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, 5.5 to 11.5 years old, 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.
For more information about eligibility or to fill out the screening questionnaire, please click on the following link: https://uwveterinarycare.wisc.edu/veterinary-clinical-studies/oncology/vaccs/
Dogs with Bladder Cancer
Lymphoma in Boxer Dogs:
Environmental Chemicals and Lymphoma in Boxer Dogs
Lymphoma is a fatal cancer of the blood cells in dogs. The boxer breed is at higher risk, but the reasons for this are not understood. Lymphoma in people is associated with toxic chemicals in the environment. We are looking to see if the same is true for dogs. The goal of this study is to see whether certain environmental chemicals contribute to lymphoma risk in dogs, starting with the boxer breed.
Any purebred boxer dog diagnosed with lymphoma by a veterinarian performing cytology or biopsy may be eligible for this study. Dogs must be enrolled before any chemotherapy is started, but prednisone is allowed. We are also seeking healthy unaffected boxers to act as controls. The owner will collect a voided 25 mL urine sample (about 2 tablespoons) from the dog using a kit that will be mailed to the dog’s home. We also ask the owner to fill out a questionnaire about their dog’s household environment and to collect drinking water and air samples from the home using materials that we provide.
Anal Gland Adenocarcinoma in Dogs
Anal gland adeoncarcinoma is a very locally aggressive cancer and surgery is not an option for every dog. This study is evaluating the effect of radiotherapy as a treatment option. If you have questions or would like to enroll, please contact Dr. Nate Van Asselt or Amy Elbe, CVT, LAT.
Lymphoma in Dogs:
Evaluation of Laverdia (new drug) in combination with CCNU
This study is to evaluate the use of a novel drug (Laverdia) in combination with CCNU (lomustine) in dogs with multicentric large cell lymphoma that have failed previous chemotherapy treatments. Dogs must weigh over 10 kg.
Owners will need to pay for costs associated with diagnosis and confirming eligibility.
The study will pay for all treatments and costs of recheck appointments and blood work at weeks 0, 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15.
Lymphoma in Dogs:
Evaluation of Adding Tanovea to Standard of Care Chemotherapy in Dogs with Newly Diagnosed Lymphoma
Lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in dogs. Current treatment options include various types of chemotherapy including Tanovea-CA1 (rabacfosadine for injection), the first FDA approved drug to treat canine lymphoma. It is an intravenous chemotherapy agent that has been used in more than 600 dogs with cancer. The goal of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the addition of Tnovea to a chemotherapy protocol containing prednisone, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin in dogs with previously untreated multicentric lymphoma.
Dogs with newly diagnosed lymphoma may be eligible for this study. The study provided Tanovea at no cost. Owners are responsible for all other costs including intravenous administration of Tanovea.
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, 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.
Dogs With Osteosarcoma:
Inhaled IL-15 Combined with Amputation and Chemotherapy
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the addition of immunotherapy with inhaled IL-15 (an immunostimulatory molecule called a cytokine) to the standard treatment in patients with osteosarcoma to see if it improves outcome. Our group, as well as others, have found that immunotherapy with inhaled cytokines can cause large osteosarcoma tumors in the lungs of dogs to shrink. Because the lungs are most often the first site for these tumors to spread, we believe that treating earlier when fewer cells are in the lungs could improve the outcomes seem with chemotherapy alone.
Dogs with osteosarcoma of the leg may be eligible for this study. Then beginning within 4 days after amputation, the dog will receive inhaled IL-15 twice daily for 2 weeks. The first dose will be given prior to discharge and the owner will be responsible for the remainder of inhaled treatments at home. Owners will be instructed on how to perform the inhalation and all supplies needed for this will be provided. Once inhalation treatments are completed, dogs will receive standard of care chemotherapy (carboplatin). The costs associated with IL-15 treatment will be covered by the study. The owner is responsible for the cost of amputation and chemotherapy.
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).