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Why You Should NOT Vaccinate!
by Pat McKay
Author of REIGNING CATS & DOGS
Alice Villalobos, DVM, Director
Animal Cancer Center, Hermosa Beach, California
Vacsosarcomas is the latest name given to the vaccine induced fibrosarcoma of cats. New information tells us that the incidence may be much greater than previously reported. Of the 57 million cats in the US, 62 percent see veterinarians; 64 percent of the visits include vaccinations. Of the 22 million cats vaccinated, it seems that the incidence of sarcoma is closer to 1/1,000 than the 1-2 in 10,000 previously reported. Combined data from the Animal Medical Center and CSU shows two cases from only 1,000 FeLV vaccines given.
So far, no particular FeLV or Rabies Vaccine has been singled out as more causative. The profession1s goals are to reduce the risk of this fatal complication and increase the success rate of survival in Vacsosarcoma cases. The Animal Cancer Center is compiling date from 34 comprehensive reports to be published by Dr Philip Kass, PhD, ACVPM, at UCD, Department of Epidemiology.
Dr Kass has identified a bimodal incidence of Vacsosarcoma emerging. The first wave of cases were the young to middle-aged cats. Now pathologists are identifying older cats typified by the 16-year-old cat which we identified in our own practice. It seems that vaccines given at the same site over many years have the insidious, cumulative effect of stimulating oncogenes of the feline fibroblast.
DVM Looks for Clues Due to Increasing Incidence of Feline Fibrosarcomas
by Robin L Daugherty, Associate Editor
Fort Collins, Colorado-Two studies by a Colorado State University researcher could prove a link between killed vaccine adjuvants (any substance added to aid the effect of the main ingredient) and the increased incidence of fibrosarcoma development in cats.
Dr Dennis W Macy, a professor of medicine and oncology at the university's College of Veterinary Medicine, is starting work on two studies that will look prospectively and retrospectively at subcutaneous, killed-product vaccines and existing tumors from feline inner-scapular areas to seek a possible correlation.
Previous studies at the University of Pennsylvania and Animal Reference Pathology Division of Associated Regional and University Pathologists, Salt Lake City, have linked an increased incidence of feline fibrosarcomas and other sarcomas at vaccination site. Macy plans to complete his research by the end of summer.
Macy, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine with board certification in internal medicine and oncology says veterinarians have noticed development of post vaccinal granulomas and potentially related fibrosarcomas at common vaccination sites, such as the inner scapula. Typically, Macy says, fibrosarcomas are rare in this location.
Many of these nodules have contained foreign material, such as residual adjuvant, vaccine or both. They are not to be confused with the vir ally induced, multi-centric lesions found in young cats, Macy says.
"The concern is in the increased incidence, as well as the topographic location, of the lesions," says Macy. "The specific numbers in the literature say it is a significant increase since 1987. That's the same time there was subcutaneous approval for the rabies vaccine and the feline leukemia virus became available. Both are killed vaccines and both are adjuvanted."
According to the Penn study, increased incidences in the lesions increased 61 percent between 1987 and 1991, following enactment of a state mandatory rabies vaccine law in 1987.
While current research suggests an increased incidence of tumor development, prevalence is still relatively low, the studies also say. Despite this, researchers say the fibrosarcoma threat appears to be real and potentially serious.
Macy's retrospective study, which was recently awarded a $3,000 research grant from the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), aims to further document an association between vaccination and fibrosarcomas. He and his assistants, teaching hospital resident Dr Phil Bergman and veterinary pathologist Dr Barbara Powers, will examine inner-scapular fibrosarcomas removed from cats to see if there is any evidence of aluminum in the growths.
Aluminum in the form of the adjuvants aluminum hydroxide and aluminum phosphate have been identified in the Penn and Animal Reference Pathology Division studies as a possible reactant and cause of feline fibrosarcomas.
"My personal feeling is that it's not just the aluminum hydroxide, but that anything irritating to the cat subcutaneously has the potential of creating fibrosarcomas," Macy says. ''Maybe the aluminum hydroxide is the scapegoat, and other adjuvants could be just as carcinogenic."
This is where Macy's second prospective study will come into play. In this study, the three researchers plan to study widely-used killed feline vaccines and study post-vaccination reactions histologically, scoring each local reaction that occurs.
"What we're trying to do, recognizing that the various killed vaccines usually contain different types of adjuvants, is pinpoint which adjuvants are most likely to produce fibrosarcomas," Macy says.
"We will see reactions of some sort and can evaluate the likelihood of that reaction turning into a fibrosarcoma," he says.
Macy says this study is not aimed at hurting manufacturers of biologicals. What he is hoping the study will do is to give insight into which existing vaccine products are most reactive and which are least reactive, as well as a possible change in vaccination sites.
''I'm looking to find the vaccines that are least likely to produce a reaction in the animals," Macy says. "It may also lead to recommending a vaccine in the leg, for example, that could possibly be amputated if a fibrosarcoma develops. The problem with fibrosarcomas in the inner-scapular space is that they are virtually incurable. You can't amputate."
Pat McKay: It boggles the mind to even consider continuing vaccinations and giving them in an area of the body just because that part can be amputated. The logical answer would be to stop vaccinating.
DVM Newsmagazine article continued:
Macy's studies have produced excitement in the feline veterinary community, says Dr Jay Luger, chairman of the AAFP research grant selection committee.
"We have been seeing this tumor for a long time," Luger says. "It used to be relatively infrequent, but we're seeing an increase. There's a lot of controversy about this. It's a hot topic.”
While Macy says he doesn't want to add fuel to the controversy's fire, he does want to pave the way for a healthy solution to the increase of fibrosarcomas.
He says his hypothesis is that anything causing a reaction in the subcutaneous tissues has the potential of causing these fibrosarcomas in cats. The goal for all involved, he says, should be to produce vaccines that are least irritating to these tissues and less lethal to the animals.
“The vaccine-induced ones look relatively malignant histologically and are usually quite locally invasive.” Dr Macy says. ''It's not something you would want to have on your cat."
Pat McKay: Macy says it all in his last line.