Oncology

Below, please find links to all of the clinical trials involving cancer (oncology). The studies include a multitude of information, including (but not limited to) the study’s purpose, benefits for participating, and financial incentive information. If you have any questions, please contact the individual outlined at the end of each trial summary.

Please visit the Oncology service webpage at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) or the Comparative Cancer Center (CCC) if you would like to learn more about the amazing things that our oncologists can do for you and your animal.  

If you have any questions that are specific to oncology for any species, please contact our Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators via email (oncologyclinicaltrials@ucdavis.edu) or phone (530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759).

Horses
NEW! Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Understanding the Genetics in Haflinger Horses

Title: Genetic Investigation of Limbal Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Haflinger Horses

Purpose: Squamous cell carcinoma is one of the most common forms of cancer to affect the eye, specifically where the clear cornea meets the white of the eye, or the “limbus”. This type of eye cancer affects Haflingers more than other breeds, so the objective of this study is to determine the role genetics plays in limbal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) in Haflinger horses. This study is designed to determine the incidence of LSCC in the breed, to determine the mode of inheritance if a single gene is involved, and identify candidate genes for further investigation.

Participation Requirements: Haflinger horses with confirmed LSCC (confirmed by pathology), or horses that have never been diagnosed with LSCC that are at least 13 years old. Horses that are suspicious for LSCC are invited to participate, but confirmation would be required prior to inclusion in the study.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Any horse with confirmed LSCC does not need to be evaluated in person to participate. Participation for horses with confirmed LSCC involves providing (1) a copy of a pathology report confirming LSCC, (2) the horse’s registered name for pedigree analysis, and (3) a hair sample. Horses that have not had LSCC and are at least 13 years old will need to be examined by a boarded veterinary ophthalmologist to confirm that they don’t have LSCC. This may be done at UC-Davis VMTH or elsewhere.

Procedures:

  • Participation in this clinical trial, which could last between 15 minutes to one hour, will include discussion of the horse’s medical history, documentation on known pedigree information, examination of the horse’s eyes by a veterinary ophthalmologist, photography of the horse to document coat color and any abnormalities found in the eyes, and collection of hair samples from the horse’s mane.
    • Examination of a horse’s eyes is similar to examination of a person’s eyes, with lights and magnifying lenses shone into the eyes to see if they are normal, or if any signs suspicious for LSCC are present.
    • For some horses, hair samples may be collected from the mane, similar to pulling the mane for show but only pulling a very small sample of about 50 hairs. This hair would be used to isolate DNA for genetic studies to help understand which genes may be involved in the development of LSCC.
  • Follow up phone calls or emails may be necessary if any questions about the horse’s medical history arise after the examination.
  • If any horse objects to having their eyes examined or to having mane hair pulled, these procedures would not be performed.

Benefits: If you are selected to participate in the study, the study will cover the costs associated with eye examination and mane pulling; however, if a presumptive diagnosis of SCC is made for your horse, any further diagnostics or therapy associated with the diagnosis of SCC will be your responsibility.

We cannot promise any benefits to your horse or other animals from your taking part in this clinical trial; however, possible benefits include lowering the incidence of this common eye cancer in Haflingers and other affected breeds, helping breeders to make informed mating decisions, and better prediction of the risk of developing disease for earlier diagnosis and treatment.

Owner Responsibilities: Financially, you will be responsible for covering any costs associated with injuries sustained while participating in this trial and any costs associated with follow up of your animal at VMTH for assessment.

Contact: Dr. Rebecca Bellone at 530-752-9299 or rbellone@ucdavis.edu

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Cats

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (Oral): Tumor Collection

Title: Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Repository study

Purpose of Study: UC Davis is collecting oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma samples to populate a tissue bank for future research studies.

Participation Requirements: Cats with confirmed diagnosis of oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Cats with a confirmed diagnosis of oral malignant melanoma

Procedures: After receiving consent from owners, a sample of the tumor is banked at the time of your cat's visit.

Benefits: There is no cost to the owner for participation in this study. The samples collected will be stored for future use of investigators with the ultimate goal of developing a treatment and prevention for the variety of cancers.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner only needs to consent to the sample being collected at the time of your cat's visit.

Contact: Please talk to your oncologist at the time of your cat's visit.

NEW! Variety of Tumors: Assessing Minimally Invasive Tumor Ablation

Title: Thermal ablation of cancer in dogs and cats

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the outcome of treating veterinary patients with minimally invasive tumor ablation technologies including cryoablation and microwave ablation. These methods are growing in the treatment of a variety of cancers in the human medical field, but information in veterinary patients is currently very limited. To date we have completed a study on cryoablation in nasal tumor patients, and this technique has been very successful in reducing tumor volume in nasal tumor patients – although there are no more spots in the formal nasal tumor study, because of this success, we continue to offer this technique as a clinical service to nasal cancer patients, and are expanding the types of cancer that we are evaluating.

Participation Requirements: In order to participate in this study, your pet must have a malignant soft tissue or bony mass. Tumor types that are likely to be amenable to this treatment include: lung tumors, liver tumors, kidney tumors, adrenal tumors, bone tumors, metastatic lymph nodes. Tumors that are superficial (involving or near to the skin) or that involve the gastrointestinal tract are not amenable to this treatment.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Evaluation by the V.M.T.H. Small Animal Surgery, Internal Medicine, or Oncology services.

Procedures: If you agree to participate, under general anesthesia, ablation probes will be placed into your pet’s mass under ultrasound guidance and the tumor will be ablated.

Benefits: In return for participation in this study, your dog will receive free follow-up imaging at 1 month post-treatment (type of imaging dependent on location and type of tumor).

Owner Responsibilities: The study will cover the cost of the ablation probes and generator. Costs of pre-operative workup, general anesthesia, recommended imaging, hospitalization, and general management of the disease process or any complications that occur during treatment are your responsibility.

Contact: Call 530-752-1393 and ask to speak to the Soft Tissue Surgery scheduling coordinators (Gigi, Conni, or Caleb) to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michele Steffey

NEW! Variety of Tumors and Diseases: Improving operative detection of tumors

Title: Fluorescent imaging of cancer

Purpose of Study: Near-infrared fluorescent imaging utilizes special wavelengths of light to identify important structures, and is used in surgery to improve surgical decision making. The fluorescent light is generated by a special contrast agent (a “fluorophore”) that is injected into the patient. When a special light source is used to illuminate the surgical site, any tissue in which this fluorophore is located will glow, aiding the surgeon in identifying the location or extent of disease. Based on early experiments in rodents and human clinical trials, this very sensitive tool has the potential to improve surgical decision-making and improve overall treatment for a wide variety of diseases. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of this imaging modality in veterinary patients presenting with naturally occurring neuroendocrine tumors disease processes.

