• Sandy Wooderson

Virbac has launched Stelfonta, a novel injectable solution to treat mastocytoma in dogs.

Stelfonta contains a unique compound, tigilanol tiglate, and is licensed for the treatment of non-resectable, non-metastatic subcutaneous mast cell tumours (MCTs) located at, or distal, to the elbow or hock, and for non-resectable, non-metastatic cutaneous MCTs in dogs. The tumours must be less than, or equal to, 8cm3 in volume and accessible to intratumorial injection.


Tigilanol tiglate is extracted from the seed of a shrub – Fontainea picrosperma – found in the rainforest in northern Queensland, Australia.


Stelfonta is a targeted intratumoural treatment that does not require long-term drug treatment or general anaesthesia. A single treatment has been shown to destroy the tumour completely in 75% of observed cases. MCTs are the most common form of skin cancer in dogs, accounting for up to 21% of skin cancer cases.


Until now, surgical removal of the tumour has been the standard of care, but surgery can pose challenges for the vet, such as accessibility of the tumour to obtain sufficient margins, as well as anaesthetic risks, especially in senior or brachycephalic pets.


Neil Mottram, technical product manager at Virbac, said: “Stelfonta is an innovative yet simple treatment that provides a high tumour elimination rate, rapid healing and a speedy return to a good quality of life for the pet. “In the cases studied, the tumour was destroyed in seven days and full wound healing observed in 96.5% of cases, with no significant adverse effects on the dog. The effects of Stelfonta really do need to be seen to be believed.”


Stelfonta is administered by injection directly into the tumour mass and generally, dogs do not require sedation or local or general anaesthesia during treatment.

Tigilanol tiglate works largely through specific protein kinase c activation, in which it locally stimulates the immune system, resulting in destruction of the tumour and the tumour’s blood supply, followed by rapid healing of the site with minimal scarring.


Andrew Connolly, Virbac marketing director, said: “Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs, with as many as 1 in 4 dogs developing cancer at some point in their lives. We are therefore delighted to be able to bring such a significant advancement in veterinary oncology to the market. It is our hope that Stelfonta will significantly improve both the clinical outcome and quality of life for pets fighting this disease.”


For more on Stelfonta, visit virbac.co.uk


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