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Exploring Novel Treatment Strategy for Canine Osteosarcoma

Dr. Laurel Williams, Associate Professor of Oncology at NC State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, is the principal investigator of a regional trial evaluating a novel treatment strategy to extend the quality of life of dogs being treated for osteosarcoma.

Osteosarcoma is the most common canine bone cancer. It typically affects large, fast-growing breeds including Rottweilers, Irish Wolfhounds, Great Danes, Doberman Pinschers, and St. Bernards. Tumors are locally invasive and have a high rate of metastasis, spreading to other places in the body.  

The regional trial, funded by Bone Cancer Dogs, Inc., is evaluating the impact of the drug Palladia™ in dogs that are being treated for osteosarcoma. Palladia™ has the ability to disrupt the blood supply to cancer cells and may, therefore, delay or prevent metastasis, a process dependent on an intact blood supply. Standard treatment for osteosarcoma involves amputation and chemotherapy.

“Current life expectancy for a dog diagnosed with osteosarcoma is approximately four to six months following amputation,” says Dr. Williams, an oncology specialist in the Randall B. Terry, Jr. Companion Animal Veterinary Medical Center. “With the addition of chemotherapy, survival times increase to approximately 10 to 12 months. New advances are needed. We are currently investigating novel treatment strategies, such as the use of Palladia, to further improve outcomes. Our hope is that this multi-modality approach will provide an extended quality of life for dogs diagnosed with osteosarcoma.”

The clinical trial is recruiting participants. To be considered for this study dogs must have appendicular osteosarcoma with no radiographic evidence of pulmonary metastasis following amputation and four cycles of carboplatin chemotherapy.

Bone Cancer Dogs Inc., is a non-profit organization comprised of dog owners committed to changing the outcome of canine osteosarcoma though education, client-to-client support, and funding of research and clinical trials exploring the genetics of the disease and developing new treatment strategies. Bone Cancer Dogs Inc. is also supporting a NC State CVM study determining the feasibility of a novel limb-sparing implant for treating canine osteosarcoma.

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The study. “The impact of the multi-kinase inhibitor Palladia™ on angiogenesis and survival following amputation and carboplatin chemotherapy in canine osteosarcoma.”

The process. Accepted study participants will undergo an initial evaluation consisting of a physical exam, complete blood count, chemistry panel, serum for study analysis prior to any chemotherapy, urinalysis, 3-view thoracic radiographs; amputation; and four cycles of carboplatin chemotherapy.

Patients will then begin receiving oral Palladia™ two weeks after their final carboplatin chemotherapy treatment. Patients will need to return to NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine once monthly and Palladia™ treatment will continue until metastatic disease is confirmed by thoracic radiographs.

The costs of Palladia™ and blood work associated with drug monitoring will be covered by the study. Clients will be responsible for costs associated with initial evaluation, amputation, and every other month thoracic radiographs.

For more information. Please contact study coordinator, Julie Nettifee Osborne, RVT, at 919.513.6812 or via email at

Posted May 18, 2012