Oncology

Photo: Physicians, Veterinarians Team up to Fight Cancer

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 by completing this form or giving them a call at 530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759. 

Exotic Animals

Mammary Tumor (Fibroadenoma): Assessing a Treatment in Pet Rats

Title: Evaluation of deslorelin implants on fibroadenoma recurrence in rats

Purpose: The objective of this clinical study is to determine whether the deslorelin implant (Suprelorin®) can prevent the recurrence of certain mammary tumors in rats, as these tumors frequently re-occur after surgical removal.

Contact: Email capeservice@ucdavis.edu 

Participation Requirements: Female rats that are not spayed and diagnosed with a subcutaneous mass that could be a mammary tumor

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Physical examination indicating no contraindication for anesthesia

Procedures:

  • While your rat is under anesthesia, the mass will be surgically removed. It will then be analyzed to confirm diagnosis of a fibroadenoma, a process that may take several days.
  • If the diagnosis is confirmed and you have elected for your rat to have the implant:
    • The implant will be placed while your rat is sedated, approximately one month of the mass being removed.
    • A recheck exam will be performed every 6 months or sooner if you detect a mass. During these examinations, your veterinarian will be performing a complete physical examination and palpate for masses in the mammary tissue as is standard for any consultation.
  • You may also receive phone calls or email every few months to monitor how your rat is doing.

Benefits: The study will cover the cost of the implant while your rat is enrolled in the trial.

Although there are potentially no benefits if your rat receives the placebo (inactive) implant, the active implant may help to prevent the recurrence of the mammary tumor.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your rat to participate in this study, you will be responsible for bringing your rat to your veterinarian for a routine visit every 6 months (or more often if you notice any mass recurrence or any abnormal clinical signs) and covering costs of the anesthetic and surgical fees, post-operative treatments and hospitalization, as well as recheck examinations required for your rat. If the implant proves to prevent mammary tumor recurrence and you would like your rat to be implanted with another deslorelin implant in a year, the cost of this implant will be at your charge.

Horses

Ocular Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Understanding the Genetics in Horses

Title: Genetic Investigation of Ocular Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Horses

Purpose: Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is one of the most common forms of cancer to affect the eye in horses, frequently occurring at the limbus, where the clear cornea meets the white of the eye, or on the nictitating membrane, also known as the third eyelid.  This type of eye cancer affects some breeds more than others, so the objective of this study is to determine the role genetics plays in ocular squamous cell carcinoma in multiple breeds.  This study is designed to determine the incidence of SCC in the listed breeds, to determine the modes of inheritance and identify DNA variants that put horses at risk for this cancer. 

Contact: Drs. Mary Lassaline (lasutter@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-0290), Rebecca Bellone (rbellone@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-9299), or Kelly Knickelbein (kknickelbein@ucdavis.edu or 530-718-8359)

Participation Requirements: Horses with confirmed ocular SCC (confirmed by pathology), or horses that have not been diagnosed with ocular SCC that are at least 13 years old.  Horses that are suspicious for ocular SCC are invited to participate, but confirmation would be required prior to inclusion in the study.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Any horse with confirmed ocular SCC does not need to be evaluated in person to participate.  Participation for horses with confirmed ocular SCC involves providing (1) a copy of a pathology report confirming ocular SCC, (2) the horse’s registered name for pedigree analysis, and (3) a blood or hair sample.  Horses that have not had ocular SCC and are at least 13 years old will need to be examined by a boarded veterinary ophthalmologist to confirm that they do not have ocular SCC.  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 ocular SCC are present. 
    • For some horses, a blood sample may be collected from the jugular vein, and hair samples may be collected from the mane. This is similar to pulling the mane for show but only pulling a very small sample of about 50 hairs. This blood and hair would be used to isolate DNA for genetic studies to help understand which genes may be involved in the development of ocular SCC. 
  • 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 blood taken or 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, blood collection, 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 horses, 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.

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News Article
NOW AVAILABLE! Ocular Squamous Cell Carcinoma Genetic Test

Cats

Feline Cancer: Understanding How the Body Processes the Chemotherapy Drug, Vinblastine

Title: Pharmacokinetic analysis of vinblastine in tumor bearing cats and analysis of population covariates

Purpose of Study: Although vinblastine is commonly used in veterinary cancer therapy, most commonly for treating feline lymphoma, there is currently no information on how the drug is distributed and eliminated in these cats. Even when the same standard dose is administered to all cats, there can be large differences in the side effects that are seen and the drug may appear to work better against cancer in some cats than in others. This study aims to describe the pharmacokinetic profile of vinblastine in cats and to identify which characteristics or traits that can vary from one cat to another (e.g., age, kidney function, liver function) influence how vinblastine is distributed and eliminated in cats.

