Clinical Investigation Center

Dogs with hemangiosarcoma - new chemo agent trial

Dog - white shepherd face
Current Status:
Open and enrolling
Principal Investigator: Antonella Borgatti, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Oncology), DECVIM-CA
Contacts: Dr. Borgatti at the Oncology Service, 612-626-8387
Amber Winter, Senior Research Study Technician: alwinter@umn.edu, 612-624-1352

We are evaluating a new chemotherapeutic agent for dogs with residual disease of splenic hemangiosarcoma. The new agent is approved for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer and liposarcoma in humans and has shown anticancer effects in healthy animals in the laboratory. This study will measure response to therapy by evaluating changes seen on PET/CT (positron-emission computed tomography). PET/CT is a very sensitive form of cancer detection, more sensitive than conventional radiographs in assessing malignancy. The study is also a dose-finding trial to determine the safest dose of the new chemotherapeutic agent which is still effective.

Eligible dogs

  • histopathological confirmation of hemangiosarcoma (HSA) treated with splenectomy (prior to enrolling)
  • residual disease seen on PET/CT
  • 1 year or older
  • at least 10 kg (22 lbs)
  • have a performance score of 0-1 (normal activity level)
  • systemically healthy other than having HSA
  • have not had previous treatment for HSA beside surgical removal
  • other restrictions apply, call for details

Study summary

  • Screening visit - blood and urine testing, chest radiographs and abdominal ultrasound
  • PET/CT screening: CIC staff transport patient to CMRR building on Mpls campus, provide anesthesia while imaging occurs. Short-lived radioactive contrast is used. CIC staff provide recovery and return patient to Veterinary Medical Center (VMC). Dogs remain in isolation at VMC until radioactive contrast has harmlessly passed from patient (usually next day).
  • If residual disease seen on PET/CT, eligible to enroll
  • 1st cycle of treatment: Treatment days 1 and 7, overnight stay in ICU for monitoring
  • 2nd cycle: Treatment days 21-22 and 30-31 (as above)
  • 3rd cycle: Treatment days 42-43 and 50-51 (as above)
  • Each cycle could be the same dose, an increased dose or a decreased dose. The plan will be discussed with owners prior to each treatment.
  • Primary endpoint Day 63: restaging by chest radiographs, abdominal ultrasound (with or without sampling of abdominal fluid), PET/CT
  • Monthly restaging visits for exam, samples for clinical pathology, chest radiographs and abdominal ultrasound
  • Final visit Day 174 (25th week) with same as monthly staging visits

Costs of the study

Owners will be responsible for the costs associated with diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma and splenectomy. The study covers the costs of the screening and visits described above. 

For more information, please contact Amber Winter (see above).