Participation Requirements: Dogs with the following conditions are most likely to benefit from this study: hyperparathyroidism, thyroid cancer, pancreatic cancer, adrenal cancer, thymoma, mammary (breast) cancer, lung cancer, anal sac gland cancer, oral cancer, mast cell tumor. Dogs with severe kidney or liver disease are not eligible to participate.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Evaluation by the V.M.T.H. Small Animal Surgery, Internal Medicine, or Oncology services.

Procedures: If you agree to participate, the best fluorophore for your pet’s tumor will be administered or intravenously, at a dose and timing considered to be optimal by your attending veterinarian.

Benefits: It is hoped, but is not known if there will be a specific benefit to your individual pet. Fluorescent imaging may or may not improve operative localization and dissection of your pet’s tumor.

Owner Responsibilities: Costs of standard pre-operative workup, general anesthesia, recommended imaging, hospitalization, and general management of your pet’s disease process or any complications that occur during treatment are your responsibility. The cost of the fluorophore and special imaging is covered by the study. There are no risks associated with the imaging itself, as it only involves light; there is no radiation exposure to the patient. The fluorophores used in this study are FDA-approved for use in humans and have been used without complication in our hospital for the past 18 months. The primary risk of this procedure is associated with injection of these drugs is an allergic reaction, which is very rare, but unpredictable in an individual patient (like any other drug reaction, including antibiotics). If an allergic reaction should occur, immediate costs of treatment (immediate supportive medications, support of blood pressure) will be covered by the study; however, the owner will be responsible for any treatment costs for prolonged or severe complications.

Contact: Call 530-752-1393 and ask to speak to the Soft Tissue Surgery scheduling coordinators (Gigi, Conni, or Caleb) to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michele Steffey.

Dogs

Bone cancer (Osteosarcoma): Examining Metastasis Suppressor Drug

Title: Thiomolybdate as a Suppressor of Canine Osteosarcoma Metastasis

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this clinical trial is to evaluate the possibility of using a copper-inhibiting drug (tetrathiomolybdate, TM) to limit the spread of bone cancer (osteosarcoma) to other areas of the body. This medication may ultimately lead to improved treatment outcomles for both dog and human cancer patients.

Participation Requirements: Dogs following amputation of the primary bone tumor

Initial Evaluation of Participation: None.

Procedures:

  • Dogs will receive a standard-of-care treatment (IV Carboplatin every 3 weeks for four treatments) concurrently with either the test compound or a placebo pill. Dogs will be randomized to receive the test compound or placebo in a 1:1 ratio (equal chances of being assigned to either group). The oral treatments will be given 3 times daily, with the morning and evening doses given without food while the mid-day dose will be given with a meal. A blood sample of approximately 1-2 tablespoons will be taken from your dog on a weekly basis for 2-6 weeks and analyzed for levels of copper and a copper-carrying compound. A complete blood count and serum chemistry panel will also be performed to monitor for any potential side effects. Based on the copper levels, we will adjust the drug dose to minimize any side effects, which include anemia and (very rarely) nausea in the early phases of treatment.
    • Nausea is managed by the addition of an anti-vomiting medicine if needed.
    • Anemia is managed by discontinuing the compound until the blood count returns to normal, and then resuming treatment with a lower dose of the compound.
  • After the initial 2-6 week period, your dog will be monitored by monthly physical examinations and blood tests, supplemented by chest X-rays every 3 months to check for tumors in the lung (the most common site of metastasis). Monitoring will continue until metastasis is detected or for 1 year from the start of study. At the end of the study, dogs will have an abdominal ultrasound.
  • Dogs that benefit from the drug (i.e., no evidence of metastasis at 1 year or lung tumors that shrink or are stable) may continue to take the compound after the end of the study for up to 6 additional months. Dogs with cancer that spreads that were assigned to the placebo group can be transferred to the test drug at that time. Such dogs may continue to be monitored for evidence of stabilization or shrinkage of tumors for at least 6 months, unless further tumor growth is detected.

Benefits: While the exact benefits are not entirely known, these procedures may help treat your dog's cancer.

Owner Responsibilities: Partial costs associated with this study will be compensated as part of your participation. The study drug (or placebo), monthly radiographs (including appointment recheck fees), and any necessary additional blood tests are all covered by the study. You will be responsible for all other costs including routine chemotherapy costs, routine blood tests, and any costs associated with treatment of adverse effects. Carboplatin treatments usually cost somewhere between $200-300 per treatment (depending on the size of your dog and whether blood tests are necessary). Therefore, the cost to you for participating in this study is expected to be approximately $1500-$2000 in the absence of side effects.

Contact: The Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators via email (oncologyclinicaltrials@ucdavis.edu) or phone (530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759)

Bone cancer (Osteosarcoma) & Soft Tissue Sarcoma: Evaluating Oral Administration of a Drug

Title: COTC020: Evaluation of Orally Administered mTOR inhibitor Rapamycin in Dogs with Osteosarcoma and Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Purpose of Study: This clinical trial led by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and sponsored by the Morris Animal Foundation evaluates the safety and effectiveness of rapamycin when given to dogs with osteosarcoma or soft tissue sarcomas. Rapamycin is a drug currently approved for immunosuppression during preparatory and maintenance regimens for organ and bone marrow transplant in human patients. Early work with rapamycin suggests that this agent may also have anti-cancer properties by inhibiting (reducing the effects of) an important pathway in cancer progression known as mTOR. Preclinical studies of rapamycin in mice as well as recent data using analogous drugs in human patients (rapalogs) suggest that mTOR blockade may be effective in the treatment of several cancers, including osteosarcoma and soft tissue sarcoma. Information gained from this clinical trial will inform future studies of rapamycin for dogs and people with osteosarcoma or soft tissue sarcoma.

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with osteosarcoma or soft tissue sarcoma with measurable disease (bony tumor or lung metastasis).

Initial Evaluation of Participation: Prior to entry into this study, your dog must have a confirmed diagnosis of cancer and staging tests to ensure his/her general health and to evaluate how advanced the disease is prior to treatment.

Procedures: Dogs enrolled into this study will have rapamycin administered orally (by mouth) by the owners over a 28-day period. At the start and the end of the 28 day period, dogs will be hospitalized for two nights to perform serial blood collections to determine the amounts of rapamycin that are in your dog’s blood. Additional study visits occur on Day 8 and Day 19 for physical examination and routine blood work to ensure your dog is tolerating the rapamycin. X-rays of the lungs or bony tumor will be rechecked at the end of the study period to determine if your dog is responding to treatment.

