Cats

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Feline Infectious Peritonitis

The clinical trial for Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is no longer ongoing. Please see Dr. Pedersen's letter to owners and referring veterinarians for additional information about next steps. 

Below, please find links to all of the clinical trials currently accepting feline patients. The studies are organized by discipline and include a multitude of information, including (but not limited to) the study’s purpose, benefits for participating, and financial incentive information.

Please contact the individual outlined at the end of each trial summary if you have any questions about the trial. 

Cardiology

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: Assessing a Treatment

Title: Short-term effects of pimobendan in cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Purpose of Study: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common heart disease in cats and we do not have a good understanding of how to best treat this devastating disease. One drug, pimobendan, has been shown to have significant clinical benefits in cats with HCM, but more studies are needed to evaluate exactly how this drug affects heart function. The purpose of this clinical trial is to evaluate the effects of pimobendan on heart function in cats affected with HCM, which will help us make with better treatment recommendations for cats with this disease.

Contact: sterngenetics@ucdavis.edu for questions related to enrollment and scheduling

Participation Requirements:

  • Cats with suspected or diagnosed HCM, including cats with heart murmurs, a diagnosis of congestive heart failure, or elevated NT-ProBNP on bloodwork (>100pmol/L)
  • Ineligible cats are those that:
    • Are on certain types of medications that affect heart function (If your cat is receiving medications for his/her heart, please contact us because he/she may still be eligible).
    • Have an identifiable systemic disease or high blood pressure
    • Have abnormally fast or slow heart rhythms
    • Have blood clots within their hearts
    • Cannot tolerate handling without sedation for echocardiographic assessment, which involves your cat laying on his/her side for approximately 20 minutes

Initial Evaluation for Participation: A complete cardiology work-up will be performed, including a cardiovascular exam, cardiac ultrasound, blood pressure measurement, thyroid hormone analysis (if >6 years old), and blood sample analysis for kidney values and electrolyte assessment. A sample of blood will also be saved for cardiac biomarker measurement and future genetic analysis.

Procedures: If your cat is deemed eligible by our initial evaluation and if you agree to let your cat participate in this study, the following will happen:

  • Visit 1
    • A cardiovascular examination, blood pressure assessment, and echocardiogram before and one to two hours following administration of a single, standard oral dose of pimobendan
    • Completion of a brief questionnaire
    • Random assignment to a group to receive either placebo or pimobendan by mouth twice daily (every 12-hours) for 1 week at home
  • Visit 2 (1 week after group assignment)
    • A repeat cardiovascular exam, blood pressure assessment, blood collection, and echocardiogram
    • Completion of a brief questionnaire

Benefits: The study will cover a significant portion of the costs (. Your cat will receive a full cardiology evaluation that your family veterinarian can use to assess your cat’s cardiac health (including cardiac ultrasound, blood work, and blood pressure analysis).

Results of the study will help us better understand how pimobendan works in cats and will help us learn how to use it best to help our cat patients with heart disease. This study could greatly affect how we treat heart disease in cats, and could greatly help cats with heart disease.

Owner Responsibilities:

  • Covering the cost of a discounted cardiovascular evaluation and cardiac ultrasound
  • Administering either pimobendan/placebo to your cat twice daily for 7 days, until re-evaluation
  • Monitoring your cat closely for health changes at home
  • Bringing your cat back to the UC Davis Cardiology Service in approximately 1 week for re-evaluation
  • Completion of a questionnaire about your cat’s health at the first and last visit

If the cardiologist recommends that your cat have additional tests or treatments that are not part of the study, you would be responsible for the additional fees as discussed and authorized during the visit.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Dentistry and Oral Surgery

Chronic Gingivostomatitis: Assessing Stem Cell Therapy

Title: Fat-derived stem cells for treatment of feline gingivostomatitis

Purpose of Study: Feline chronic gingivostomatitis (FCGS) is a poorly defined disease characterized by inflammatory lesion, mostly ulcerative or proliferative in nature, affecting the gums and the back of the mouth. None of the treatments that are currently available are ideal, predictable and without possible complications. In our previous studies in over 20 cats, systemic (intravenous) administration autologous feline stem cells were shown to not only be safe, but, in most cases (about 70%), substantially improved or completely resolved the stomatitis. Therefore, the purpose of this study is use stem cells to treat cats diagnosed with chronic gingivostomatitis that have not had a full mouth extraction.