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 cancer for which vinblastine has been deemed an appropriate drug choice by the study veterinarian

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Before your pet begins the study, your pet will need to have bloodwork (blood chemistry panel and complete blood count) done to determine eligibility (you are responsible for the cost of this test).

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:

  • Day 0: We will administer his/her first dose of vinblastine and collect 4 blood samples over a 24-hour period (i.e., your cat may need to be hospitalized overnight).
  • Day 7: We will do a physical evaluation and collect a blood sample.
  • Day 14-21: We will administer a second dose of vinblastine and collect 4 blood samples over a 24-hour period (i.e., your cat may need to be hospitalized overnight).

Benefits: The study will cover costs for the bloodwork on Day 0 and Day 14, drug administration fees, vinblastine chemotherapy and overnight hospitalization.

Vinblastine administration may lead to an anti-tumor effect (remission) or improvement of the symptoms of the cancer. The information obtained from this study may allow for better individualization of vinblastine dosing for cats in the future, which could result in an overall lower risk of toxicity and better effectiveness of therapy for cats in the future.

Owner Responsibilities: You will be responsible for covering the costs of obtaining a diagnosis and any staging tests recommended by your veterinarian, initial bloodwork to determine eligibility, the bloodwork on Day 7 following vinblastine therapy, and vinblastine administration following the 14-day study period. You must be able to be here by 8 am on Days 0 and 14 of the clinical trial. Once enrolled in the clinical trial, you are responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments needed for study participation and reporting any possible side effects or toxicities to your study veterinarian in a timely manner.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

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 you 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)

Dogs

NEW! Advanced Stage Osteosarcoma and Melanoma: Evaluating a New Immunotherapy

Title: Inhaled IL-15 Immunotherapy for Treatment of Lung Metastases

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to determine the maximum tolerated dose and efficacy of an immunotherapy protocol against metastatic osteosarcoma or melanoma growing within the lungs.

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: Dogs diagnosed with osteosarcoma or melanoma that has spread to the lungs

Initial Evaluation for Participation:  To determine eligibility, your dog will need a physical exam, blood tests (including a complete blood count and serum chemistry panel), urinalysis, and chest x-rays. If the type of cancer is unknown, additional tests may be required in order to confirm the type of cancer before being allowed to take part in the study.

Procedures:  It is important to note that radiotherapy treatments are being done as part of the normal treatment of this disease. If your dog is enrolled in the study, the following will be done:

  • We will provide you with a nebulizer set to facilitate training for delivery of inhaled IL-15 at home.
  • If your dog tolerates nebulization and meets inclusion criteria, you will have the option to enroll your dog.  If you elect to enroll your dog, we will collect blood, get additional chest x-rays, and perform an ultrasound-guided fine needle aspirate of a lung mass while under sedation.
  • 3 days later, your pet will begin therapy with inhaled IL-15 twice daily for 14 days with the first session performed here at the VMTH.
  • Your dog will return once weekly during the first month for routine physical examinations and blood tests to ensure that they are tolerating the therapy well.
  • After completing the treatments, we will perform another fine needle aspirate and repeat blood tests.  Chest x-rays will be repeated monthly.  Sedation may be required to obtain chest x-rays.

Benefits: The study will provide you with the nebulizer and supplies. If adverse events occur while participating in this trial, the study sponsors will cover up to $2000 for medical treatment at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (the study cannot cover costs incurred at other clinics).

Owner Responsibilities: The study may last up to 14 weeks. You will be responsible for tests to determine eligibility and keeping all scheduled appointments. Once your pet has been determined as eligible the study will cover the cost of the appointment including, physical exams, thoracic radiographs, bloodwork (CBC and Chemistry) the IL-15, and anything specifically related to the trial. In the event of an adverse event that is directly related to the trial, the study will cover up to $2000 for medical treatment. The owner will be responsible for filling out several reporting forms to let us know how your pet has been doing at home and returning the nebulizer and leftover supplies at the end of treatment.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Oral Melanoma: Assessing a Treatment

Title: OMX-4.80 (Zox) a novel protein oxygen transporter and radiation sensitizer for dogs with oral melanoma

Purpose: One reason tumors can be resistant to radiation therapy because of low levels of oxygen in the tumors. Another reason is that low levels of oxygen leads to local immune suppression. We anticipate that the treatment will carry oxygen to the tumor and hopefully restore normal oxygen levels to the tumor and make it more responsive to treatment.