Benefits: Once enrolled, all costs associated with participation in the clinical trial are covered by the study, including cost of the drug, blood work and required hospitalization. Additionally, dogs participating in this study will have a $500 credit applied to their VMTH account at the completion of the study. In the event any complications arise during the study period, their management will be covered by study funds up to $2000/per dog/per event. This would include any unanticipated hospitalizations. Care for any complications while on study must be provided at the UC Davis VMTH in order to have the costs covered by the study; costs incurred at other veterinary hospitals cannot be reimbursed.

Although directs benefits associated with this treatment are unknown, future studies in dogs with cancer, as well as humans with cancer, will be in part based on this information.

Owner Responsibilities: 

  • You are responsible for costs associated with the diagnosis of your pet’s cancer and staging tests to ensure his/her general health and to evaluate how advanced the disease is prior to treatment.
  • Owners are responsible for making and keeping all required study appointments. The schedule for drug administration will either be daily Monday-Friday (5 days on) with a drug “holiday” Saturday and Sunday (no dosing, 2 days off) or Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
  • Owners are responsible for reporting any noted side effects they think their dog is experiencing to the UC Davis Clinical Trials team in a timely manner. 
  • Interactions between rapamycin and other drugs are unknown, thus owners are responsible for disclosing any medications (and supplements) your dog is currently taking. It is strongly encouraged to eliminate all unnecessary medications prior to enrollment into this study.
  • Precautions should be taken against human ingestion or direct contact with rapamycin especially in immunosuppressed individuals. Owners who may be at increased risk of immune suppression or women who are pregnant or potentially pregnant should contact your physician before considering enrolling your dog on this trial.

Contact: The Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators via email (oncologyclinicaltrials@ucdavis.edu) or phone (530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759)

Histiocytic Sarcoma: Evaluating a Chemotherapeutic Agent as a Treatment Option

Title: Phase II evaluation of vinblastine for the treatment of canine histiocytic sarcoma

Purpose of Study: Histiocytic sarcoma (HS) is a common and aggressive cancer in dogs that can arise from many sites including the lymph nodes, liver, spleen, lungs, or bone. If left untreated, disease progression is often rapid with a devastatingly high mortality rate. CCNU (Lomustine) is currently the only chemotherapy agent proven to be effective against this cancer; however, responses are often short-lived. In addition, CCNU may cause liver or bone marrow toxicity with continued use and is not tolerated in some patients. Thus, there is a desperate need to identify alternative agents that are effective against this disease. Vinblastine is a commonly used chemotherapeutic agent in dogs and is proven to be relatively safe and effective against other cancers, such as lymphoma and mast cell tumors. The purpose of this study is to determine whether vinblastine may have activity against canine histiocytic sarcoma.

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with histiocytic sarcoma

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: Dogs will receive weekly vinblastine chemotherapy (given intravenously) at a standard starting dose with the intent to gradually increase this dose if it is well tolerated. Blood will be drawn before each dose to make sure it is safe to treat your dog that day. After 4 total doses, tumor lesions will be measured and response to vinblastine chemotherapy will be determined using standard criteria. If this measurement requires chest x-rays or ultrasound, those tests will be run at this time. After 4 doses, your dog will be considered “off-study”; however, you may choose to continue treatment with vinblastine if your dog has responded well to treatment.

Benefits: There is a $250 financial incentive meant to help cover the cost of repeat testing necessary to measure response to vinblastine treatment (required after 4 doses) or toward the costs of study treatments. Additionally, participation in this study could help treat your dog’s histiocytic sarcoma and advance veterinary medicine.

Owner Responsibilities: Owners are responsible for pre-enrollment bloodwork (CBC and chemistry screen) to determine eligibility, all costs of vinblastine treatment (drug and administration costs), cost associated with any side effects that may occur, and costs associated with non-study related medical conditions.

Contact: The Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators via email (oncologyclinicaltrials@ucdavis.edu) or phone (530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759)

UPDATED! Large Bowel Disease: Evaluating New Diagnostic Tool

Title: Evaluation of CT pneumocolonography as a diagnostic tool for large bowel diseas in dogs

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of imaging findings on surgical decision-making in dogs with colonic and rectal disease of any kind (cancer or non-cancer). This part of the body can be a very difficult region examine with current imaging methods, which also do not provide optimal spatial information important if a surgical procedure is needed. In early studies, we have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of the CT pneumocolonography procedure in normal dogs, but it is important that we learn to accurately interpret the imaging findings for a wide variety of disease processes in clinical patients so that our CT diagnoses are accurate. Our goal is to compare the imaging findings obtained with CT pneumocolonography with the current standard of care of colonoscopy and colonoscopic biopsies.

Participation Requirements: In order to participate in this study, a colonoscopic exam must have been recommended for workup of your dog’s problem, and your dog must be scheduled to receive a colonoscopic exam under general anesthesia at UC Davis.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: If you agree to participate, your dog will receive a CT scan (with and without intravenous contrast material) in conjunction with carbon dioxide gas insufflated into the rectal lumen. Following CT pneumocolonography, your dog will receive the scheduled colonoscopy, which is the current standard of care for assessment of these masses, and if clinically indicated for the care of your dog, colonic biopsies or surgery will be obtained according to your discussion with your attending clinician.

Benefits: In return for participation in this study, your dog will receive a free CT scan (an approximately $800 value to you), which may directly benefit your dog, as it can provide important information for treatment recommendations that other types of imaging cannot. CT evaluation of local lymph nodes is an additional benefit as CT has been demonstrated to be very helpful in the evaluation of regional lymph nodes for metastatic disease in other types of cancer in other locations.

Owner Responsibilities: There is no additional cost to you for your dog’s participation in the study. You are financially responsible for hospital costs associated with the standard care of your dog, including abdominal ultrasound, general anesthesia, colonoscopy, hospitalization, biopsies, and any other diagnostic tests recommended for evaluation of your dog’s disease by your attending clinician.

Contact: Call 530-752-1393 to schedule an appointment with the Internal Medicine Service. When scheduling, please indicate your interest in the CT pneumocolonography study with Dr. Steffey/Dr Marks.

NEW! Lung Cancer: Improving Radiation Therapy

Title: CT-based Pulmonary Gas Exchange Imaging

Purpose of Study: The overall goal of this project is to develop and investigate a novel functional imaging technique for pulmonary function (gas exchange) based on computed tomography (CT) to increase therapeutic gains of lung cancer radiotherapy. Specifically, to develop a physiologically accurate CT-based gas exchange imaging technique. The long-term goal of the study is (1) to reduce pulmonary toxicity of radiotherapy to healthy lung tissue (2) and make the CT gas exchange imaging available for routine use in radiotherapy. There is no radiotherapy included in this study. It is to gather preliminary data and is funded by the RSNA (Radiological Society of North America).

Participation Requirements: Dogs over 1 year old that have healthy lungs or have (or potentially have) pulmonary metastasis, primary lung tumor or interstitial lung disease

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Dogs must have already have had thoracic radiographs that identify either normal lungs or lung disease.

