Clinical Trials

Welcome to a resource for information on current research trials in veterinary oncology.

Pet owners often ask us if we are aware of any CLINICAL TRIALS that may be available to their cat or dog who has been diagnosed with cancer. While there certainly are a number of studies occurring around the world, participation in a clinical trial can often be difficult, especially if the trial is going on in a hospital or clinic far away from your home.

Each clinical trial has very specific qualifications for participation that include everything from the breed and age of the participant to the life expectancy, weight and of course the type of cancer. Each study is very particular in its criteria for participation. Something else to take into consideration is that clinical trials are NOT always free. There may be fees to participate because grants may only cover a certain portion of the trial, and you may have to travel a long way to participate for several weeks or months perhaps.

The following links represent an organized effort to provide general practitioners and their pet owners access to information to trials being conducted across the United States and, in some cases, in other countries.

Katarzyna Purzycka

Clinical Research Trial Overview

Clinical trials may involve novel diagnostic methods or therapies including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgical procedures, hypo- or hyperthermia, immunotherapy and photodynamic therapy, among others. While most clinical research trials are conducted at colleges of veterinary medicine, a growing number of specialty referral practices are participating in clinical research. For some trials, all visits must occur at the trials institution or practice, but for others there are tests or procedures that could be performed at the general practice.

When discussing the possibility of participating in a clinical trial with pet owners, it is helpful to share that although “experimental,” or “investigational,” the safety and efficacy of new therapies and procedures have often been evaluated first in laboratory animals as well as normal dogs or cats, and the therapy is considered to be of potential benefit to the patient.

Dr. Sarah Sheafor

Reminder for veterinarians managing pets enrolled in clinical trials

Adherence to the treatment protocol is of vital importance to ensure that the protocol is followed as planned, such that the results are both reliable and meaningful. Any deviation in the pet’s health or management (including medications and supplements) must be reported to the trials institution. For most trials, owners are asked to agree to a necropsy in the event of the death of their pet. Pet owners also may appreciate the translational value of the research in which their pet may be participating. Many naturally-occurring cancers in pet animals closely resemble human cancer and provide meaningful systems for cancer research to benefit both man and animals.

The clinical trials listed on this website are not run under the auspices of the Veterinary Cancer Society. Clinical trials are performed in order to assess the toxicity and/or efficacy of a certain treatment protocol. While the hope is that the investigators will find a less toxic or more effective treatment for cancer, there are no guarantees regarding the outcome of any trials listed on clinical searchable database found on this site.