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: Dogs diagnosed with a biopsy confirmed melanoma

Initial Evaluation for Participation:  Prior to enrollment your dog must have a physical examination, a CBC, a Chemistry Panel and Chest X-rays to make sure they are eligible for the trial.

Procedures:  It is important to note that radiotherapy treatments are being done as part of the normal treatment of this disease. If your dog is enrolled in the study, the following will be done:

  • On Day 1, On Day 1, we will administer a drug to mark oxygen levels, collect and analyze blood, biopsy your dog’s tumor under anesthesia, and do a CT scan to plan for radiation therapy and administer the oxygen carrier.
  • On Day 2, we will administer another oxygen marker and biopsy of your dog's tumor under anesthesia.
  • On Day 4, we will take blood, anesthetize your dog for an additional biopsy and begin your dog’s radiation treatment which will be once a week for four weeks.
  • After the second radiation treatment, we will collect another biopsy.
  • We will collect blood after the third and fourth radiation therapy session (each one week apart as part of the normal course of treatment).
  • In the event of death, we would strongly encourage you to allow a necropsy to be performed so we can try to determine the cause of death.

Benefits: The study will cover costs associated with study drugs, drug administration, day hospitalizations for the study, the radiation planning CT scan and the associated anesthesia, blood work for the study, and biopsies.  Additionally, the study will also cover up to $2,000 in medical costs if there is an unanticipated side effect from the study and up to $2,000 credit onto your dog’s medical bill at the end of the study to be used for the cost of radiation therapy.

Results from this study may lead to an improvement of your dog’s response to treatments such as radiotherapy.

Owner Responsibilities: We expect that participation in this clinical trial will take 5 weeks and anticipate each visit taking 6-8 hours. If you decide to have your dog participate in the trial, you will be responsible for keeping each scheduled appointment, ensuring that your dog has not eaten food for at least 12 hours prior to any anesthetic procedure, and covering costs associated with the radiation therapy required to enter the study.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Lung Tumors: Evaluating a New Contrast Delivery Device

Title: Biodistribution of Ultrasound- and CT-Guided Delivery of Contrast Agents to Canine Lung Tumors

Purpose of Study: Lung tumors are an important disease in dogs that require further investigation into diagnostic and therapeutic options. The purposes of this study are to assess: 1) the use of different dye injection devices and 2) the distribution of dye within a lung tumor after injection.

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

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Bloodwork (CBC, Chemistry Panel), chest x-rays, and thoracic ultrasound are needed to determine eligibility.

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with lung tumors

Procedures: As part of this study, your dog will receive the same diagnostic tests and care that any other dog with lung tumors presented to the UC Davis VMTH would receive. If you agree to enroll your dog in the trial, your dog will be randomly assigned to a particular device which will be used to inject dye into the lung tumor; additionally, your dog will undergo a contrast CT scan while under anesthesia. After the CT scan, your dog will be taken to surgery as per standard of care for lung tumors.

Benefits: The study will pay for the CT scan and associated anesthesia, all costs associated with the contrast agent and its delivery, the initial thoracic ultrasound, blood and urine collection and analyses, as well as provide a $2500 UC Davis VMTH credit that will go towards your dog’s surgery and up to $2000 towards medical treatment if your pet experiences adverse event(s) as a result of taking part in this study.

Owner Responsibilities: You will be responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments and covering costs associated with the diagnosis of your dog’s cancer prior to enrollment as well as any costs outside of the provided credits. Your dog’s participation ends after the CT scan has been completed.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Lymphoma: Assessing a New Treatment

Title: Evaluation of Fermented Wheat Germ Protein in Canine Lymphoma

Purpose of Study: Fermented wheat germ protein (FWGP) has been shown to be a potent immune modulator that could activate immune cells called Natural Killer (NK) cells. The purpose of this trial is to determine if FWGP promotes anti-cancer immunity and to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the FWGP product when administered orally in dogs with lymphoma.