Procedures: Your dog will receive:

  • CT scan of the lungs under anesthesia, an inhalation and exhalation scan before contrast and an inhalation breathhold scan after contrast
  • An echocardiogram of their heart, which involves an ultrasound to evaluate how your dog’s heart functions
  • A blood sample collection to see how well your dog is oxygenated

Benefits: We will pay for your dog’s CT scan of the lungs, associated anesthesia, and blood work. If there is an unanticipated side effect from the CT scan, we will pay for up to $2,000 in medical costs. Additional costs will be at your expense.

We cannot promise any benefits to your dog or other animals from your taking part in this clinical trial; however, possible benefits include improving how we can irradiate lung tumors for other dogs and perhaps people in the future.

Owner Responsibilities: You will be responsible for coming to your appointment and ensuring that your dog has not eaten food for at least 12 hours prior to the CT scan.

Contact: The Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators via email (oncologyclinicaltrials@ucdavis.edu) or phone (530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759)

UPDATED! Lung Tumors: Identifying Lymph Node Metastasis

Title: Assessment of methods of improving identification of regional lymph nodes in patients with lung cancer

Purpose of Study: Knowing whether or not there is metastatic tumor in the regional lymph nodes is very important prognostic information for dogs with lung tumors, as dogs that do not have metastatic disease in their lymph nodes in general have a much longer lifespan. Chemotherapy is often recommended for patients who have metastatic disease, but is not recommended for dogs who do not have metastatic spread. The aim of this study is to provide information that will allow us to better identify these lymph nodes at surgery, to improve the safety of surgical dissection, and to minimize surgical time during removal of these lymph nodes.

Participation Requirements:

  • A diagnosis of a solitary lung tumor
  • Your decision to pursue surgical removal of your dog’s lung tumor

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Evaluation by the V.M.T.H. Small Animal Surgery, Internal Medicine, or Oncology services. A CT scan at the VMTH is part of the normal expected surgical planning for lung tumor surgery at our institution, and is the financial responsibility of the client, but may be performed under the same anesthetic episode as the planned surgery. Dogs with severe kidney or liver disease are not eligible to participate.

Procedures: During CT and surgery, special dyes will be injected intravenously or into the lung around your dog’s tumor and uptake by the regional lymph nodes will be assessed.

Benefits: Information regarding the status of your dog’s lymph nodes is very important in prognosis for this disease. This technique will help surgeons to identify and more safely remove your dog's lymph nodes at surgery; pathology of the removed lymph node(s) will provide improved information to direct recommendations that we an give you for postoperative care and treatment. If based on the initial CT results you elect to have your dog goes to surgery as part of this study, the study will retroactively pay for the cost of your dog’s CT scan (a $900 value to you).

Owner Responsibilities: There is no anticipated additional cost to you for your dog’s participation in the study. The cost of the dyes and operative imaging are covered by the study. The primary risks of this procedure are 1) allergic reaction to the drugs used to identify the lymph nodes (very rare, but unpredictable in an individual patient (like any other drug reaction, including antibiotics)), and 2) air leakage from the lung at the site of the injection (if it occurs, this should be a short term problem, as removal of the affected lung will be performed as part of the tumor removal). If an allergic reaction should occur, immediate costs of treatment (immediate supportive medications, support of blood pressure) will be covered by the study; however, the owner will be responsible for any treatment costs for prolonged or severe complications. Standard anesthetic and surgical risks of lung surgery and lymph node surgery will apply and will be discussed at the time of your visit.

Contact: Call 530-752-1393 and ask to speak to the Soft Tissue Surgery scheduling coordinators (Gigi, Conni, or Caleb) to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michele Steffey.

NEW! Lymphoma: Evaluating a Novel Formulation of Chemotherapy

Title: Phase 1 Evaluation of Nanomicelle Encapsulated Doxorubicin in Dogs with Lymphoma

Purpose of Study: Doxorubicin is a highly effective drug for the treatment of lymphoma, both in people and in dogs. However, doxorubicin administration is associated with some well-known side effects include transient gastrointestinal upset and chronic toxicity to the heart. These toxicities limit the dose of doxorubicin that can be administered to patients and less toxic formulations of this doxorubicin are needed to improve the health of dogs and people undergoing cancer treatment.

Doxorubicin can be loaded into nanoparticles, such as liposomes and micelles, 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 of doxorubicin. A micelle-encapsulated formulation of doxorubicin has been developed and through this clinical trial, we are evaluating the dose that can be administered and the safety of the micelle formulation of doxorubicin when given to dogs with lymphoma.

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with multi-centric lymphoma with a minimum weight of 33 pounds and at least one lymph node on the outside of the body that measures 2 cm or larger. Dogs must be generally feeling well and have adequate organ function based on blood work. Dogs may have previously been treated with chemotherapy but may not have received more than two doses of doxorubicin prior to study enrollment.

Initial Evaluation of Participation: Your dog must have previously been diagnosed with lymphoma and have a complete blood count, biochemical profile and urinalysis performed to ensure potential eligibility.

Procedures:

  • Prior to the first day of treatment, your dog will have a echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) performed to ensure function of the heart is adequate to participate in the study. Immunophenotyping will also be submitted, if not already performed previously, to determine if your dog has B-cell or T-cell lymphoma. These tests are covered by the study and are at no cost to you.
  • On the first day of the study (day 0), your dog will receive the first dose of the doxorubicin-micelles and then have small amounts of blood collected throughout the day to determine how the body metabolizes the drug. Dogs will need to be hospitalized that first night to collect samples 12 and 24 hours after the first treatment.
  • Dogs will need to be evaluated again on Day 2 and Day 4 of the study for a physical examination and blood collection.
  • Dogs will be evaluated weekly on Day 7 and Day 14 for a physical examination with measurements of the lymph nodes as well as collection of blood and urine to ensure your pet is tolerating the drug.
  • Dogs will then return every three weeks on Day 21, 42 and 63 for an examination, lymph node measurements, collection of blood and urine and an infusion of the doxorubicin-micelles, if your pet is tolerating the drug and the lymph nodes are not increasing in size. Dogs that are tolerating therapy and responding to therapy will receive a total of 4 doses of the study drug once every three weeks.
  • After day 63, your dog will be examined monthly to ensure remission status until 6 months from the time of study enrollment.
  • Your dog will receive a second echocardiogram to check the function of your dog’s heart at this 6-month visit, after which your pet’s study participation will be complete.

Benefits: After determining if your dog is eligible with the necessary tests and blood work and you have been informed of conventional treatment options, you will be offered entry to this clinical trial. Costs associated with this study will be covered as part of your participation. In the event any complications arise during the study period, their management will be covered by study funds up to $1000/per dog. This would include any unanticipated hospitalizations. Care for any complications while on study must be provided at the UC Davis VMTH in order to have the costs covered by the study; costs incurred at other veterinary hospitals cannot be reimbursed.

