El Paso elephant Juno completes fourth treatment for cancer, zoo says

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Juno the elephant. Courtesy of the El Paso Zoo.

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Juno, the 52-year-old elephant with Cancer at the El Paso Zoo, has completed her fourth treatment for cancer, officials said.

Juno was diagnosed with a malignant mass in her right mammary gland in 2016 and was recently given a new therapy while she was under general anesthesia.

“During the procedure, the tumor was infused with a chemotherapy drug and the IL-12 gene, then treated with a small electric pulse that drives the agents into the cancer cells,” the El Paso Zoo said in a news release. “The move allows localized treatment of the mass with fewer systemic side effects.”

Juno is one of two Asian elephants being kept at the El Paso Zoo. Her cancer has responded to previous treatments but has also grown again.

“Our goal with electrochemotherapy and electrogene therapy is to decrease the size of the mass, make the disease static, and keep Juno comfortable without systemic side effects,” said El Paso Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Victoria Milne.

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