New Trial Underway for Canine Osteosarcoma

Promising new work is being performed by Dr. Nicola Mason at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) for dogs with osteosarcoma.  The study is currently open to dogs with early stages of the disease who have not had any limbs amputated yet.  The treatment involves a tumor-targeting vaccine in combination with radiation therapy.  The goal of the treatment is to decrease cancer pain and increase the survival rate for dogs with this deadly disease.  So far, the trial has shown positive results in terms of limiting the spread of the cancer and prolonging the lives of these dogs.

She is currently recruiting dogs for the study, and can be reached via email at or via phone at 3996. For more information, you can go to the Penn Vet website about Dr. Mason’s Canine Cancer Studies here.

Dr. Mason has had success in treating dogs with osteosarcoma who have had amputation and chemotherapy as well.  According to the article I found in the Philly Inquirer, “of the first five dogs vaccinated in a previous clinical trial, four have survived over two years since diagnosis and three of these dogs remain completely tumor-free.”  You can read more here.  These statistics are really impressive.

Knowing that the grim statistics for dogs with osteosarcoma are that sixty percent die within the first year of diagnosis, I’d highly recommend learning more about this study if you are facing this situation with your dog.

3 thoughts on “New Trial Underway for Canine Osteosarcoma


    My girl border collie has sarcoma on the pelvic bone, and the Scan showed up shadows on the back bone, so they suspect the cancer has spread. A lump came up on the left side on the pelvic area and some bone has been eroded away . She has had chemo x 2 and radiotherapy x 2 and i am taking her for more today. She has not wanted to eat since yesterday. We have had times when she has eaten tiny amounts and she has had a bad stomach in the night. She is on medication for all of this but it has not stopped the diarrohea or made her want to eat. I am in UK. Rona aside from sleepiness and difficulty in getting into the car is still wanting to run in the park but has not been allowed. She is 12years 8 months.

    1. lola Post author

      Pamela —

      I am so sorry to hear about your border collie, Rona. What are you feeding her after her treatments? I think you are on the right track in trying to feed her small amounts. If she has a favorite food, I would probably try that. Cooked chicken or turkey could be a good option for you. Please let me know if that helps.

  2. Rekha

    It sounds like you’ve wroekd very hard to help him. Sometimes there are issues that require professionals to diagnose and treat and this sounds like one. If you didn’t get the dog until he was older then perhaps there were some issues in his puppyhood that created all this anxiety. If it were my dog, I’d seek professional help from a dog trainer or I’d place him with someone who knows what his problem is and is willing to spend all the necessary hours working with him. Putting him down would be a last resort, obviously, after you’ve tried the other two things. There are people out there who would be willing to work with him, but you can’t allow your life to be destroyed by an animal. We have several pet trainer yahooers who can help you. Check the Internet for some local listings of trainers/behavior modification specialists in your area or ask local vets for recommendations. If you don’t have the money to pay for that, try asking some of your local no-kill shelters for recommendations or ask them if they’d be willing to take the dog to see if they can help him. There are many programs (inmate programs for example) where animals are taken and trained, so maybe you can find something for him. Good luck.I live in Japan, and I’m exposed to the writing of all 3 languages every day.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *