For additional information regarding any of these oncology studies, please call the Oncology Service at (608) 263-7600 or contact us through email at: email@example.com
1) STUDIES FOR SPECIFIC CANCER TYPES
Dogs with Bladder Cancer
Boxers with Lymphoma
B-Cell Lymphoma in Dogs: Evaluating the effect of regulatory T cell and killer T cell numbers in blood and tumor tissues of dogs with B cell lymphoma on progression-free survival
Lymphoma accounts for nearly 25% of all canine neoplasms, and 60-80% of these are of B-cell origin. With standard chemotherapy, median survival times for canine B-cell lymphoma (BCL) range from 12 to 18 months. However, critical decisions about patient care currently rely on prognostic indicators that are often unreliable or poorly predict the biological behavior of BCL. Significant improvements in patient care will require identification of new biomarkers that are predictive of clinical behavior. Recent studies in dogs and humans demonstrate a link between anti-tumor immune responses and the biological behavior of tumor.
Regulatory T lymphocytes (Tregs) are immune cells normally tasked with preventing harmful autoimmune responses. However, in some tumors increased frequency of Tregs can impair protective anti-tumor immune responses. The relationship between Treg infiltration and progression-free survival is not clearly defined in dogs with BCL. We hypothesize that Treg frequency and ratio to CD8+ T cells in BCL will be correlated with clinical behavior. We also postulate that Treg frequency and Treg:CD8+ ratios will act as prognostic indicators of survival and may help identify novel targets for anti-cancer therapy.
Eligibility: Criteria for inclusion in this study include newly diagnosed multicentric BCL (World Health Organization [WHO] stage I-IV) and willingness to start standard-of-care CHOP chemotherapy. Owners must be willing to return to UW Veterinary Care one week after initiation of chemotherapy, as well as at the time of relapse. Patients with WHO stage V BCL (leukemic patients), or evidence of concurrent disease other than BCL or who have undergone previous chemotherapy or steroid treatment will not be eligible. Dogs enrolled in the study will undergo a blood draw and lymph node aspiration at enrollment, following 1 week of chemotherapy, and at the time of clinical relapse. Once a dog is accepted as eligible, the study will pay for immunocytochemical analysis of lymph node aspirates to confirm the tumor’s immunophenotype.
Melanoma Without Metastasis: Evaluation of a Novel Immunotherapy in Combination with Radiation Therapy in Dogs
In a study funded by the Veterans Administration we will evaluate the effect of a novel immunotherapy agent administered into the tumor in combination with radiation therapy.
Dogs with melanoma that have a tumor accessible for intratumor injection may be eligible for this study. There will be 2 treatment groups: one group will receive one dose of radiation and one group will receive 3 doses of radiation, both groups will then receive daily injections for 3 days of the immunotherapy agent into the the tumor. Following treatment, dogs will return to UWVC for evaluation on days 10, 17, 24, 30, and 60.
Once a dog is deemed eligible for the study, all costs related to the study will be covered including the radiation therapy and immunotherapy.
Melanoma With Metastasis: Evaluation of a Targeted Radiation Treatment Combined with an Immunotherapy Treatment for Dogs with Metastatic Melanoma
In collaboration with the UW Carbone Cancer Center, we are developing a new approach to the treatment of melanoma that has spread beyond the primary tumor (metastatic cancer) utilizing immune responses to recognize and destroy cancer (immunotherapy) in combination with low-dose radiation therapy, which may improve the anti-tumor potency of the immunotherapy.
Dogs will first receive a radioactive imaging agent prior to the performance of 3 daily PET scans. The findings of the PET scans will determine the dose of the radioactive anti-tumor agent which will be delivered intravenously one week later. Two weeks after the radioactive anti-tumor agent is delivered, the dog will receive one conventional radiation therapy treatment, immediately followed by treatment with the intravenous radioactive anti-tumor agent. One week later, an immunotherapy agent will be administered directly into the dog’s tumor, once daily for 3 days. Because the imaging agent and the intravenous radiation agent are radioactive, dogs must remain in the hospital until it is determined that the appropriate level of radioactivity has been reached to allow the dog to return home: this will be approximately 4 – 6 days following administration of the imaging agent or the intravenous radiation treatment.
All costs associated with initial screening to determine eligibility and costs associated with treatment, scans, hospitalizations, and study follow-up are paid for by the study. In addition, a $500 credit will be applied to your UW Veterinary Care account which can be used following your dog’s completion of this protocol.
Dogs With Nasal Tumors: Evaluate the Effect of Radiotherapy on Oral Health in Dogs
Radiation therapy is the standard of care treatment for nasal cavity cancer in dogs. It is well known that in humans pre-existing dental disease worsens radiation-induced complications in the mouth. Because of these complications, pre-irradiation dental care is crucial for human patients. The relationship between radiotherapy and oral health has not yet been investigated in dogs. This study is being conducted to document oral health after radiotherapy, including periodontal change, severity of inflammation of the lining of the mouth (mucositis), and measures of quality of life in dogs with nasal tumors.
