Canine Oncology Clinical Trials

Veterinary oncology is the study and treatment of cancer in dogs, cats and other exotic and domestic animals. The OVC Oncology service thrives off of a team-based approach to oncology cases. They aim to provide a good quality of life to their patients and to prolong survival. To ensure a varied and effective range of treatment options, multiple collaborations and consultations will occur within a veterinary oncology team. This team consists of a radiation oncologist, surgical oncologist and medical oncologists. Currently, the OVC Oncology service offers local treatment (surgery and radiation therapy) and systemic treatment (chemotherapy and immunotherapy). To learn more about the OVC Oncology service, please click here, and for the Institute of Comparative Cancer Investigation, click here.


NEW STUDYCan We Use a Mobile App to Measure Oral Tumours in Dogs?

Complete Title: Utility and Feasibility of Mobile Device Photogrammetry to Accurately Determine Tumour Dimensions in Dogs with Oral Tumours, a Pilot Study

An important aspect of tumour staging and prognosis is often related to tumour size. Traditionally, clinicians have relied on hand-held caliper measurements alone prior to CT to accurately obtain a baseline for their patient’s tumour and to later assess response to therapy. Incorporation of technology in the assessment of pets with cancer is important for treatment evaluation and improving follow-up including the ability to monitor disease at home, without the need to travel for recheck appointments. 

Inclusion criteria:

  • Dogs with oral tumours >1cm undergoing CT scans for standard of care treatment at either the Ontario Veterinary College or the Toronto Veterinary Emergency and Referral Hospital   

NEW STUDYEvaluating the Use of Fluorescence Dyes in Surgery to Identify Canine Pancreatic Cancer and Metastasis

Complete Title: Pilot Evaluation of Near Infrared Fluorescence Imaging for Intraoperative Identification of Canine Insulinoma and Their Metastasis

Near-infrared fluorescence imaging (NIRF) using Indocyanine Green (ICG), a fluorescent dye, has been previously used in a number of veterinary applications (many in clinical trials here at OVC). The use of NIRF for pancreatic mass resection in dogs has not yet been described but holds excellent potential for improving patient outcomes. The objective of this pilot study is to investigate the feasibility and utility of NIRF imaging for intraoperative characterization of pancreatic tumours and their metastases in dogs.

Inclusion criteria:

  • Dogs that are diagnosed with a pancreatic mass and scheduled for exploratory laparotomy

NEW STUDY – Exploring a Novel Diagnostic and Treatment Technique in Combination With Surgery for Thyroid Tumours in Dogs

Complete Title: Exploration of Nanoparticle-Enabled Image Exploration of Nanoparticle-Enabled Image Guided Photoblation in Veterinary Patients

PORPHYSOME-enabled therapies can have an immediate impact on cancer management providing better patient outcomes. This study will evaluate the potential applications of the novel nanomedicine (PORPHYSOMES) and PDT in veterinary clinical patients with thyroid tumours.

This project is part of the Veterinary Medical Innovation Platform aligned with Dr Michelle Oblak’s research chair with OVC and Animal Health Partners!

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Dogs with a confirmed freely moveable thyroid tumour interested in pursuing surgery are eligible

NEW STUDY Characterization of Innate Lymphoid Cells in Canine Blood

The goal of this study is to determine how commercial compounds could be used to identify all subsets of innate lymphoid cells in the circulation of healthy dogs and expand them in our laboratory for further characterizations.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • INTERNAL STUDY – OVC Faculty, Staff and Student Owned Pets Only
  • Healthy adult dogs will be enrolled in the study. Exclusion criteria include body weight below 5 kg and above 45 kg, systemic disease, systemic immunomodulatory medication or supplement within the last two weeks (including corticosteroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories), and vaccination with the previous month

NEW STUDY Investigating Biomarkers of Metronomic Chemotherapy Treatment in Dogs with Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Complete Title: Investigating Biomarkers for Metronomic Cyclophosphamide Treatment of Canine Soft Tissue Sarcoma Using Functional Imaging, Tissue, and Blood Analysis

The objective of this study is to investigate the changes that occur inside the tumour using tissue and blood analysis for specific markers. These markers will be studied before and after 4 weeks of treatment.

Inclusion criteria:

  • Dogs with a confirmed diagnosis of soft tissue sarcoma with gross disease

NEW STUDYInvestigating Carboplatin Chemotherapy As Adjuvant Treatment For Canine Splenic Hemangiosarcoma

The goal of this study is to gain new insights on the efficacy and utility of carboplatin in the treatment of canine hemangiosarcoma.

