Colorado State University’s Animal Cancer Center is conducting two clinical studies aimed at finding a new way to treat cancer.
The studies are investigating the impact of a drug on cells that suppress the immune system and allow cancer tumors to grow. Initial results in mice and dogs show that the drug can reverse suppression of the immune system and halt tumor growth in dogs and, in some cases, even shrink tumors, according to the center.
Researchers are evaluating the class of drugs called bisophosphonates, which have been used for years to diminish pain in bone cancer patients. The Animal Cancer Center is looking at these drugs in combination with liposomes to target cells that suppress the immune system around specific types of tumors.
“To date, nearly a dozen dogs have been treated in the study,” said Steve Dow, DVM, Ph.D., a researcher and veterinarian at the center. “The tumor response rate—shrinkage of the tumor or suppression of growth—has been very encouraging.”
The results may help humans with many different types of tumors, Dr. Dow said.
The researchers are looking for dogs with soft tissue sarcomas to enroll in the clinical trial. Dogs must have a tumor accessible to repeated biopsy, be able to tolerate six treatments over seven weeks and live within driving distance of Fort Collins or Denver, the two sites where the study is being conducted. For additional details, call Scott Hafeman, DVM, at 970-297-4092.
Enrollment for the malignant histiocytosis clinical trial had been filled at press time.
The studies are supported by the Morris Animal Foundation, the Canine Health Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.