Virbac launches STELFONTA, a ground-breaking new treatment for canine mast cell tumours (MCTs) - Veterinary Practice
Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Virbac launches STELFONTA, a ground-breaking new treatment for canine mast cell tumours (MCTs)

Injectable solution is licensed for the treatment of non-resectable, non-metastatic subcutaneous and cutaneous MCTs

Virbac is pleased to announce the launch of STELFONTA, a breakthrough injectable solution to treat mastocytoma in dogs.

STELFONTA is licensed for the treatment of non-resectable, non-metastatic (WHO staging) subcutaneous MCTs located at or distal to the elbow or the hock, and non-resectable, non-metastatic cutaneous MCTs in dogs. Tumours must be less than or equal to eight centimetres in volume and must be accessible to intratumoural injection.

STELFONTA contains tigilanol tiglate, a compound extracted from the seed of a shrub found in the rainforest of North Queensland, Australia: Fontainea picrosperma. It’s a targeted intratumoural treatment that does not require long-term drug treatment or general anaesthesia. For both the animal and its owner, it’s a pathway to preserving a better quality of life, particularly since a single treatment is sufficient to destroy the tumour completely in 75 percent of observed cases.

Mast cell tumours are the most common form of skin cancer in dogs, accounting for up to 21 percent of skin cancer cases. Until now surgical removal of the tumour has been the standard of care, but surgery can pose challenges for the veterinary surgeon, such as the accessibility of the tumour in order to obtain sufficient margins and anaesthetic risks, particularly in senior and brachycephalic pets.

“Stelfonta is an innovative yet simple treatment which provides a high tumour elimination rate, rapid healing and a speedy return to a good quality of life for the pet. In the cases studied, the tumour was destroyed in seven days and full wound healing observed in 96.5 percent of cases, with no significant adverse effects on the dog” says Dr Neil Mottram MRCVS, Technical Product Manager at Virbac. “The effects of Stelfonta really do need to be seen to be believed” he adds.

STELFONTA is administered by injection directly into the tumour mass and generally, dogs do not require sedation or local or general anaesthesia during treatment. Tigilanol tiglate works largely through specific protein kinase c (PKC) activation, in which it locally stimulates the immune system, resulting in destruction of the tumour and the tumour’s blood supply, followed by rapid healing of the site with minimal scarring.

“Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs with as many as one in four dogs developing cancer at some point in their lives” says Andrew Connolly, Marketing Director at Virbac.
“We are therefore delighted to be able to bring such a significant advancement in veterinary oncology to the market. It is our hope that Stelfonta will significantly improve both the clinical outcome and quality of life for pets fighting this disease” he adds.

For more information on STELFONTA, or any of the other products in the Virbac portfolio, please speak to your Virbac Territory Manager.


Garrett, L.D.


Canine mast cell tumors: diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. Veterinary Medicine: Research and Reports, Vol 5

Scarpa, F., Sabattini, S. and Bettini, G.


Cytological grading of canine cutaneous mast cell tumours. Veterinary and Comparative Oncology, 14(3), pp. 245-51

Kidd, C.


The many challenges of veterinary oncology. Canadian Veterinary Journal, 49(11), pp. 1132–1135

Veterinary Practice

Improve Veterinary Practice (part of the Improve International Group) is an online knowledge and information hub for veterinary professionals across all specialties. It provides reliable, useful and interesting content, written by expert authors and covering small animal, large animal, exotics, equine and practice management
sectors of the veterinary surgeon and nursing professions.

Improve Veterinary Practice also offers a subscription-based membership, offering CPD courses and much more for the whole veterinary community.

Improve Veterinary Practice exists to inspire and inform your day-to-day work, and enable your ongoing professional development.

More from this author

Have you heard about our
IVP Membership?

A wide range of veterinary CPD and resources by leading veterinary professionals.

Stress-free CPD tracking and certification, you’ll wonder how you coped without it.

Discover more