Pioneering cancer treatment sees ‘miracle’ dog Pepa given all-clear

Pepa the dog

A young rescue dog with a bone tumour in her leg has beaten cancer following the successful trial of a new treatment

Pepa, who was just one-and-a-half years old when her cancer diagnosis was confirmed, underwent ground-breaking immunotherapy treatment here at NDSR. 

She had been referred to after her owner Sebastian Nejad, from Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, had researched the pioneering treatment and requested his local vets make the referral to give his beloved pet the best possible chance of beating the life-threatening disease.  

Pepa, a wire haired Podenco who originally came from Spain, was duly treated in the trial and, amazingly, when the tumour was removed, along with her leg, pathology analysis indicated it had already undergone some degree of resolution – a remarkable result for the pioneering treatment.  

Now, one year after first visiting NDSR, Pepa has completed her treatment course and a CT scan has confirmed she remains miraculously all clear from cancer.  

When learning of the cancer diagnosis, Sebastian said: “We were in shock that a dog so young could get this and felt so sorry for her, as she had already been through a lot in her short life by the time we adopted her as a rescue dog from Spain.  

“I work in the biomedical sector and knew something about immunotherapy trials in humans. I found vets in America doing it for dogs and one in Germany.  

“Eventually, after a lot of searching, I found NDSR. I contacted Gerry and then forwarded details to my vets so they could liaise to see if it was a suitable way forward.  

“Amputating a leg is a big operation so we were obviously apprehensive and concerned, however, after lots of research and speaking with the team at NDSR we were confident we were doing the right thing.”  

Sebastian’s faith in NDSR and hospital director Gerry Polton, who led the pioneering trials, has been fully justified and now Pepa is proving life on three legs is no problem, happily running around and doing everything she used to do without hindrance.  

Sebastian added: “The fact that no cancer can now be found is amazing and a true testament to the people who have treated her and the science behind it. Pepa is a very happy little lady!  

“We are lucky our local vets are very good but NDSR have the experience and facilities you don’t get at an everyday vet clinic. They are highly specialised and using new treatments you won’t find in many other places.”  

Gerry, a renowned RCVS and European Specialist in small animal oncology, said: “Pepa is a remarkable dog who was sadly diagnosed with a bone tumour just over a year ago.  

“Pepa’s local vet in the West Midlands was happy to work with us to ensure she could participate in the trial and have the best possible chance of an excellent outcome.  

“One year later, young Pepa is free from cancer and is back with her loving owners and their other rescue dogs, thoroughly enjoying her life. It’s a truly amazing result and we couldn’t be happier for Pepa.”  

“Sebastian has kindly kept me updated with Pepa’s progress. It gives me such joy to see videos of her racing around with her canine friends. She certainly hasn’t slowed down; this Pepa is hot!” 

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