Contact: Dr. Boaz Arzi, DVM, DAVDC via phone (530-752-2470), fax (530-752-9620), or email (dosclinicaltrials@ucdavis.edu

Participation Requirements: 

  • Have had full mount dental extractions and failed to improve with all current treatments
  • Have not yet had full mouth dental extractions

Initial Evaluation for Participation: The cats will be evaluated by the Dentistry and Oral Surgery Service to assess eligibility to be enrolled in the study.

Procedures and Owner Responsibilities: Please contact Dr. Boaz Arzi, DVM, DAVDC via phone (530-752-2470), fax (530-752-9620), or email (dosclinicaltrials@ucdavis.edu) for details.

BenefitsThis study may lead to the resolution of clinical signs that can change the quality of life of your cat. If this study will prove to be beneficial, it will have important clinical applications for other cats with the same condition and possibly even human medicine for similar indications.

Printable Flyers - With full mouth extractions (PDF; #1#2)
Printable Flyer - Without full mouth extraction (PDF)

Read about Bob, a 14-year-old cat, who was helped by participating in this trial!

Internal Medicine

Diabetic Remission: Assessing a New Therapy for Maintaining Remission

Title: Exenatide Extended-Release for extending remission time in diabetic cats

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the benefit of Exenatide-ER for maintaining diabetic cats in remission (in an insulin-independent state).

Contact: Dr. Chen Gilor at cgilor@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-1393 to make an appointment

Participation Requirements: 

  1. Inclusion Criteria: Cats that are in good body condition (i.e., not underweight) and diagnosed as diabetic with a recent onset of remission according to the following criteria:
    • Previous diagnosis of diabetes mellitus based on clinical signs and a high serum fructosamine
    • Treated with insulin (any type) for at least 2 weeks
    • Has not required insulin treatment for at least 4 but no more than to 12 weeks
    • Has no current evidence of diabetes relapse (normal serum fructosamine and no clinical signs such as increased drinking, urination or appetite)
    • Your cat must be routinely fed a diabetic diet (a high protein, low carbohydrate diet such as Hill’s m/d, Purina DM etc.).
  2. Exclusion Criteria: Cats -
    • Recently given (within the last 2 months) oral hypoglycemic agents
    • With significant concurrent disease (any disease that may require exogenous steroid administration, reduce life-expectancy to <12 months or require intensive management, e.g. gastrointestinal, pulmonary, cardiac, hepatic, neoplastic, or renal disorders [CKD IRIS Stage 3 or higher])
    • With overt evidence of peripheral neuropathy (plantigrade stance, inability to jump), acromegaly and/or untreated hyperthyroidism. Cats will not be excluded if have controlled hyperthyroidism or are receiving methimazole and/or ACE-inhibitors.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Blood tests (complete blood count, biochemistry panel, serum fructosamine concentrations T4, spec fPLI and IGF-1) and urinalysis

Procedures: If the exams, tests, and procedures show that your pet can take part in the study, and you choose to enroll them, then the following will happen as part of the study:

  • Randomly placed into one of the two treatment group: Exenatide-ER (Bydureon®) or placebo. After receiving the first injection (of exenatide-ER or placebo) we will schedule your next recheck for the next month (in 27-32 days).
  • At each monthly recheck, a blood sample will be drawn to measure blood glucose levels and if needed, serum fructosamine.

Benefits: The study will pay for one third of the cost of the first office visit as well the full cost of screening tests (including urinalysis and blood tests – CBC, Chemistry, Total T4, spec fPLI and IGF-1) as well as all drug expenses and all follow-up visit expenses. After every recheck exam that you bring your cat in, the study will give you a $35 gift card (for a maximum total of $805).

Participation in this trial may help to increase duration of remission (i.e. increasing the time until diabetes relapses and your cat becomes dependent again on insulin injections), increase numbers and improved function of cells that secrete insulin in the pancreas, and help with weight loss (if your cat is over weight).

Owner Responsibilities: If you wish to have your cat participate in this study, you will be responsible for bringing your cat in to be rechecked once a month until your cat is no longer in remission for up to 24 months.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Feline Upper Respiratory Tract Disease: Understanding the Disease

Title: Efficacy of famciclovir for control of clinical manifestations of feline upper respiratory tract disease

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the utility of a new technique called quantitative PCR (qPCR), which measures the number of viruses and bacteria in the nose, to identify a role for these organisms in cats diagnosed with feline upper respiratory tract disease. We also aim to evaluate the efficacy of famiclovir in combination with standard therapy with an antibiotic for treatment of upper respiratory tract disease.

