Animal Cancer Center researchers are embarking on a study that may save the lives and limbs of both human and animals with bone cancer. The study uses a new state-of-the-art imaging and treatment system at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Researchers are seeking to enroll dogs with osteosarcoma that may qualify for the study.
The treatment is designed to deliver doses of radiation to within 2 millimeters of precision to tumors in the legs of dogs with osteosarcoma using the Varian Trilogy Linear Accelerator.
Osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone cancer in dogs and people. The most common treatment and current standard of care for this disease in dogs is amputation and chemotherapy, said Dr. Stewart Ryan, a researcher at the Animal Cancer Center and Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences.
"This is one of the first studies that uses objective measurements of how well dogs use their legs after this sort of treatment," Dr. Ryan said. "The results of this study may help prevent amputations in future veterinary patients and would also have a translational aspect to help humans with bone cancer who don't want amputation. It may also have a role in decreasing the number of cycles and intensity of chemotherapy before limb-spare surgery in people, giving them a higher quality of life during the treatments.”
When veterinarians are able to perform limb-sparing surgery for dogs, there are often complications that can result in additional surgeries and expense or ultimately end up in amputation.
"Now that we have this new equipment, we started to think about how we could develop high-dose radiation therapy as a non-surgical limb salvage treatment and a potential cure," said Dr. Ryan, who is collaborating on the study with Drs. Susan LaRue and Susan Kraft, both in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences.
The study is limited to dogs with osteosarcoma in their limbs. People interested in enrolling their pets in this study or finding out more about treatment of osteosarcoma with high-dose radiation can contact Dr. Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (970) 297-4159.