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

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Prior to treatment, your dog will undergo a physical examination, routine blood tests, urinalysis, abdominal ultrasound, and a sample of the lymph node will be obtained (fine needle aspirate).

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with lymphoma

Procedures:

  • At Enrollment: We will do a physical exam, measure lymph node, will collect a blood sample, and send you home with FWGP capsules to be given daily by mouth until the completion of the study or unless directed otherwise by the veterinarian.
  • Days 7, 14, and 21: We will do a physical exam, collect a blood sample and measure tumor size.
  • Day 28: We will measure tumor size.
  • There will be re-evaluations every 14 days, which will involve a physical examination and tumor measurements, until Day 56.

Benefits: Upon enrollment, the study will cover the costs associated with appointments, blood tests, and FWGP capsules. In addition, the study will provide up to $1,000 to cover medical interventions from study-related adverse events, however, treatment of adverse events can only be covered at the UC Davis VMTH.

FWGP may help treat for your dog’s lymphoma. If the clinical trial is successful, there may be additional clinical trials for dogs (and possibly humans) in the future.

Owner Responsibilities: We expect that participation in this clinical trial will last for 56 days. During the study period, you are responsible for administering the FWGP daily at home, bringing your dog to all scheduled appointments, notifying the investigator or the oncology trials service if you suspect any adverse side effects, as well as covering any costs associated with disease progression and those exceeding $1,000 for study-related adverse events.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Anal Sac Adenocarcinoma: Using New Technology to Assess Tumor Extent

Title: PET/CT for staging of canine apocrine gland anal sac adenocarcinoma

Purpose of Study: Apocrine gland anal sac adenocarcinoma is the most common malignant tumor of the anal sac in dogs. Currently, fine needle aspirates or histopathology with surgical removal of local lymph nodes is necessary to definitively diagnose tumor spread. Multiple imaging modalities have been used to evaluate for metastasis in anal sac adenocarcinoma, but no standardized approach has been established. The aim of this study is to determine whether the combination of CT and PET is is more accurate for identification of tumor as well as tumor spread than CT alone.

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

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Before your pet begins the study, your pet will need to have a physical examination, complete blood count, chemistry panel, and chest x-rays to find out if he/she can be in the study. This can be performed locally or with the VMTH.

Participation Requirements: Dog diagnosed with an anal sac adenocarcinoma with owners that are pursuing a computed tomography (CT) scan for either surgical or radiation planning

Procedures: If your dog has anal sac adenocarcinoma diagnosed in the anal sac or local lymph node and the baseline exam/diagnostics 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:

  • A PET scan followed by a CT scan under anesthesia
  • Sampling (either by fine needle aspirate or submission of surgically removed tissues for histopathology) of abnormalities identified on the PET and/or CT scans when possible
    • NOTE: The CT scan for surgical or radiation planning purposes and sampling of abnormalities are standard for this cancer type.

Benefits: The study will cover costs of the CT and the PET scans as well as the associated anesthetic episode.

By participating in this trial your dog will have the most advanced imaging techniques used to assess local tumor extent and lymph node metastasis (spread). Benefits to other dogs include an improved knowledge of what information the combination of CT and PET scans can provide and potentially limit unnecessary sampling and/or removal of lymph nodes if CT and PET are found to be accurate predictors of metastasis. This could allow us to better guide medical care for your dog and future dogs affected with the same disease.

Owner Responsibilities: You are responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments, allowing your dog to stay overnight at the VMTH following the PET scan, and covering costs associated with the overnight stay, baseline diagnostics prior to enrollment including obtaining a diagnosis and any additional recommended diagnostics (such as lymph node fine needle aspirates) or therapy such as surgery, radiation, and/or systemic therapy as well as patient care as these costs are not a part of this study. If an adverse event does occur during the study, you will be responsible for covering those costs.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Osteosarcoma: Using a Vaccine to Improve Efficacy of the Standard Treatment

Title: Evaluation of a recombinant, attenuated Listeria monocytogenes expressing a chimeric human HER2/neu protein in dogs in the adjuvant setting for osteosarcoma

Purpose of Study: Standard therapy for dogs diagnosed with osteosarcoma has long been amputation of the affected limb followed by chemotherapy to delay the spread of cancer. With this form of treatment, survival times of dogs diagnosed with osteosarcoma is on average about 10 to 12 months with little improvement in survival occurring over the past two decades. ADXS31-164c is a vaccine that is designed to cause the immune system to inhibit an important receptor that may aid in cancer progression known as HER2/neu. The purpose of this study is to determine if adding the vaccine ADXS31-164c into the treatment protocol for dogs with osteosarcoma will be safe and improve efficacy of current standard therapies for osteosarcoma in dogs.