While doxorubicin is a chemotherapy drug known to be beneficial in the treatment of dogs with lymphoma, we do not know if there will be a direct therapeutic benefit to your dogs for taking part in this trial and receiving this micelle-encapsulated formulation of doxorubicin.

Owner Responsibilities: 

  • Prior to entry into this study, your dog must have a confirmed diagnosis of lymphoma and staging tests to ensure his/her general health and to evaluate how advanced the disease is prior to treatment; you are responsible for the cost of these diagnostic and staging tests.
  • Once enrolled in the clinical trial, you are responsible for scheduling and keeping all appointments needed for study participation and reporting any side effects of the drug to your doctor in a timely manner.

Contact: The Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators via email (oncologyclinicaltrials@ucdavis.edu) or phone (530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759)

UPDATED! Lymphoma: Evaluating Drug Candidates

Title: COTC007b: Preclinical Comparison of Three Indenoisoquinolines Candidates in Tumor-Bearing Dogs

Purpose of Study: This clinical trial, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), assesses the safety and effectiveness of three newly developed chemotherapy agents (indenoisoquinolines) when given to dogs with lymphoma. Although this class of compounds has shown efficacy in a variety of cancers, interest in developing new topoisomerase I inhibitors, indenoisoquinolines, are currently being evaluated in human patients as agents with improved drug stability and measurable blood levels. This study will be the first time the indenoisoquinolines are being assessed in dogs with cancer.

The trial described below is divided into 2 phases of which your dog will be involved in one. It includes a dose finding phase for safety and a validation phase for biological assay development (tumor marker evaluation pre and post treatment). Anti-cancer activity against canine lymphoma will be assessed in both phases.

Participation Requirements: Dogs with confirmed diagnosis of lymphoma with at least two lymph nodes larger than 3 cm diameter are eligible to participate. Dogs may be newly diagnosed or have previously received treatment. A two-week washout period from previous chemotherapy or radiation therapy is required and dogs must not have received corticosteroids or L-asparaginase seven days prior to entry into the study. Dogs must be feeling well and otherwise good overall health with adequate organ function as determined by recent blood work to participate in this study.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: During the initial consultation, we will complete a physical examination, collect blood and urine samples and perform chest x-rays to confirm eligibility.

Procedures: The trial procedures include the following:

  • Dogs will receive daily intravenous administration of an indenoisoquinoline for 5 consecutive days. This requires placement of a central line catheter into the dog’s neck and serial blood collections to allow for measurements of drug levels within his/her blood. The 24-hour blood collections are linked to the 1st and 5th day of drug dosing.
  • The first week of therapy will require overnight boarding at the VMTH for up to 7 days (6 nights). Prior to enrollment, your attending clinician will determine the required number of nights your dog will need to board at the VMTH.
  • Biopsies of your dogs’ tumors (lymph nodes) will be required prior to treatment (Day -1) and then after treatment on the 1st (two time points) and 6th (one time point) days after treatment begins. Samples of bone marrow will also be collected at two time points, one as a baseline on Day -1 and the other on Day 6 after the 5-day treatment period. Each of these biopsy sessions will occur under anesthesia, either local (sedation with anesthetic) or general.
  • You will need to bring your dog in weekly for re-evaluation and subsequent blood draws (Day 8, 15, 22 and 29). Continuance on study beyond Day 29 will be based on clinical response to indenoisoquinoline therapy. All of these visits are required for inclusion in the study.

Benefits: Clients participating in this study will be given special financial considerations. Once enrolled in the study, all costs associated with this study will be covered. In the event any complications arise during the study period, their management will be covered by study funds up to $2000/per dog/per event. This would include any unanticipated hospitalizations. Once the study has been completed, a $1500 credit will be applied to your dog’s account at the VMTH that can be used for further treatment.

The benefit to your dog associated with this treatment is not known and toxicity is possible; however, possible benefits include future studies in dogs with cancer, as well as humans with cancer, will be in part based on information gained in this trial.

Owner Responsibilities: Owners are responsible for the cost associated with the diagnosis of the pet’s cancer as well as the cost of the initial consultation with the oncology service and blood work and urinalysis to determine eligibility. Owners are expected to make and keep all appointments, according to the clinical trial protocol.

Contact: The Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators via email (oncologyclinicaltrials@ucdavis.edu) or phone (530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759)

Lymphoma (B-cell): Improving Prognosis Prediction Methods

Title: Utility of proliferation indices as prognostic markers for diffuse large B cell lymphoma in dogs

Purpose of Study: As is true for human patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, recent data supports the notion that different subtypes of canine lymphoma carry different prognoses, which may warrant different therapies. However, some subtypes of canine lymphoma that look and are classified the same behave differently. Currently, there are few markers available to help predict the outcome in individual dogs diagnosed with common subtypes of lymphoma. The purpose of this study is to:

  • Find markers that will help to better predict prognosis in individual dogs with the most common subtype of lymphoma; and,
  • Determine if these markers can be assessed in fine needle aspirate cytology samples rather than needle-core histopathology samples (the gold standard).

Participation Requirements: Dogs with a confirmed diagnosis of B-cell lymphoma

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: If you agree to let your pet participate in this study, the following will happen:

To confirm the diagnosis of lymphoma, your dog will undergo lymph node fine needle aspiration and needle biopsy. If the lymph nodes are enlarged, one of the big lymph nodes in the hind leg (popliteal) or near the shoulder (prescapular) will be sampled. If possible, the same lymph node will be used for the needle biopsy. If not, one of the other lymph nodes in the hind leg (popliteal) or near the shoulder (prescapular) will be needle biopsied. As is standard of care for this procedure, a single suture may be placed or it may be left open (the decision will be at the discretion of the clinician).

Benefits: The costs associated with the biopsy will be covered by the study as well as any pain medications and antibiotics (if required). Suture removal will also be covered, but only if it is performed here at UCD.

We will provide you the results of your pet’s biopsy; however, there will be no direct therapeutic benefit to you or your dog for taking part in this trial. We are hoping that the knowledge gained will help us to better understand, manage and treat the most common subtype of this disease. Results from this study will ultimately help pet owners in the future be better informed about what to expect when their dog is diagnosed with lymphoma, and help veterinarians better recommend specific chemotherapy drugs for each particular dog.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for reporting any (unlikely) complications from the procedure and to have the suture, if placed, removed in 7-14 days.

