Unpublished report, June 2002

Dr. Robert A. Morris1 and George H. Balazs2, Makai Animal Clinic, 420 Uluniu Street, Kailua, Hawaii 96734, USA, National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Honolulu Laboratory, 2570 Dole Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822-2396, USA

A preliminary trial has been conducted with an experimental drug called Dermex. The objective of this work was to evaluate the product's ability to remove fibropapillomas on green turtles by a non-surgical technique under clinical conditions in Hawaii. The results are presented in this short report. Please contact the authors for additional information.

The following notes describe the results of our experirmentatation using Dermex injections and "cream" on green turtle fibropapilloma tumors in Hawaii. These observations are based mainly on a stranded green turtle (10.5 kg, 47.4 cm SCL) with multiple large and small tumors held for rehabilitation by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Continuing investigations:

Dermex may have a place in the treatment of solitary fibropapilloma tumors in sea turtles. This is not a practical cure since the cause of the tumors has yet to be determined. There are thousands of free ranging turtles in Hawaiian waters with these tumors however, Dermex could lengthen the life of selected turtles and provide an alternative treatment (instead of surgery) of a less invasive nature suitable for field use.

The following photographs illustrate the effect of Dermex on four tumors over time.

All phtotgtaphs courtesy George H. Balazs and Dr. Roberrt Morris.

Tumor 1, Right Neck, Photo A

Tumor 1, Photo B

Tumor 1, Photo C

Tumor 1, Photo D

Tumor 2, Right Hind, Photo A

Tumor 2, Photo B

Tumor 2, Photo C

Tumor 3, Left Hind, Photo A

Tumor 3, Photo B

Tumor 3, Photo C

Tumor 4, Left Front, Photo A

Tumor 4, Photo B

Tumor 4, Photo C


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