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

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Blood and urine collection, chest x-rays, and abdominal ultrasound at UC Davis

Participation Requirements: Untreated dogs diagnosed with osteosarcoma in one of her/his legs (for more details, please discuss contact the clinical trial coordinators)

Procedures: Most of the exams, tests, and procedures your pet will have within the first 15 weeks of the trial are part of the usual approach for your dog’s treatment for osteosarcoma including blood collection, amputation of the affected limb and carboplatin chemotherapy given once every three weeks for 4 doses followed by monitoring using chest x-rays once every two months.

Beyond that, dogs will receive/need:

  • Vaccine administration (3 doses)
  • Blood and urine samples collected throughout the trial
  • Tumor collection at the time of amputation
  • Body temperature and heart rhythm monitoring in the hospital for 8 hours following each vaccine administration
  • Rectal temperature monitoring at home 12 hours after the vaccine’s administration and reassessment the following day

Benefits: Following amputation and carboplatin, the study will cover the cost of follow-up examination, diagnostics, and all study costs associated with the ADXS31-164c Vaccine Phase of the trial. If your dog experiences adverse events related to the vaccine, a total of $500 will be allotted toward coverage of required care at UC Davis.

Benefits of standard therapy include removal of the painful cancerous tumor in your dog’s bone and delay of spread of cancer by providing chemotherapy with carboplatin.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for having the limb amputated at UC Davis, bringing your dog to all required study appointments, recording their rectal temperature 12 hours after your pet receives each vaccine, reporting any side effects, and covering costs of the initial examination with the UC Davis Oncology Service, the screening diagnostic tests, which includes blood and urine collection and analysis, chest x-rays and abdominal ultrasound and amputation, the four doses of carboplatin (as well as the associated tests, which includes bloodwork and chest x-rays), any costs associated with management of side effects from the Standard Therapy Phase of this study (amputation and carboplatin chemotherapy).

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Liver Tumors: Using a New Technique to Shrink Tumors

Title: Prospective Evaluation of the Use of Transarterial Embolization in the Treatment of Liver Neoplasia

Purpose: When liver tumors in dogs cannot be removed with surgery, treatment options are limited or non-existent. In humans, one of the standard treatments for those cases is transarterial embolization (TAE), which eliminates the blood supply of the tumor and may decrease tumor size. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to 1) describe the procedure of TAE in a group of dogs with naturally-occurring liver cancer, and 2) evaluate the effect that liver TAE has on clinical signs and the size of the tumor.

Contact: Dr. Culp at wculp@ucdavis.edu 

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with liver cancer that has been determined to be non-removable or in a location with great surgical risk

Initial Evaluation for Participation: To be performed by Dr. Culp

Procedures: If you agree to have your dog participate in this study, the following procedures will occur:

  • An abdominal ultrasound scan
  • CT scan, PET scan and TAE while under anesthesia
  • A second ultrasound scan, CT scan and PET scan approximately 4 weeks post-TAE
  • Hospitalization for 1-2 days post treatment pending response to treatment
  • Completion of questionnaires

Benefits: The study will cover costs associated with the ultrasounds, CT scans, PET scans and anesthesia.

We hope that the data acquired in this study will allow us to advance the treatment of cancer in both pets and people.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments, completing several questionnaires, and covering costs associated with the TAE procedure and any complications that may occur as part of that procedure.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Prostate/Bladder/Urethra Tumors: Assessing the Outcome Associated with Urethral Stents and Utilizing New Techniques for Placement

Title: Prospective Evaluation of Outcome and the Use of Transrectal Ultrasound Associated with Urethral Stent Placement in Dogs with Lower Urinary Tract Neoplasia

Purpose of Study: Cancer resulting in obstruction of the lower urinary tract of dogs is most commonly found in the prostate, urinary bladder and urethra (tube responsible for draining urine out of the body). Unfortunately, cancer of the lower urinary tract often results in complete blockage of the urethra, causing a patient to be unable to pass urine. The inability to urinate is a life-threatening emergency.