Dogs with sinonasal tumors who are undergoing a curative-intent radiation protocol at UW Veterinary Care may qualify for this study.
Dogs will undergo standard radiation treatment. Radiation exposure will be variable, and each dog’s radiation treatment will be planned using the tomotherapy computerized treatment planning system, so the radiation dose delivered to each tooth will be documented. Periodontal disease will be evaluated at three time points, day 1 of radiation treatment, 3 months after radiation treatment, and 6 months after radiation treatment. Mucositis will be evaluated on day 1 of radiation treatment, the last day of radiation treatment, at weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4 after radiation treatment, and then again at 3 months and 6 months after radiation treatment. At the 3-month and 6-month recheck visits, patients will be placed under general anesthesia for oral examination and radiographs.
Dogs With Osteosarcoma: Evaluate the Safety and Anti-tumor/Anti-Pain Effects of Combination GEM/IB and Docetaxel Treatment
While surgery, radiation therapy and conventional chemotherapy can be useful for the management of osteosarcoma in dogs, improvement is often short-lived and not all dogs may be candidates for treatments like surgery or radiation therapy. New forms of treatment are needed for both dogs and people with osteosarcoma for this reason. The new drug GEM-IB combines a bone-targeting drug (ibandronate) with a potent cancer drug (gemcitabine) to increase the concentration of cancer drug exactly at the site of the tumor. This drug has shown good activity against osteosarcoma in mice, and laboratory studies suggest that combining this drug with the conventional chemotherapy drug docetaxel (DTX) significantly improves effectiveness.
The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the safety and anti-tumor/anti-pain effects of this combined treatment given to dogs with osteosarcoma that have not yet been treated with surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
Eligible dogs will receive both drugs intravenously once every 21 days. Dogs will be rechecked 1, 3-4, 7, 14 and 21 days after the first treatment, then every three weeks thereafter. Visits on day 0, 7 and 21 will likely take all day, while the other visits will likely require approximately 1 hour. Dogs will be eligible to continue receiving treatment at no cost as long as the drug is tolerated and the dog is experiencing clinical benefit (pain control and lack of tumor worsening). Analysis for tumor change will be performed through the use of imaging (X-rays, PET-CT), and limb use will be measured through gait analysis. Standard bloodwork will be performed at each visit. Additional tests to be performed include blood/urine collection over the course of the study to determine how the investigational drug is affecting changes in bone turnover.
Costs covered by the clinical trial for eligible enrolled dogs include: all costs associated with all treatments, and treatment of any side effects associated with the treatment. Following completion of the clinical trial, owners will receive a UW Veterinary Care credit of $1,000 (one thousand dollars).
Dogs With Osteosarcoma, Transitional Cell Carcinoma, or Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Oncolytic Herpes Virus Study
UW Veterinary Care is currently enrolling dogs in a clinical study to evaluate the safety of escalating doses of a modified Oncolytic (cancer killing) Herpes Virus when administered intravenously (IV) or IV and intratumorally (IT) to dogs with a confirmed diagnosis of cancer. Oncolytic viruses are a form of immunotherapy that uses genetically altered viruses to infect and kill cancer cells. The altered virus does not infect healthy, non-cancerous cells. Additionally, the virus is used to deliver additional immunotherapeutic molecules to the cancer environment to stimulate the patient’s own immune system to attack. The goal of this study is to assess the safety of the modified virus when administered to dogs with naturally occurring cancers.
To be eligible for the study, dogs must have a confirmed diagnosis of osteosarcoma, transitional cell carcinoma, or squamous cell carcinoma. The dog must have at least one measurable lesion with a longest diameter of at least 2cm and be generally healthy. Prior to enrollment, a 21 day wash out is required after any other anti-cancer therapy, and a 42 day wash out is required after any immunotherapy. Dogs may be on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., Rimadyl, Deramaxx) if they have been on that treatment regimen for at least 30 days, and dosage must remain the same throughout the study protocol. Dogs will be screened for enrollment with bloodwork, chest radiographs, and an abdominal ultrasound (to be performed within 10 days of starting treatment). Study participants will then receive either IV or both IV & IT treatment (depending on tumor location) in escalating doses provided that each dose is well tolerated. Study visits will occur on days 0, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 56, and 84. Dogs will receive treatment on days 0, 7, 14, 21, 28 and 35; various sample collections (blood, urine, saliva swabs, nasal swabs, fecal swabs, fine needle aspirate of the tumor if accessible, and tumor exudate if applicable) will be performed as indicated to monitor for viral shedding and side effects. Chest radiographs and/or ultrasound may be repeated on additional dates if indicated.
The study ends upon completion of the day 84 visit without the opportunity to continue with trial therapy, but dogs may be monitored beyond the 84th day if they experience side effects. All expenses including the oncolytic virus and any study-related examinations and tests will be covered by the study. Medical complications that are study related and require further treatment would also be covered.