Inclusion criteria:

  • Confirmed diagnosis of splenic hemangiosarcoma
  • Must have already undergone splenectomy
  • No evidence of metastasis
  • No previous chemotherapy treatment

Companion Animal (Cats and Dogs) Tumour Sample Bank

Complete Title: Companion Animal Tumour Sample Bank

The objective of this bank is to allow for translation of cancer research throughout the University of Guelph and greater community to improve lives of those with companion animals that have cancer.

Inclusion criteria:

  • Companion animals with a confirmed diagnosis of cancer and the presence of a tumour

Analyzing Lymph Node Spread in Dogs Undergoing Surgery for Thyroid Tumours

Complete Title: Evaluation of Regional Lymph Node Metastasis in Canine Thyroid Carcinoma

The objective of this study will provide a more accurate idea of how often metastasis to the lymph nodes occurs in dogs with thyroid tumours or what effect that lymph node involvement has on prognosis. Specialized tissue staining may also help find deposits of cancer beyond routine staining techniques.

Inclusion criteria:

  • Dogs with a confirmed diagnosis of a thyroid tumour undergoing staging and surgery

Evaluating Outcomes Associated with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in Dogs

Complete Title: Acute Myeloid Leukemia Study

The objective of this study is to learn more about the diagnosis and prognosis of different types of acute myeloid leukemia.

Inclusion criteria:

  • Dogs with a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome

Evaluating the Clinical Outcome of Dogs Diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoma

Complete Title: Prognostication of Canine T-cell Lymphoma

The objective of this study is to improve diagnosis and provide a more accurate prognosis for T-cell lymphomas.

Inclusion criteria:

  • Dogs with a cytology or histopathology diagnosis of lymphoma who will be treated with chemotherapy

Evaluating the Use of Fluorescent Dyes in Surgery to Improve Lymph Node Staging in Dogs with Lung Cancer

Complete Title: Evaluation of Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping in Dogs with Lung Tumours using CT Lymphography and Intraoperative Indocyanine Green

The objective of this study is to compare the accuracy of CT and intraoperative identification of sentinel (first draining) lymph nodes in dogs with lung tumours and to develop protocols for these methods of staging.

Inclusion criteria:

  • Dogs with a single lung tumour (less than 5cm) interested in pursing CT scan and surgery

Comparing the Use of Fluorescent Dyes in Surgery to Previously Reported Methods for Improving Lymph Node Staging in Dogs with Oral Cancer

Complete Title: Evaluation of Agreement Between Computed Tomography Lymphangiography and The Combination of Methylene Blue and Indocyanine Green for Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping in Dogs with Oral Tumours

The objective of this study is to evaluate the agreement between imaging and intraoperative techniques for identification of Sentinel Lymph nodes (SLNs) in canine patients with oral tumours. Development of these protocols could help decrease the number of lymph nodes surgically removed, in addition to ensuring accurate evaluation of the most important lymph node(s) for making follow-up treatment recommendations improving patient prognosis and outcomes for dogs diagnosed with oral tumours.

Inclusion criteria:

  • Dogs with a diagnosed oral tumour and interested in pursuing CT & Surgery

Gastrointestinal Lesions And Bleeding in Dogs With Mast Cell Tumours

Mast cell tumours (MCT) are a type of cancer of the skin and subcutaneous tissues that are relatively common in dogs. Mast cells are involved in the inflammatory response including the release of histamine, which increases stomach acidity. This can result in gastritis, vomiting, gastric ulcers and intestinal lesions in dogs with MCT.

Using a new, non-invasive technology (pill cameras) to obtain gastrointestinal (GI) tract images, the goal of this study is to better understand the prevalence of GI lesions in dogs with MCTs in order to better detect early lesions and overall, treat dogs with this cancer type.

Inclusion criteria:

  • Dogs (> 6 kg) with naturally occurring mast cell tumour disease 

Evaluating a Non-Invasive Heat Therapy For The Treatment of Bone Cancer in Dogs

Complete Title: Magnetic Resonance (MRI)-Guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) to Treat Limb Osteosarcoma in Dogs: a Pilot Study

Bone cancer or osteosarcoma (OSA) is a common, highly aggressive cancer that can affect the long bones of large breed dogs. Current standard of care therapy consists of limb amputation plus chemotherapy. High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) delivers ultrasonic energy that heats a target tissue above 60°C to produce tissue destruction without harming overlying and adjacent tissues within the path of the heat beam. It has been proposed that HIFU could be an alternative, non-surgical treatment which could provide an opportunity for the immune system to mount an immunity against OSA and could possibly reduce the frequency and/or speed of occurrence of metastasis.

Inclusion criteria:

  • Dogs with a confirmed diagnosis of osteosarcoma with no evidence of metastases
  • No previous surgical/radiation treatment for treatment of OSA
  • Prior chemotherapy and/or bisphosphonate treatment will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis


Questions about these studies?