The placement of urethral stents is generally performed with fluoroscopic-guidance (use of “real-time” x-rays). While fluoroscopy is useful for stent placement, there may be other techniques that could be considered. Traditionally, ultrasonographic assessment of tumor size and location has been performed by transabdominal ultrasound (where the ultrasound probe is placed on the abdominal wall to allow for visualization of organs within the abdomen), but this method can be inaccurate. The use of transrectal ultrasound (where an ultrasound probe is placed into the rectum) circumvents these previously discussed problems, and therefore, the purpose of this study is to evaluate this technique for efficacy.

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

Participation Requirements: Dogs with a diagnosis of prostatic, bladder or urethral cancer and secondary urethral obstruction for whom a stent is being offered/recommended and believed to be clinically beneficial

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Consultation with Dr. Culp

Procedures:

  • Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS), fluoroscopy (real time “x-rays”) and urethral stent placement under anesthesia
  • Completion of questionnaires pre-stent placement, 2-weeks post-stent placement and 3-months post-stent placement to assess outcome

Benefits: The study will cover the fluoroscopy, ultrasound, and anesthesia.

Benefits of enrolling in this study include financial support for the ultrasound, stent placement and anesthesia. We hope that the data acquired in this study will allow us to advance the treatment of cancer in both pets and people.

Owner Responsibilities: You will be responsible for covering equipment costs associated with the urethral stent placement and any complications of the procedure, keeping all scheduled appointments and completing a questionnaire pre-stent placement, 2 weeks after stent placement and 3 months after stent placement.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Oral Tumors: Optimizing the Identification of Tumor Spread To Lymph Nodes

Title: Preoperative sentinel lymph node mapping in dogs

Purpose of Study: Successful treatment of many cancers depends on the extent of disease present at the time of diagnosis, and on accurate detection of that disease. Some oral cancers commonly spread from the mouth to nearby lymph nodes. Lymph node metastasis, if present, can influence the prognosis and treatment recommendations made for a patient. Currently, however, our standard veterinary staging protocol (aspiration cytology of the geographically nearest lymph node) misses a diagnosis of lymph node metastasis in a concerning number of patients. Because lymphatic pathways and lymph nodes of the head are very complicated and the closest lymph node is not necessarily the most likely to show disease, it is possible to miss disease because we do not know which is the best lymph node to evaluate. Lymph node mapping, a technique to visualize the lymphatic drainage of tumors, is increasingly used to improve cancer staging and treatment protocols in the treatment of cancer in people. Mapping allows identification of the “sentinel lymph node,” or lymph node that is most likely to demonstrate evidence of metastatic disease. This lymph node can then be aspirated or surgically removed with the primary tumor to be evaluated microscopically for spread of cancer. This trial is being performed to optimize a method of sentinel lymph node mapping that can be accessible to a greater number of veterinary practitioners in an effort to improve the accuracy of cancer diagnoses and treatment recommendations we make for our veterinary patients, improving their quality of life and length of time with us following diagnosis with this cancer.

Contact: If you are interested in determining whether your dog is eligible for the trial, please schedule an appointment for evaluation with one of the participating clinical services by calling the Small Animal Clinic at (530) 752-1393 for either Soft Tissue Surgery, Dentistry and Oral Surgery, or Oncology. For general questions not related to your own dog’s eligibility, please contact Dr. Steffey (530-752-3799, masteffey@ucdavis.edu).

Participation Requirements:

  • Dogs diagnosed with an oral tumor with owners that have elected to surgically remove the tumor.
  • Ineligible: Dogs with pre-existing, palpably very large lymph nodes

Initial Evaluation for Participation: If you choose to enroll your dog, your dog will receive two CT scans on separate days: the first done for standard diagnostic/surgical planning, and the second done immediately prior to surgery. Both CT scans will be performed with contrast while under general anesthesia.

Benefits: All costs associated with this study, including the second CT scan and the 1 hour of extra anesthesia time associated with each CT scans will be paid by the sponsor. Additionally, a financial benefit of $500 will be credited to your VMTH account after your dog completes the second CT scan on the day of his/her surgery.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for bringing your dog to the UC Davis VMTH for his/her scheduled appointments, covering costs associated with the standard diagnostic workup of your dog’s tumor, the first (diagnostic/surgical planning) CT scan, and standard costs associated with surgical removal of the oral tumor, and allowing him/her to be hospitalized for the required length of time pre- and postoperatively.

