Oncology Service Offering Clinical Trial for Osteosarcoma

The Oncology Service of the Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is offering a clinical trial to treat osteosarcoma in dogs.

The trial involves the administration of the drug Rapamycin, which has shown success in halting the spread of cancer. This clinical trial is part of a multi-institutional effort managed through the National Cancer Institute’s Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium.

“Osteosarcoma is the most common bone tumor in dogs. Amputation and chemotherapy significantly improves survival times for dogs with this tumor type,” said Dr. Annette Smith, a faculty clinician in the Oncology Service. “However, most dogs are not cured, and die due to the spread of their disease within one to two years.”

Rapamycin has already seen success in people to help prevent organ transplant rejection, and has been shown to have anti-tumor effects in the laboratory and in mice. Extensive safety tests on the drug in dogs was completed prior to being accepted in Auburn’s clinical trial program.

The trial also has the potential to help human children with Osteosarcoma.

“Dogs make a great translational model for humans, and we hope that through this trial, we’ll get results that can lead to further options for children suffering from Osteosarcoma as well as our canine patients,” Dr. Smith said.

In order to be eligible to participate in the trial, dogs must have received no prior treatment of any kind for Osteosarcoma, must weigh at least 55 pounds, must be operable at the site of the tumor for amputation, and must be otherwise clinically healthy.

The standard of care for Osteosarcoma at Auburn is the amputation of the tumor, followed by four rounds of chemotherapy treatment. Clients who opt to have their pet participate in the trial will receive all four chemotherapy rounds for free, and receive $1,000 credit for the amputation surgery.

For more information about the trial and the prerequisites to participate, please view the Client Consent Form.

To visit the Oncology Service’s web page and learn more about the service and other ongoing clinical trials, click here.