Investigating a New Treatment for Hemangiosarcoma

Oncology
Investigational
ENROLLING

Overview

Help us find a treatment for Hemangiosarcoma

Complete the registration form to find out if your pet qualifies to be in our clinical trial.

Hemangiosarcoma is the most common splenic cancer diagnosed in dogs. The standard of care treatment is splenectomy (surgery) followed by doxorubicin chemotherapy, but long-term survival remains poor. We are continuously looking for additional well-tolerated treatments that may prolong survival for dogs with this disease.

Compensation

  • Bill credit to chemotherapy appointments

  • Bill credit toward staging appointment

  • Hospital discount

A 10% hospital discount will be applied to all study-related visits. All other costs are your responsibility as outlined by the project outline.

A $1000 credit will be applied to your bill for the initial (staging) visit.

A $150 credit will be applied to your bill at each visit for chemotherapy administration.

Temozolomide will be provided at no cost.

Owner Responsibilities

Follow-up appointments at the CUHA

You must return your dog to the CUHA for follow-up appointments according to a specific timeline that will be provided to you.

Treatment

Oral medications

You must be willing to give an oral chemotherapy at home.

Location

Cornell

ITHACA, NY

Location

Cornell University Hospital for Animals (CUHA)

930 Campus Rd,

Ithaca, NY 14853

Study Team

Carol Frederick
Carol FrederickClinical Trials Coordinator

Carol graduated from SUNY Delhi in 1994 and became an LVT. She spent 2 years in private practice, then moved to the emergency and critical care department at Cornell University Hospital for Animals. She obtained her technician specialty in ECC in 2007. After 21 years in ECC she moved to clinical trials, and now is the lead trials coordinator at Cornell.

Apply today if...

Your dog has had a splenic Hemangiosarcoma
Your dog must have a splenic hemangiosarcoma that has been surgically removed either at a local veterinarian or at the CUHA. The diagnosis must have been confirmed with histopathology.
Exclusionary criteria

Your dog must not be on any supplements such as Yunnan baiyao or I'm Yunity/turkey tail mushroom.

Your dog must not have evidence of metastasis (spread of disease).

Background

Canine hemangiosarcoma is among the most challenging and mysterious diseases encountered in veterinary practice. It is an incurable tumor of cells that line blood vessels, called vascular endothelial cells. Hemangiosarcoma is relatively common in dogs; it is estimated that this type of cancer accounts for 5-7% of all tumors seen in dogs (300,000 – 420,000 cases/year). Considering the lifetime risk of cancer for dogs is between 1 in 2 and 1 in 3, we can calculate that 1.5 to 2.5 million of the ~72 million pet dogs in the United States today will get hemangiosarcoma and succumb from it. Although dogs of any age and breed are susceptible to hemangiosarcoma, it occurs more commonly in dogs beyond middle age (older than 6 years), and in breeds such as Golden Retrievers, German Shepherd Dogs, Portuguese Water Dogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Flat Coated Retrievers, Boxers and Skye Terriers. According to the Golden Retriever Health Study published in 2000, the estimated lifetime risk of hemangiosarcoma in this breed is 1 in 5, illustrating the magnitude of this problem.

Treatment

Regrettably, the standard-of-care for this disease has not seen significant advancement over the past 20 or 30 years. The options for therapy of canine hemangiosarcoma are limited, largely because the disease is not diagnosed until the late stages. The standard consists of surgery to shrink or remove the primary tumor, when possible, followed by intensive chemotherapy. In some cases, surgery is not feasible, or it can be impractical or inappropriate (for example, if there is evidence of extensive metastatic spread to sites beyond the primary tumor). There is no other therapy that has been proven to be effective to manage or control hemangiosarcoma.

Several alternative and complementary approaches (diet, herbs, mystical energy, etc.) have recently become popular as people try to find treatments for canine hemangiosarcoma. This usually follows extensive publicity after a dog receives these treatments and survives longer than anticipated, leading proponents to advertise this as success and evidence that their approach is curative for hemangiosarcoma. The danger of attributing curative power to treatment approaches after an anecdotal response cannot be overstated. There is no reported case where one of these therapies has been consistently successful (or even as good as the standard of care) after it has been tested without bias to try to replicate the anecdotal response. In fact, sometimes such treatments can actually interfere with or increase the toxicity of chemotherapy drugs

Prognosis

There is presently no readily available, effective test for early diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma. Careful analysis of blood samples by experienced pathologists may hint at the presence of chronic hemorrhage and blood vessel abnormalities that are suggestive of hemangiosarcoma. However, this method is neither sensitive nor specific to confirm the diagnosis. Non-invasive imaging methods are useful aids to diagnose the disease. In particular, ultrasound is moderately specific, but it is not sensitive, and the tumor must be large enough to be grossly visible. In addition, biopsies are required for confirmation of imaging results.

