K9 Immunity™ was developed based on the results of human cancer research and was first used in the treatment of cancer in guide dogs.
It helps to understand what exactly a tumour is
One of the main functions of the immune system is to identify and destroy defective tumor cells before they can continue to reproduce themselves and the defect. Put simply, the most common cause of a dog’s tumor is a reaction error due to the improper functioning of the immune system.
Approximately 100 million new cells are formed every day in a healthy dog. The vast majority of these are healthy, but abnormal progeny cells are also produced regularly.
This is a normal physiological process, as the cells of a properly functioning immune system (lymphocytes, Nk cells, etc.) recognise and destroy them, thus preventing defective cell proliferation.
The dog cancer development process
- Cell division produces degenerate, mutant cells. The number of defective cells produced is affected by a number of factors, including toxins, radiation, birth defects and natural ageing. Age causes most of the defective cells to form. This is why tumours are more common in older dogs.
- Typically, the body recognises and neutralises the resulting defective cells within the first days/weeks/months of their growth and spontaneous healing takes place.
- However, if the immune system fails to respond properly, the correct immune response is not achieved, and the defective cells continue to reproduce themselves until they grow to a size that can be detected by a doctor and we are talking about an actual cancer.
So if the immune system doesn’t notice the faulty cell and doesn’t respond properly, a tumor can develop. By the time it gets big enough to be diagnosed as cancer, it means hundreds of millions of abnormal cells. At that time, the tumor is removed surgically, with radiotherapy or chemotherapy, however, the root cause has not yet been eliminated, and there is a high chance that the tumor will grow back.
You might think that recovering from cancer is relatively easy. After all, we simply take a knife and cut it out, destroy it with chemotherapy or burn it out with radiation treatment. These methods are very useful to destroy cancer cells directly, but they did not eliminate the root cause of the tumor. The immune system still does not work properly and will continue to allow degenerate cell proliferation in the future.
Until we take appropriate steps to start the body’s self-healing mechanism and achieve the appropriate immune response, the tumor can recur and metastasize! And we can’t talk about healing! This is where immunomodulating therapy comes into play.
Dog cancer and immunomodulatory therapy
A hundred years ago, the most effective anti-cancer treatment was vein cutting and leeches. Today, traditional treatments, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are the main weapons against cancer. These are definitely necessary for effective treatment, as they clearly reduce the tumor. However, the root cause, why the immune system allows cancer cells to proliferate, is not eliminated.
This is the reason why, in addition to traditional procedures, alternative therapies are gaining more and more space. Currently, one of the most promising therapies is immunomodulating, i.e., the therapy influencing the immune system.
Immunomodulatory therapy consists of two parts:
- to reduce the size of the tumour using traditional methods (surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy),
- activate the immune system, make it recognise the tumour cell and trigger an appropriate immune response.
K9 INU®, K9 InuExtra®, K9 Immunity™ and K9 Immunity Plus™ products are composed of 6 different natural immune-boosting medicinal mushrooms. Their main active ingredient is heteropolysaccharides, which have been proven in several “forums” to have immunostimulatory, antitumour and anti-metastatic effects.
Heteropolysaccharide immunomodulators are now the largest group of alternative therapies for canine tumours. These are ingredients that trigger enhanced immune function. These polysaccharide components connect external sensors to various immune cells and activate them. They increase the production of the corresponding cells and trigger the release of certain chemicals (cytokines) called Tumor Necrosis Factor.
The immune mechanisms
There are several immune mechanisms that work together to ensure that the body responds appropriately to cancer cell formation.
While one of the main mechanisms is the primary task of the polysaccharide is immune stimulation, there are secondary mechanisms that also play an important role. Also present in the blood are small protein molecules that act as immune-identifying molecules. These are called Transfer Factors. The presence of transfer factors is very important from the point of view of a healthy organism, but they do not have a significant effect on the tumor by themselves. This product is K9 InuFactor®.
However, clinical trials and observations suggest that they significantly enhance the bioavailability of polysaccharides, thereby enhancing the effect of the medicinal mushrooms.