Pony with rare blood cancer receives breakthrough treatment at OSU

Researchers at Ohio State University are fighting to save the life of Bob the pony, who has a rare blood cancer.

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Testing revealed that Bob has chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a form of blood cancer that is rare among horses but common among humans.

Bob’s veterinarians teamed up with Dr. John Byrd at the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center to find a solution for his disease.

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Byrd’s team led efforts to develop both first- and second-generation oral drugs to treat CLL and Bob is being treated with what they consider a breakthrough drug called Ibrutinib. This would be the first time the medicine has been used to treat a pony.

“With these pills, particularly in older patients with this disease, they take the pill once a day and the disease goes away,” Byrd said.

Bob started therapy earlier this month and his care team says they can already see improvements in his blood work.

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