Contact: The Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators via email (oncologyclinicaltrials@ucdavis.edu) or phone (530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759)

Lymphoma (T-cell): Finding a Treatment

Title: Lomustine and AT-005 for canine T cell lymphoma

Purpose of Study: We are currently enrolling cases in a nationwide clinical trial to evaluate a monoclonal antibody (AT-005) that is conditionally licensed by the USDA to aid in the treatment of dogs with lymphoma. The study is designed to assess the benefit of adding AT-005 to a single-agent CCNU chemotherapy protocol for dogs with intermediate to high-grade T-cell lymphoma.

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with lymphoma that are naïve to treatment

Initial Evaluation for Participation: A diagnosis of T-cell lymphoma is required.

Procedures:

  • Confirmation that your dog has T-cell, non-indolent lymphoma
  • Prednisone, lomustine (chemotherapy), an antibiotic and a liver protectant will be prescribed. You will administer these medications at home for 2 cycles three weeks apart.
  • Three weeks after the second cycle, we will assess your dog’s remission status.
    • If the lymphoma has not improved, your dog will be removed from the study. The study will pay for up to $1200 to be used for further treatment of your dogs lymphoma at UC Davis.
    • If the lymphoma improves to a study-designated threshold, your dog will be randomized to receive either a monoclonal antibody OR a placebo control. Infusions will be given 2 times per week for 4 weeks and then every other week for 4 treatments. After the end of infusions, the dog will return monthly for assessments of remission status until relapse OR until 12 months have passed.
    • Fine needle aspirates of one lymph node will be obtained periodically throughout the study.

Benefits:

  • The study will cover all study-related costs, including the initial lymph node biopsy and flow cytometry analysis, and when comfirmed eligible, chemotherapy, antibody or placebo administration, exams, bloodwork and all other required diagnostics. Additionally, the study will cover up to $1200 for medical management of any trial-related side effects that may occur.
  • Your dog will receive lomustine chemotherapy that is proven effective in a portion of dogs with lymphoma. There is a 50:50 chance that your dog will receive the antibody with the hope of improving the duration of benefit provided by lomustine.

Owner Responsibilities:

  • Financial – Initial consultation, bloodwork/urinalysis, and thoracic radiographs
  • Logistics – Bringing your dog in for all scheduled treatments and follow-ups

Contact: The Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators via email (oncologyclinicaltrials@ucdavis.edu) or phone (530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759)

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Malignant Melanoma (Oral): Tumor Collection

Title: Pfizer-CCOGC Biospecimen Repository study

Purpose of Study: UC Davis in collaboration with Pfizer-CCOGC Biospecimen Repository is collecting samples to populate a tissue bank for future research studies. The goal of the CCOGC and UC Davis will be to populate the Pfizer-CCOGC Biospecimen Repository with diseased tissues and specific normal tissues from dogs with cancer over the next three years. The study is guided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Participation Requirements:

  • Owner consent to allow collection of the clinical specimens and to comply with follow-up and treatment requirements
  • General clinical evaluation, including medical history, physical exam, complete blood count, biochemical profile, and urinalysis
  • Histological diagnosis
  • Complete staging evaluation, to include cytology or histology of submandibular lymph nodes, thoracic radiographs
  • Histology of primary site

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Dogs with a confirmed diagnosis of oral malignant melanoma

Procedures: After receiving consent from owners, a sample of the tumor is banked following the CCOGC criteria.

Benefits: There is no cost to the owner for participation in this study. The samples collected will be stored for future use of investigators with the ultimate goal of developing a treatment and prevention for the variety of cancers.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner only needs to consent to the sample being collected at the time of the visit.

Contact: Please talk to your oncologist at the time of your visit.

Mast Cell Tumors: Assessing a Potential Treatment

Title: Phase 3 study to compare the efficacy of Masitinib to placebo in the treatment of grade II or III non-resectable mast cell tumors in dogs

Purpose of Study: Surgical removal is generally recommended as the first step in treatment of mast cell tumors; however, sometimes surgery is not possible due to the size or location of the tumor or due to financial limitations. In that situation, treatment with steroids, chemotherapy or targeted therapies such as Masitinib may be beneficial in controlling the disease. Preliminary studies of Masitinib in dogs showed that it caused tumor shrinkage in 50% of dogs with mast cell tumors and increased 1- and 2-year survival rates in dogs with nonresectable mast cell tumors compared to placebo. Based on this data, Masitinib has conditional approval by the FDA for treatment of non-resectable grade 2 or 3 mast cell tumors in dogs. The objective of the study is to evaluate the anti-cancer effects of Masitinib in comparison to a placebo in dogs with grade 2 or 3 mast cell tumors that have not been previously removed or treated with chemotherapy or radiation. If this study confirms these results, the drug will become fully approved.

Participation Requirements

Initial Evaluation for Participation:  Please contact Teri Guerrero

Procedures: If your dog is enrolled, a small biopsy will be taken from the mast cell tumor to confirm grade and for additional testing. Your dog will then be randomly assigned to receive treatment with either Masitinib or a placebo with two-thirds of the dogs receiving Masitinib and one-third receiving placebo. You will not know whether you are giving the study drug or the placebo (even after you dog has completed the study). Your pet will come in every other week for examination, tumor measurement, blood work and imaging tests (x-rays and/or ultrasound) to check for cancer progression and/or side effects from the drug. No more than 1 tablespoon of blood will be drawn per visit. More invasive testing (fine needle aspiration) will only occur if your veterinarian is concerned about spread of the cancer or to monitor spread to a lymph node that has already occurred. Your dog cannot receive steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs during the study period, but can receive medications to treat nausea, diarrhea, infection, itchiness, and pain if needed.

Benefits: You are responsible for the initial consult visit fee at UCDavis.  If you and your dog meet the inclusion/exclusion criteria, staging will be covered by study (Blood work, Biopsy, Bone Marrow Aspirates, Radiographs, Ultrasound) regardless if your dog qualifies. 

Although not all tumors will respond to Masitinib, it is possible that the drug may help control your dog’s mast cell tumor. The information gathered from this study may help other dogs with mast cell tumors in the future by determining whether Masitinib is an effective treatment for non-resectable grade 2 or 3 mast cell tumors.

Owner Responsibilities: If you elect to participate in this study, you will be responsible for scheduling and keeping appointments every two weeks. If you have to miss an appointment, please try to reschedule as soon as possible by calling 530-752-1393 (press 3,3 to reach the Oncology Schedule Coordinator). You will also be responsible for giving your dog the study medication as directed every day and for reporting any side effects of the drug to your doctor in a timely manner.

Contact: The Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators via email (oncologyclinicaltrials@ucdavis.edu) or phone (530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759)

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Nasal cancer: Comparing Imaging Techniques and Assessing Vascular Therapies

Title: Nasal Tumors: Comparison of CT and MRI Findings in the Characterization of Canine Sinonasal Neoplasia and Assessment of Outcome with Vascular-Based Therapies (Embolization/Chemoembolization)

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to prospectively evaluate dogs diagnosed with nasal tumors, including documentation of signalment, histologic diagnosis, treatment, and the results of a CT scan as compared to an MRI scan. We will also assess response to vascular-based therapies, such as embolization and chemoembolization.