Contact: Dr. Lucy Kopecny for details at lkopecny@ucdavis.edu or call (530) 752-1393 to make an appointment

Participation Requirements: Kittens with acute upper respiratory tract disease displaying signs of sneezing, ocular or nasal discharge for less than 3 weeks that have not received prior treatment

Initial Evaluation for Participation: The investigators will determine eligibility for inclusion in the trial following consultation.

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

  • Prior to treatment – Completion of a survey about your cat’s clinical signs, sample collection from the eyes and mouth using a Q-tip
  • Treatment – Oral administration of an antibiotic (doxycycline) alone or in combination with an antiviral drug (famciclovir) for 3 weeks. During this time, you will be asked to score the severity of your cat’s clinical signs daily
  • 3 weeks post treatment – Completion of a survey about your cat’s clinical signs, sample collection from the eyes and mouth using a Q-tip

Benefits: The study will cover costs associated with the quantitative PCR, medications, and visit costs to obtain samples.

Results from this study may help to identify the most appropriate diagnostic tests to use in this disease process and optimal treatment of affected cats.

Owner Responsibilities: You will be responsible for bringing your cat to all scheduled appointments, completing the surveys and administering medication twice daily during the 3 weeks of treatment.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Fungal Disease: Examining a Treatment

Title: Voriconazole efficacy in cats with fungal disease

Purpose of Study: Voriconazole is a broad spectrum anti-fungal that is the treatment of choice for systemic aspergillosis in people and also used for variety of other fungal diseases. Drug treatment options in cats are limited because of little information of effect of anti-fungal medications on cats. The purpose of this study is to examine the efficacy of voriconazole against serious systemic fungal diseases like aspergillosis, cryptococcosis, sporotrichosis, histopalsmosis and others.

Contact: Dr. Jane Sykes at jesykes@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393

Participation Requirements: Cats with fungal disease that did not respond to existing anti-fungal options (e.g., fluconazole, itraconazole, amphotericin B) or did not tolerate the adverse effects of the above-mentioned medications

Initial Evaluation for Participation: An appointment with the VMTH Internal Medicine service

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

  • Your cat will be treated with voriconazole by mouth on day 1, and then again every third day.
  • On days 14, 30, 60 and 90 of treatment and then every 60-90 days until exit from study, we will do a physical examination and collect blood to measure voriconazole levels and test liver function.
    • NOTE: If your cat will require dose adjustments, he may need to be seen more frequently for blood sampling and rechecks.
  • We ask that you complete a monthly questionnaire and keep a journal to document any adverse effects that occur during the period of the trial.
  • In the unfortunate event of death, we will request that you will allow us to perform a necropsy of your cat (free of charge).

Benefits: We cannot promise any benefits to your cat or other animals from your taking part in this clinical trial; however, possible benefits include better disease outcome for your cat since voriconazole is a very efficacious and broad spectrum anti-fungal medication. Results from this study could lead to cats worldwide being treated with this medication.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your cat to participate in this study, you will be responsible for filling out a questionnaire once a month, recording all adverse effects in a journal, and keep all scheduled appointments. You will be responsible for covering all aspects of the care for your pet.

Ureteral obstructions: Evaluating Post-Surgery Outcomes

Title: Evaluation of Post-operative Outcome in Cats Undergoing Ureteral Stent Placement to Relieve Ureteral Obstruction

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this project is to record the intra-operative and postoperative complications associated with the procedure and determine the outcome of the procedure based on objective measures.

Contact: Dr. Bill Culp at wculp@ucdavis.edu or make an appointment by calling (530) 752-1393

Participation Requirements: Cats with benign ureteral obstruction

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

Procedures: Cats with a diagnosis of benign ureteral obstruction will be enrolled in the study. Bloodwork values that can be utilized to determine the function of the kidney (should improve with the passage of urine) as well as variables such as the size of the kidney collecting system and ureter (should decrease with passage of urine) in cats both pre- and postoperatively will be evaluated. Lastly, the change in the urine output of cats with ureteral stents will be assessed to determine if the stents improve output.

Benefits: The benefits of enrolling a patient in this study are financial. Some of the pre- and post-stent placement bloodwork and pre- and post-stent placement ultrasound evaluations will be paid for by the study.

If this therapy proves to be beneficial, it will have important clinical applications for other cats with the same condition.

Owner Responsibilities: You are responsible for returning with their cat 2 weeks and 3 months after stent placement.

Read about Googgie, a 17-week-old Sphynx, that was helped by participating in this trial!

