Background: Standard of care treatment for multicentric lymphoma in dogs remains doxorubicin (DOX)-based combination chemotherapy, but owners may hesitate to commit the time and financial resources to complete such a protocol, typically requiring 12–16 visits. Rabacfosadine (RAB), a double prodrug of the nucleotide analog 9-(2-phosphonylmethoxyethyl) guanine, has substantial single-agent activity in dogs with lymphoma, and a different mechanism of action than DOX. Hypothesis/Objectives: Our objective was to evaluate the efficacy and adverse effect (AE) profile of alternating doses of RAB and DOX in dogs with naïve multicentric lymphoma. Animals: Fifty-four dogs with previously untreated lymphoma. Methods: Open-label, multicenter prospective clinical trial. Dogs received alternating RAB (1.0 mg/kg IV weeks 0, 6, 12) and DOX (30 mg/m2 IV weeks 3, 9, 15). Dogs that achieved complete response (CR) were followed by monthly evaluations. Complete clinicopathological evaluation and assessment of remission and AEs were performed every 21 days. Results: The overall response rate was 84% (68%; CR; 16%; partial response [PR)]. The overall median progression-free interval (PFI) was 194 days (216 for CR and 63 for PR). Most AEs were mild and self-limiting: gastrointestinal and hematologic AEs were most common. Thirteen dogs experienced dermatologic AEs, and 2 dogs developed grade 5 pulmonary fibrosis. Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Alternating RAB/DOX generally was well tolerated and resulted in PFIs comparable to standard DOX-based multi-agent protocols, with fewer treatment visits. Most adverse events were mild or moderate and self-limiting. Further studies are warranted to explore long-term outcome and other RAB chemotherapy combinations.
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