What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are a type of research.  They are an important component of all specialties of medicine and help us as researchers and veterinarians to evaluate new types of diagnostics and treatments.  Clinical trials are variable and may be designed to answer different questions including is a new treatment more effective, is a new diagnostic more specific, or does a new therapy combination have less side effects. 

Who can join clinical trials?

The Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Hospital has many clinical trials underway at any one time.  It is possible that a pet may be eligible for more than one ongoing clinical trial.  There are often initial tests such as a physical exam, blood work and/or imaging that are needed to ensure a patient is approved for enrollment in a trial.  All clinical trials have a unique set of inclusion and exclusion criteria that help the research team enroll the correct patient population.  Your pet’s oncology clinicians will discuss standard treatment and clinical trial treatment options with you.  It is your decision as to whether or not you would like your pet to participate in a clinical trial.

What are the benefits of participating in a clinical trial?

There are several important benefits to participating in clinical trials.  You and your pet will be personally involved in expanding the scientific knowledge of oncology in veterinary patients.  Your pet may also receive novel diagnostics and/or treatments, and may receive these services at reduced or no cost.  The potential benefits of a clinical trial are varied and would be discussed thoroughly prior to your pet’s enrollment.

Contact information:

Please do not hesitate to contact the teaching hospital and the oncology service for more information on clinical trials.  If your pet has been diagnosed with cancer, we are available to discuss clinical trial options with your referring veterinarian in more detail.

Dr. Katie Curran and Dr. Haley Leeper
Phone: (541)737-4812
Fax: (541)737-4818

Current Trials

Pilot Study Evaluating the Microbiota in Dogs with Lymphoma

Study Purpose:

  • The gut microbiome is essential in maintaining the health and immunity of the host.  Alterations in this population of microorganisms and in mucosal tolerance have been shown to be a potential driver in the pathogenesis of many infectious and inflammatory diseases as well as certain types of cancer. Specifically related to cancer, the human and canine gut microbiota has an active role in drug pharmacokinetics, cancer therapies, and related toxicities.  Limited data exists in the veterinary literature related to the microbiome in dogs diagnosed with lymphoma.
  • The goal of this study is to evaluate differences in the microbiota between healthy dogs, dogs with lymphoma, and dogs with lymphoma treated with chemotherapy. Additionally, the impact of chemotherapy on the microbiota and eventual relapse will be examined. Evaluation of this information will determine whether changes in the microbiota after treatment is a significant prognostic factor for adverse effects from chemotherapy, response to therapy and response duration.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Dogs diagnosed with naïve multicentric lymphoma
  • Dogs at least 1 year of age and minimum weight of 15 kilograms
  • Dogs must be otherwise healthy, and have adequate bone marrow and organ function
  • Owners must sign consent form

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Dogs that previously received chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy for lymphoma treatment
  • Concurrent malignancy or other serious systemic disorder incompatible with this study

Study Protocol:

  • Dogs will need a physical exam, complete blood count, serum biochemistry, and confirmation of lymphoma and immunophenotype to ensure eligibility for enrollment.
  • Dogs must be treated with either the 19- week CHOP or single agent doxorubicin chemotherapy protocol
  • Once enrolled, dogs will have nasal, oral and rectal swabs performed throughout the study protocol.
  • Once the chemotherapy protocol is completed, the dog will be rechecked with a physical exam, nasal, oral and rectal swabs as well as tumor response monitoring monthly until relapse is documented.

Financial Incentives:

  • Clients with enrolled dogs will have special financial considerations.
  • Patients, once enrolled in the trial, will have discounted examination fees.  Clients are responsible for all other costs associated with their pet’s treatment including enrollment tests and examination, other recommended blood work, chemotherapy, treatment of adverse events and ancillary medications.  Detailed estimates of cost are available upon request.