and others, monoclonal antibodies have been developed, but the clinical outcomes have been equivocal. Vaccines currently undergoing investigation include a xenogeneic DNA vaccine targeting CD20, a telomerase reverse transcriptase-based vaccine, and an autologous heat shock protein peptide chaperone-based vaccine. Additionally, T-cell based therapies have been developed with ongoing evaluation in canines. These include CAR T-cells targeting CD20, as well as autologous, activated, T-cell therapies. These various immunotherapeutic strategies will be discussed, including the results of a recent study assessing adoptive T-cell based therapy for the treatment of canine B-cell lymphoma.

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