Participation Requirements: Dogs with diagnosed nasal tumors

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Procedures: If a CT scan is recommended to further characterize the dog’s suspected nasal tumor, an MRI scan will be performed immediately following the CT scan. The MRI scan will be performed under the same general anesthetic event as the CT scan. Additionally, options concerning vascular-based therapies (embolization and chemoembolization) will be discussed and offered.

Benefits: The MRI scan and the anesthesia associated with the MRI scan will be paid for by the study. The MRI scan will offer another imaging modality that your clinician can use to make therapeutic recommendations. 

Owner Responsibilities: The owner will be responsible for scheduling appointments (initial and 2-month follow-up) and keeping those appointments as required by protocol. Financial assistance for some treatments will also be discussed upon consent.

Contact: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Nasal cancer: Using a Combination of Therapies for Treatment

Title: Nasal tumors: Intra-arterial Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy to Treat Nasal Carcinoma

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to prospectively evaluate the response of nasal cancer to a combination of therapies (chemotherapy and radiation therapy) in dogs.

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with nasal tumors

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Procedures: Dogs that are scheduled to receive radiation therapy for the treatment of nasal cancer can be enrolled in the study. Dogs will be placed into a group receiving radiation therapy alone or with chemotherapy.  Response to these treatments will be assessed with CT scans (done before and after treatment).

Benefits: The CT scans, chemotherapy administration, and part of the radiation therapy will be paid for by the study.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner will be responsible for providing follow-up information to the treating clinicians and returning the dog 4 weeks after initiation of radiation therapy for a second CT evaluation (the first is performed prior to treatment).

Contact: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Primary Pulmonary Tumor: Tumor Collection

Title: Pfizer-CCOGC Biospecimen Repository study

Purpose of Study: UC Davis in collaboration with Pfizer-CCOGC Biospecimen Repository is collecting samples to populate a tissue bank for future research studies. The goal of the CCOGC and UC Davis will be to populate the Pfizer-CCOGC Biospecimen Repository with diseased tissues and specific normal tissues from dogs with cancer over the next three years. The study is guided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Participation Requirements:

  • Owner consent to allow collection of the clinical specimens and to comply with follow-up and treatment requirements
  • General clinical evaluation, including the medical history, physical exam, complete blood count, biochemical profile, and urinalysis
  • Clinical presentation consistent with pulmonary tumor (Histological diagnosis confirmed post collection).
  • Surgical excision or collection immediately following euthanasia

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Dogs with a confirmed diagnosis of oral malignant melanoma

Procedures: After receiving consent from owners, a sample of the tumor is banked following the CCOGC criteria.

Benefits: There is no cost to the owner for participation in this study. The samples collected will be stored for future use of investigators with the ultimate goal of developing a treatment and prevention for the variety of cancers.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner only needs to consent to the sample being collected at the time of the visit.

Contact: Please talk to your oncologist at the time of your visit.

Prostate cancer: Evaluating Embolization as a Treatment Option

Title: Evaluation of the Use of Embolization in the Treatment of Prostatic Neoplasia

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this project is to describe the procedure of prostatic artery embolization in a group of dogs with naturally-occurring prostate cancer. A secondary objective is to evaluate the effect that prostatic artery embolization has on clinical signs and the size of the tumor.

Participation Requirements: Dogs with prostate cancer

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Procedures: Dogs will undergo prostatic artery embolization. Pre-procedural ultrasound imaging and computed tomographic findings will be compared to post-procedural ultrasound imaging and computed tomographic findings. Complications associated with the procedure will be recorded and owners will receive a questionnaire to assess the clinical signs of the dog both pre- and post-procedure.

Benefits: The benefits of enrolling in this study include financial support for both pre- and post-procedure diagnostics. Additionally, funding from this grant will be applied towards the procedure. We hope that the data acquired in this study will allow us to advance the treatment of cancer in both dogs and people.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner will be responsible for scheduling appointments (initial and 1 month follow-up) and keeping those appointments as required by protocol.

Contact: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Prostate, Urethra and/or Bladder Tumors: Evaluating Urodynamic Testing

Title: Prospective Evaluation of Urodynamic Testing in Dogs Undergoing Urethral Stent Placement to Relieve Malignant Urethral Obstruction

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this project is to determine the urethral and bladder pressures of dogs with cancer-induced urethral obstructions and in dogs with urethral stents.

Participation Requirements: Dogs with tumors causing obstruction of the urethra (bladder, urethra and prostate)

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Procedures: Urodynamic studies will be performed at the time of stent placement. Following the urodynamic studies, a urethral stent will be placed. At 3 weeks post-stent placement, canine continence scores will be obtained from clients regarding the dog’s voiding habits and urodynamic studies will be performed again.

Benefits: The goal of placing the stent is to improve the dog’s quality of life. All anesthetic episodes (2) will be paid for by the study. Additionally, all charges associated with the bladder and urethral pressure assessment will be paid for by the study. There are 2 major study benefits:

  1. We will be able to inform clients of the pressures in their dog’s bladder and urethra and discuss the possible implications of this; and,
  2. Financial compensation.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner will be responsible for scheduling appointments (initial and 3 weeks after stent placement) and keeping those appointments as required by protocol. Additionally, the owner will need to fill out forms related to their dog’s continence status.

Contact: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Urethra/Bladder Tumors: Determining Tumor Size with Imaging

Title: Bladder/Urethra Tumors: Assessment and Comparison of Lower Urinary Tract Neoplasia Size and Location with Multiple Imaging Modalities

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to prospectively evaluate dogs with bladder and urethral tumors and assess the best means for determining tumor size. The overarching goal is to improve our ability to treat these tumors with urethral stenting.

Participation Requirements: Dogs with bladder or urethral tumors

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Procedures: Dogs that are undergoing urethral stenting will undergo trans-rectal ultrasound (in addition to abdominal ultrasound) and MRI evaluation of the bladder/urethral tumor in order to determine tumor size and location.

Benefits: The MRI scan, the trans-rectal ultrasound and the anesthesia associated with these diagnostics will be paid for by the study. The MRI scan and trans-rectal ultrasound will offer additional imaging modalities that your clinician can use to make therapeutic recommendations.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner will be responsible for providing follow-up information to the treating clinicians.