Oncology

Lymphoma: Understanding How the Body Processes a Chemotherapy Drug

Title: Pharmacokinetics of Oral Chlorambucil in Cancer-Bearing Cats

Purpose of Study: Small cell GI lymphoma is commonly diagnosed in older cats and recommended treatment of this cancer is an oral chemotherapy drug called chlorambucil in combination with prednisolone or prednisone. Despite the wide use of chlorambucil in cats, the pharmacokinetic parameters (i.e. how the body absorbs, metabolizes and eliminates the drug) have not been previously studied in cats. Knowledge of the pharmacokinetic parameters of chlorambucil in this population of older, cancer-bearing cats is critical to understand why some cats experience side effects with chlorambucil therapy and determine if variability in the metabolism of chlorambucil contributes to treatment failure.

Contact: The Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators by completing this form or giving them a call at 530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759

Participation Requirements: Cats diagnosed with small cell (low-grade) gastrointestinal (GI) lymphoma, or another form of small cell lymphoma, and you have elected pursue treatment for this disease with chlorambucil +/- an oral steroid medication

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Prior to entry into the study, your cat must have a confirmed diagnosis of small cell lymphoma.

Procedures:

  • Collection of blood and urine samples followed by assignment into one of four groups to determine the blood sampling schedule for Day 0
  • Fasting the day before Day 0
  • Day 0: Blood collection throughout the day, and chlorambucil administration (may require a night of hospitalization depending on which group your cat is in)
  • Administration of chlorambucil by the owner every other day for 2 weeks
  • Day 14: Recheck examination, and blood sample collection

Benefits: All costs associated with the study, including the blood work and urinalysis required for eligibility and the first 2 weeks of chlorambucil chemotherapy will be paid by the clinical trial. If your cat experiences side effects from the chlorambucil or study procedures while enrolled in this clinical trial, the study will cover up to $500 to treat/manage these side effects as long as the treatment occurs at UC Davis.

While not all small cell lymphomas respond to treatment with chlorambucil and steroids, the majority of them do and your cat’s cancer may go into remission with long term administration of these medications. Your cat is unlikely to experience a remission of its cancer during the 2 week clinical trials period, however, it may experience an improvement in any of the clinical signs (symptoms) that lead to the diagnosis of small cell lymphoma.

Owner Responsibilities: We expect that participation in this clinical trial will last for two weeks. You must be able to be here by 8 am on the first day of the clinical trial. Once enrolled in the clinical trial, you are responsible for scheduling and keeping all appointments needed for study participation, administering an oral chemotherapy pill to your cat every other day and reporting any possible side effects of the drug to your doctor in a timely manner. You will also be responsible for covering Chlorambucil prescriptions if needed after the 14-day study period.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

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.

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

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

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Cats with a confirmed diagnosis of oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

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: You only need to consent to the sample being collected at the time of your cat's visit.

Soft Tissue Surgery

Ureteral obstructions: Evaluating Post-Surgery Outcomes

Title: Evaluation of Post-operative Outcome in Cats Undergoing Ureteral Stent Placement to Relieve Ureteral Obstruction

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this project is to record the intra-operative and postoperative complications associated with the procedure and determine the outcome of the procedure based on objective measures.

Contact: Dr. Bill Culp at wculp@ucdavis.edu or make an appointment by calling (530) 752-1393

Participation Requirements: Cats with benign ureteral obstruction

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

Procedures: Cats with a diagnosis of benign ureteral obstruction will be enrolled in the study. Bloodwork values that can be utilized to determine the function of the kidney (should improve with the passage of urine) as well as variables such as the size of the kidney collecting system and ureter (should decrease with passage of urine) in cats both pre- and postoperatively will be evaluated. Lastly, the change in the urine output of cats with ureteral stents will be assessed to determine if the stents improve output.

Benefits: The benefits of enrolling a patient in this study are financial. Some of the pre- and post-stent placement bloodwork and pre- and post-stent placement ultrasound evaluations will be paid for by the study.

If this therapy proves to be beneficial, it will have important clinical applications for other cats with the same condition.

Owner Responsibilities: You are responsible for returning with their cat 2 weeks and 3 months after stent placement.

Read about Googgie, a 17-week-old Sphynx, that was helped by participating in this trial!

On Hold Until Further Notice

Variety of Tumors: Assessing Minimally Invasive Tumor Ablation

Title: Thermal ablation of cancer

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.

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.

If you cannot find what you are looking for, please email us or call (530) 752-5366.