How to tell if your cat has a malignant melanoma
By JIM WILSONCBS NEWS/AFP/Getty ImagesIn the past month, at least four people in the United States have died from melanoma after receiving a shot of an immunotherapy that contains antibodies from the blood of their cats.
The drug, which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and is being tested in people, was designed to stop the cancer cells from multiplying.
The shots, which were given through nasal spray or injection, were made by a company called Alliance.
It said it had tested each shot for about 30 minutes.
But some people who took them did not get the antibodies.
The company said on its website that the doses were for cats with the skin condition known as melanoma that are at least six months old, with an estimated incidence of 1 in 5,000.
There is no known treatment for melanoma, and there is no cure.
A spokesman for the agency said it is “very important” that patients get their shots, because if they do not, the risk of spreading the disease increases.
He said the agency has begun sending more people to clinics to receive shots.
He said that will continue for months.