Contact: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

NEW! Variety of Tumors: Assessing Minimally Invasive Tumor Ablation

Title: Thermal ablation of cancer in dogs and cats

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the outcome of treating veterinary patients with minimally invasive tumor ablation technologies including cryoablation and microwave ablation. These methods are growing in the treatment of a variety of cancers in the human medical field, but information in veterinary patients is currently very limited. To date we have completed a study on cryoablation in nasal tumor patients, and this technique has been very successful in reducing tumor volume in nasal tumor patients – although there are no more spots in the formal nasal tumor study, because of this success, we continue to offer this technique as a clinical service to nasal cancer patients, and are expanding the types of cancer that we are evaluating.

Participation Requirements: In order to participate in this study, your pet must have a malignant soft tissue or bony mass. Tumor types that are likely to be amenable to this treatment include: lung tumors, liver tumors, kidney tumors, adrenal tumors, bone tumors, metastatic lymph nodes. Tumors that are superficial (involving or near to the skin) or that involve the gastrointestinal tract are not amenable to this treatment.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Evaluation by the V.M.T.H. Small Animal Surgery, Internal Medicine, or Oncology services.

Procedures: If you agree to participate, under general anesthesia, ablation probes will be placed into your pet’s mass under ultrasound guidance and the tumor will be ablated.

Benefits: In return for participation in this study, your dog will receive free follow-up imaging at 1 month post-treatment (type of imaging dependent on location and type of tumor).

Owner Responsibilities: The study will cover the cost of the ablation probes and generator. Costs of pre-operative workup, general anesthesia, recommended imaging, hospitalization, and general management of the disease process or any complications that occur during treatment are your responsibility.

Contact: Call 530-752-1393 and ask to speak to the Soft Tissue Surgery scheduling coordinators (Gigi, Conni, or Caleb) to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michele Steffey

NEW! Variety of Tumors: Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping

Title: Identification of sentinel lymph nodes with intraoperative fluorescence

Purpose of Study: Near-infrared fluorescent imaging utilizes special wavelengths of light to identify important structures, and is used in surgery to improve surgical decision making. The fluorescent light is generated by a special contrast agent (a “fluorophore”) that is injected into the patient. When a special light source is used to illuminate the surgical site, any tissue in which this fluorophore is located will glow, aiding the surgeon in identifying the location or extent of disease. Based on early experiments in rodents and human clinical trials, this very sensitive tool has the potential to improve surgical decision-making and improve overall treatment for a wide variety of diseases. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of this imaging modality in veterinary patients presenting with natural disease processes.

Participation Requirements: Dogs scheduled for surgery to treat their primary tumor, and for whom clients are interested in improving their pet’s staging information by lymph node biopsy. Dogs most likely to benefit from this technique include those with primary lung tumors, mast cell tumors, oral cancers, and carcinomas in general, as these are types of tumors that tend to exhibit spread by the lymphatic system. Tumors may be external (skin associated) or internal. Dogs with severe kidney or liver disease are not eligible to participate.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Evaluation by Dr. Michele Steffey on the Soft Tissue Surgery Service.

Procedures: The best fluorophore for your pet’s tumor will be administered either subcutaneously or intravenously, at a dose and timing considered to be optimal by your attending veterinarian.

Benefits: Preliminary, not yet published results have demonstrated that the fluorescent imaging is very helpful in locating the important lymph nodes at surgery, which often reduces the amount of dissection needed, and may reduce the amount of time under anesthesia. The purpose of this study is to aid in identifying lymph nodes for improved staging (lymph node biopsy) at the time your pet’s primary tumor is removed. It is hoped, but is not known, if there will be a specific benefit to your individual pet. Depending upon your pet’s specific tumor type and the biopsy results, use of this technique and lymph node biopsy may or may not impact the postoperative treatment recommendations provided to your dog.

Owner Responsibilities: The cost of the fluorophore and special imaging is covered by the study. There are no risks associated with the imaging itself, as it only involves light; there is no radiation exposure to the patient. The fluorophores used in this study are FDA-approved for use in humans and have been used without complication in our hospital for the past 18 months. The primary risk of this procedure is associated with injection of these drugs is an allergic reaction, which is very rare, but unpredictable in an individual patient (like any other drug reaction, including antibiotics). If an allergic reaction should occur, immediate costs of treatment (immediate supportive medications, support of blood pressure) will be covered by the study; however, the owner will be responsible for any treatment costs for prolonged or severe complications.

Contact: Call 530-752-1393 and ask to speak to the Soft Tissue Surgery scheduling coordinators (Gigi, Conni, or Caleb) to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michele Steffey.

NEW! Variety of Tumors and Diseases: Improving operative detection of tumors

Title: Fluorescent imaging of cancer

Purpose of Study: Near-infrared fluorescent imaging utilizes special wavelengths of light to identify important structures, and is used in surgery to improve surgical decision making. The fluorescent light is generated by a special contrast agent (a “fluorophore”) that is injected into the patient. When a special light source is used to illuminate the surgical site, any tissue in which this fluorophore is located will glow, aiding the surgeon in identifying the location or extent of disease. Based on early experiments in rodents and human clinical trials, this very sensitive tool has the potential to improve surgical decision-making and improve overall treatment for a wide variety of diseases. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of this imaging modality in veterinary patients presenting with naturally occurring neuroendocrine tumors disease processes.

Participation Requirements: Dogs with the following conditions are most likely to benefit from this study: hyperparathyroidism, thyroid cancer, pancreatic cancer, adrenal cancer, thymoma, mammary (breast) cancer, lung cancer, anal sac gland cancer, oral cancer, mast cell tumor. Dogs with severe kidney or liver disease are not eligible to participate.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Evaluation by the V.M.T.H. Small Animal Surgery, Internal Medicine, or Oncology services.

Procedures: If you agree to participate, the best fluorophore for your pet’s tumor will be administered or intravenously, at a dose and timing considered to be optimal by your attending veterinarian.

Benefits: It is hoped, but is not known if there will be a specific benefit to your individual pet. Fluorescent imaging may or may not improve operative localization and dissection of your pet’s tumor.

Owner Responsibilities: Costs of standard pre-operative workup, general anesthesia, recommended imaging, hospitalization, and general management of your pet’s disease process or any complications that occur during treatment are your responsibility. The cost of the fluorophore and special imaging is covered by the study. There are no risks associated with the imaging itself, as it only involves light; there is no radiation exposure to the patient. The fluorophores used in this study are FDA-approved for use in humans and have been used without complication in our hospital for the past 18 months. The primary risk of this procedure is associated with injection of these drugs is an allergic reaction, which is very rare, but unpredictable in an individual patient (like any other drug reaction, including antibiotics). If an allergic reaction should occur, immediate costs of treatment (immediate supportive medications, support of blood pressure) will be covered by the study; however, the owner will be responsible for any treatment costs for prolonged or severe complications.

Contact: Call 530-752-1393 and ask to speak to the Soft Tissue Surgery scheduling coordinators (Gigi, Conni, or Caleb) to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michele Steffey.