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Prostate Cancer: Assessing New Method to Identify Bacterial Infections in Male Dogs

Title: Use of prostatic aspirate culture to identify bacterial infection in dogs with prostatic neoplasia

Purpose: Urinary tract infections are known to be common in dogs with urinary tract cancer so regular urine cultures are recommended. Male dogs and dogs with prostatic cancer are known to be less likely to have positive urine cultures than females with cancer in their bladder or urethra. This may be because male dogs are less prone to infection or because the prostate contains an infection that is not also present in the urine or bladder. The purpose of this study is to determine whether it is possible to obtain useful bacterial culture samples from prostates in dogs with prostate cancer and to determine whether results of these cultures correlate with urine cultures collected directly from the bladder.

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: Dogs diagnosed with or is suspected to have prostate cancer

Initial Evaluation for Participation:  The cost of the initial exam to determine if your dog has presumed or confirmed prostatic neoplasia is your responsibility.

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

  • An ultrasound to locate your dog’s bladder and prostate
  • Insertion of a small needle to collect urine from the bladder and two small needles into his prostate to collect prostatic samples
  • Sedation may be used if deemed necessary by the veterinarian

Benefits: The sponsor will cover cost associated with sedation (including drugs), ultrasound-guided urine and prostatic sample collection, lab tests to analyze urine and prostatic samples, and a credit of $75 that will be taken off of your dog’s medical bill if you agree to have your dog participate in the trial.

Results from this study may lead to the detection of a bacterial infection that would not have been detected with urine culture alone. This trial may also help us understand whether dogs with prostate cancer should undergo regular prostate culture to look for these types of secondary infections.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for bringing your dog to the clinic for the study procedures. We expect that participation in this clinical trial will be complete within one day and take one hour or less to complete all study related procedures.

Brain Tumors: Assessing a New Drug Delivery System

Title: MPR nanoparticles to define brain tumor margins in canine primary brain tumors: Phase I pilot study

Purpose: This clinical trial is being done to investigate whether small particles called nanoporhphyrins can be used to better visualize tumors during surgery and potentially to see if they will be a useful method to deliver drugs into brain tumors for treatment.

ContactLisa Winn (Neurology Scheduling Coordinator) at llwinn@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393 

Participation Requirements: Dogs provisionally diagnosed with a brain tumor

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

  • Administration of nanoparticles approximately 12-36 hours, collection of blood and urine for analysis prior to surgery
  • Brain surgery to remove the tumor (standard therapy for brain tumors)
  • Blood collection 1-week post-administration of nanoparticles

Benefits: The study will provide up to $5,000 credit towards your dog’s treatment. 

We hope that this technique will help us to better visualize the tumor on MRI, allowing for better planning of the surgery. Information obtained from your dog's treatment may help to further develop this type of treatment for both dogs and humans and could improve the treatment in both species in the future.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments, and covering the costs of your dog’s standard treatment during the clinical trial and any complications arising from that treatment or from the clinical trial procedures. 

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.

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

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: You 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).

Prostate cancer: Assessing Blood/Urine

Title: Evaluation of miRNA Concentrations in Dogs with Prostate Neoplasia

Purpose of Study: Collection of blood and urine samples for research purposes may allow us to better understand the causes of cancer in pets and may lead to improvements in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of canine tumors.

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

Participation Requirements:

  • Healthy dogs
  • Dogs diagnosed with prostate cancer with owners that have elected to do prostate embolization
  • Ineligible: Dogs with significant anemia (low red blood cells) or in patients that are dehydrated or have an impaired ability to clot their blood

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

Procedures:

  • For normal dogs, we will do a physical examination and collect blood and urine for evaluation.
  • For dogs with prostatic neoplasia, we will collect blood and urine before and then 1-2 days and 1 month after the prostatic artery embolization treatment.

Benefits: You will not be responsible for any costs associated with blood or urine sampling.

Participation in this trial will help us better understand cancer in pets through improvements in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer in pets.

Owner Responsibilities: If you agree to have your dog participate in this study, you will be responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments.

On Hold Until Further Notice

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. 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.

Lung Tumors: Identifying Lymph Node Metastasis in Dogs

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.

Variety of Tumors: Assessing Minimally Invasive Tumor Ablation in Dogs and Cats

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 in Dogs and Cats

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.

Variety of Tumors: Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping in Dogs

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.

If you cannot find what you're looking for, please contact our Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators by completing this form or giving them a call at 530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759.