Lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in dogs. Without treatment, life expectancy is short, often only 1-2 months. The most commonly offered treatment today is chemotherapy. Multi-agent CHOP protocol, named after the acronyms of the four drugs that are combined, is often recommended. Doctors may also choose from a dozen or more drugs such as L-Asparaginase or Tanovea, depending on the patient.
The good news is that the majority of dogs on CHOP protocol experience little to no side effect and respond to the treatment, going into remission.
The bad news is remission is usually temporary (median is 6-12 months) and the response in each dog varies greatly – some coming out of remission almost immediately, some remaining in remission for years. And the doctors can’t predict which combination of drugs is the best for a particular dog.
Cancer is unique in every dog. But today, most patients receive one-size-fits-all chemo treatment.