The most effective therapy for most types of canine lymphoma is chemotherapy. In some cases, surgery or radiation therapy may also be recommended. There are numerous chemotherapy treatment protocols for dogs with multicentric lymphoma. As discussed below, most dogs with lymphoma experience remission of their cancer following treatment, and side effects are usually not severe. Currently, the protocols that achieve the highest rates of remission and longest overall survival times involve combinations of drugs given over several weeks to months. The protocol we use as a “gold standard” for the treatment of canine multicentric lymphoma is a 25-week protocol called UW-25. It is based on a protocol called CHOP that is commonly used to treat lymphoma in humans.
The UW-25 protocol may not be appropriate for all dogs with lymphoma. Different types of lymphoma may be treated with different chemotherapy drugs. For instance, the most effective drug for cutaneous lymphoma is thought to belomustine (CCNU). The veterinary oncologists and oncology residents at the PUVTH will help you decide on a chemotherapy treatment protocol that is appropriate for your dog.