My almost 14 year old dog has just been diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma, a common canine cancer. She has been taking rapamycin for almost two years and has led as toxin-free a life as I could manage, home-made, organic food, balanced nutrition, minimal to no medications and vaccines, etc., etc. Everything was supposed to be perfect for her…but here we are.
My question is about the continuation of rapamycin once one has cancer. I know that, overall, once rapa has been in your system for some time, your immune system is strengthened. But there is also that period of the cycle right after you take rapa that suppresses your immune system.
Hemangiosarcoma tumors are the most rapidly growing tumors in the canine world - tumors can spring up and become visible in weeks and the prognosis is usually two days from discovery. My girl is going on week six, which is surprising and superb, but her tumor is inoperable and I am trying to figure out if suppressing her immune system for that beginning part of the rapamycin cycle will give free rein to her tumor growth for those days or, if by continuing to give it to her, I am overall helping her immune system fight the tumor growth with a continuance of its improved vigor that the rapa provides. I am also aware that, having been on rapa for almost two years, discontinuing her will still give her the benefits of the immune strengthening that she gained over that period.
FYI, for now, I opted to discontinue her, but am still pondering the best course of action. And it is certainly a question that may arise in the future for similar situations, although I hope isn’t so…
I am also a patient of Dr. Green and have written him with this question but he has not yet answered me. I know no one might have any experience with such a situation, but, you are a very informed and thoughtful group of people, so I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts.
All my best,