Cancer Clinical Studies/Trials

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The CCAH works with the school's Veterinary Center for Clinical Trials to manage oncology trials for cancer studies in cats, dogs and horses, with the goal of creating better, more-effective treatments for patients. Current and recently completed cancer studies include:

Orally administered rapamycin in dogs with cancer

The drug rapamycin is currently approved for immunosuppression during preparatory and maintenance regimens for organ and bone marrow transplant in human patients. Our study evaluates the safety and effectiveness of rapamycin when given orally to dogs with cancer.

Thermal ablation of cancer in dogs and cats

Our study evaluates the outcome of treating dogs and cats with minimally invasive tumor ablation technologies, including cryoablation and microwave ablation. These methods are used to treat cancers in people, but information in animals is very limited. We previously completed a study on cryoablation in nasal tumor patients; a technique that successfully reduces tumor volume.

Dogs with glioma or oral melanoma

Glioma is the second-most common type of brain tumor in dogs. Oral melanoma is the most common oral malignancy in dogs and is an extremely malignant tumor with a high degree of local invasiveness and high metastatic propensity. Current treatment options include radiation or chemotherapy and more recently a vaccine; but few dogs are cured and most relapse. Our study examines the effectiveness of oxygen-carrying protein engineered to increase the effectiveness of radiotherapy in tumors without affecting normal tissues.

Novel chemotherapy formulation for lymphoma

Doxorubicin is a highly effective drug for treating lymphoma in dogs but is associated with side effects, including transient gastrointestinal upset and chronic toxicity to the heart. Less-toxic formulations are needed. Doxorubicin can be loaded into nanoparticles, which may allow for better penetration of the drug into the tumor, decrease tumor resistance to doxorubicin and decrease the frequency and severity of side effects. We are evaluating the doxorubicin dose that can be administered and the safety of a nanoparticle formulation when given to dogs with lymphoma.

Treatment of mast cell tumors

Surgical removal is generally the first step in treating mast cell tumors, but sometimes isn’t possible due to the size or location of the tumor or financial limitations. In this case, treatment with steroids, chemotherapy or targeted therapies such as Masitinib may be beneficial in controlling the disease. Our study evaluates the anti-cancer effects of the drug masitinib in comparison to a placebo in dogs with grade 2 or 3 mast cell tumors that haven’t been previously removed or treated with chemotherapy or radiation. Masitinib currently has conditional FDA-approval for treatment of non-resectable grade 2 or 3 mast cell tumors in dogs.