The majority of dogs diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma die within 1 year of diagnosis, with a large proportion of dogs not surviving beyond 6–8 months. With respect to HSA involving the spleen, surgery alone has been associated with extremely short survival times.Median survival for dogs treated with surgery alone is approximately 90 days, and that is extended to approximately 180 days by the addition of chemotherapy using one of several protocols available. Because the goal for chemotherapy in pet dogs is to extend life with good quality, toxicity is generally not a major issue of concern, and when it occurs it is most often managed without much difficulty.

About Hemangiosarcoma

Canine hemangiosarcoma is among the most challenging and mysterious diseases encountered in veterinary practice. It is an incurable tumor of cells that line blood vessels, called vascular endothelial cells. Hemangiosarcoma is relatively common in dogs; it is estimated that this type of cancer accounts for 5-7% of all tumors seen in dogs (300,000 – 420,000 cases/year). Considering the lifetime risk of cancer for dogs is between 1 in 2 and 1 in 3, we can calculate that 1.5 to 2.5 million of the ~72 million pet dogs in the United States today will get hemangiosarcoma and succumb from it. Although dogs of any age and breed are susceptible to hemangiosarcoma, it occurs more commonly in dogs beyond middle age (older than 6 years), and in breeds such as Golden Retrievers, German Shepherd Dogs, Portuguese Water Dogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Flat Coated Retrievers, Boxers and Skye Terriers. According to the Golden Retriever Health Study published in 2000, the estimated lifetime risk of hemangiosarcoma in this breed is 1 in 5, illustrating the magnitude of this problem.

Regrettably, the standard-of-care for this disease has not seen significant advancement over the past 20 or 30 years. The options for therapy of canine hemangiosarcoma are limited, largely because the disease is not diagnosed until the late stages. The standard consists of surgery to shrink or remove the primary tumor, when possible, followed by intensive chemotherapy. In some cases, surgery is not feasible, or it can be impractical or inappropriate (for example, if there is evidence of extensive metastatic spread to sites beyond the primary tumor). There is no other therapy that has been proven to be effective to manage or control hemangiosarcoma.

Several alternative and complementary approaches (diet, herbs, mystical energy, etc.) have recently become popular as people try to find treatments for canine hemangiosarcoma. This usually follows extensive publicity after a dog receives these treatments and survives longer than anticipated, leading proponents to advertise this as success and evidence that their approach is curative for hemangiosarcoma. The danger of attributing curative power to treatment approaches after an anecdotal response cannot be overstated. There is no reported case where one of these therapies has been consistently successful (or even as good as the standard of care) after it has been tested without bias to try to replicate the anecdotal response. In fact, sometimes such treatments can actually interfere with or increase the toxicity of chemotherapy drugs

There is presently no readily available, effective test for early diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma. Careful analysis of blood samples by experienced pathologists may hint at the presence of chronic hemorrhage and blood vessel abnormalities that are suggestive of hemangiosarcoma. However, this method is neither sensitive nor specific to confirm the diagnosis. Non-invasive imaging methods are useful aids to diagnose the disease. In particular, ultrasound is moderately specific, but it is not sensitive, and the tumor must be large enough to be grossly visible. In addition, biopsies are required for confirmation of imaging results.

The majority of dogs diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma die within 1 year of diagnosis, with a large proportion of dogs not surviving beyond 6–8 months. With respect to HSA involving the spleen, surgery alone has been associated with extremely short survival times.Median survival for dogs treated with surgery alone is approximately 90 days, and that is extended to approximately 180 days by the addition of chemotherapy using one of several protocols available. Because the goal for chemotherapy in pet dogs is to extend life with good quality, toxicity is generally not a major issue of concern, and when it occurs it is most often managed without much difficulty.