2) STUDIES FOR ANY CANCER TYPE
Dogs With Any Cancer (Except Lymphoma or Leukemia): Evaluation of the Antitumor Effect of Administration of the Dog’s Own Activated Immune (T) Cells
Recent evidence in rodent models suggest that a very brief incubation of a sample of immune cells present in the blood (T-cells) with a novel immune-stimulating agent results in significant activation of the T-cells and these activated T-cells can have substantial antitumor activity. The objective of this study is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of treatment with activated T-cells. The treatment procedure involves collecting a blood sample from the dog and exposing the T-cells to the activator. The activated T-cells are then administered intravenously to the same dog. Dogs will be monitored closely for tumor response and potential side-effects. The doses to be used in this study have been evaluated in normal dogs and dogs with cancer and no adverse effects have been observed.
The dog will receive activated T-cells once every 2 weeks for up to 8 treatments. Dogs that show a response to treatment at the 8th treatment may continue to receive activated T-cells every 4 weeks as long as there is no evidence of progressive disease. The dog will need to come weekly for the first 4 weeks, then every 2 weeks while receiving treatment on this study for the first 8 treatments, then once monthly for dogs continuing on treatment. Routine blood samples will be collected at each clinic visit and a urine sample will be collected every 2 weeks up to week 4, then monthly thereafter. X-rays and an abdominal ultrasound may be performed prior to treatment to assess extent of disease.
The owner is responsible for the costs to determine eligibility for this study (physical examination, initial blood work and urinalysis, and if indicated, X-rays and possibly an abdominal ultrasound). Costs covered by the clinical trial for eligible enrolled dogs include: all costs associated with all treatments and study evaluations. Any side effects associated with treatment will be covered up to $500 (five hundred dollars).
Following the dog’s completion of the clinical trial, the owner will receive a credit of $1,000 (one thousand dollars) for additional therapy. A portion of the $1,000 additional therapy fee can be used to offset the initial diagnosis and staging costs.
Dogs With Any Cancer with a Tumor Accessible to Biopsy: Evaluate the Biological Effective Dose and the Tolerability of Trametinib
This study investigates a novel drug, trametinib, that specifically ‘targets’ a growth signaling pathway found in cancer cells from companion (pet) dogs. This study will determine the optimal dose that is both safe and effective in shutting down the cancer’s growth signals in dogs diagnosed with aggressive cancers. Additionally, the study will test whether a simple blood test can be used to quickly determine whether effective drug levels are present in the dog. Finally, preliminary evidence of meaningful anticancer activity (cancer shrinkage) will be documented in order to determine if this novel drug should be studied in larger populations of dogs with aggressive cancer.
Prior to treatment, a tumor biopsy, blood sample, and urine will be collected. X-rays and if indicated, a CT scan and/or abdominal ultrasound will be performed. Trametinib will be administered orally, once daily, for up to 3 consecutive 21-day cycles. The first and 7th day that trametinib is administered (for the first cycle only), the dog will need to stay in the hospital for the day for collection of timed blood samples. The dog will need to return for collection of a blood sample on Day 2 and 8. Dogs will return for evaluation on day 21 and then every 21 days thereafter until the dog has evidence of cancer progression. Starting on day 42 and every other 21 days thereafter (until there is evidence of disease progression), X-rays and if indicated, a CT scan and/or abdominal ultrasound will be repeated to monitor the dog’s response to treatment.
Trametinib will be supplied at no cost. The study will pay for the recheck physical examination fees, collection of blood and tumor samples for investigation, and routine laboratory tests at scheduled study recheck visits. The owner will be responsible for all costs associated with initial screening to determine eligibility (physical examination, laboratory tests, X-rays and/or CT scan and/or abdominal ultrasound), and, if indicated, a follow-up CT scan.
Canine Scent Detection for Canine and Feline Cancer Detection
Healthy Dogs of Certain Breeds: Vaccination Against Canine Cancer Study
UW Veterinary Care’s Oncology Service is recruiting dogs for the Vaccination Against Canine Cancer Study (VACCS trial), the largest clinical trial conducted to date for canine cancer. The goal of the VACCS trial is to evaluate a new vaccine strategy for the prevention, rather than treatment of dogs with cancer.
Healthy dogs of certain breeds, 6 to 11.5 years of age, will be randomized to receive either a series of vaccines similar to other routine vaccines that are given to dogs currently, or placebo vaccines. Dogs will live at home and be checked 2-3 times yearly for 5 years after enrollment. A financial incentive will be offered to defray the cost associated with diagnostics and treatment of any cancers that dogs develop, regardless of whether they are receiving vaccine or placebo.
In addition to potentially providing a new strategy for cancer prevention in dogs, if successful, this study could provide important justification for eventually looking at a similar approach in humans.
4) BIOPSY STUDIES
Dogs with Mast Cell Tumors
The General Surgery Service is looking for dogs with mast cell tumors. The goal of this study is to compare the histopathological grade of samples obtained from a punch biopsy to samples obtained from a whole tumor specimen. The surgeons surgically remove the tumor in a routine manner according to the normal standard of care. Punch biopsies are taken of the removed tumor. Three pathologists examine the punch biopsies, along with the complete tumor samples, to determine the grade of mast cell tumor. The results are then compared. The goal is to determine if mast cell tumors can be accurately graded from a smaller, less invasive, sample size.