This is primary bone cancer and it is relatively common in dogs, especially large and giant breeds. It is almost exactly the same as osteosarcoma in humans. We are researching some proteins in these cancer cells in dogs which may prove useful in early detection of cancer spread and help target effective treatment while reducing toxicity. For more information click here.
Our previous research with another study identified a drug, Auranofin, which improved survival in male dogs with osteosarcoma. For more information click here. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31441983/#
At BVSC we are looking for dogs with osteosarcoma of the appendicular skeleton to study using PET-CT in the quest to identify a specific protein or proteins that may be overexpressed on the cancer cells. The proteins we are looking for are thought to be related to tumour growth, invasion or metastasis or all three. In the long term, the targeted diagnostic agent specific for the protein under investigation may then be used to image and monitor patients and this data may later be used to develop targeted therapy for animals and humans with osteosarcoma.
Positron emission tomography - computed tomography (PET-CT) is a very powerful diagnostic tool which marries a physiological study using a radio isotope with a radiographic study creating a three dimensional image profile.
With the proper care, PET-CT is very safe and at the very least, dogs undergoing these studies are provided with a detailed whole body CT which is a very accurate way of staging to ensure there are no metastases before instigating any therapy. This means they will not need three-view chest radiographs and orthogonal view radiography of the primary cancer which is the standard of care prior to therapy.
This represents a considerable cost saving for the owners. Owners will not be required to pay for the PET-CT and will be provided with information about the study and required to sign an informed consent.
There is no obligation for treatment. To be eligible, the patient will be required to have a histological diagnosis of osteosarcoma and this can be in the form of a preoperative or postoperative biopsy. In the latter case, the tissue will be acquired after the PET-CT as part of the normal treatment process. Participation in this study does not prevent the normal treatment options for osteosarcoma patients and only adds to the accuracy of the pre-treatment staging.