Brain Tumor Clinical Trials for Dogs
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Molecular Combinatorial Therapy for Canine Malignant Gliomas

Schematic of the CED procedure used in the clinical trial. The dog is anesthetized and a catheter guide pedestal is surgically implanted into the skull. This facilitates accurate and secure placement of the catheter in a direct trajectory to the brain tumor for the infusion. The experimental drug cocktail is slowly infused into the tumor and monitored with MRI. Following completion of the infusion, the catheter is removed and the dog is recovered from anesthesia.

For more information or to refer a patient, please contact:
Clinical Trials Coordinator
Ms. Mindy Quigley
Phone: 540-231-1363
Email: mindyq@vt.edu

Principal Investigator
Dr. John Rossmeisl
Associate Professor, Neurology/Neurosurgery
Phone: 540-231-3595
Email: jrossmei@vt.edu

This clinical trial is a collaboration between investigators at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VA-MD Vet Med) and the Thomas K. Hearn Brain Tumor Research Center at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. The treatment administered in the trial involves a procedure termed Convection Enhanced Delivery (CED) of molecularly targeted cytotoxins, which are types of chemotherapeutic drugs, to the patient’s brain tumor. CED is performed by inserting specialized catheters directly into the tumor, and slowly infusing the drugs over a several hour period. The drug treatment is monitored continuously with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to allow the neurosurgeon to precisely track the drug delivery. The chemotherapeutic drugs used in this trial are unique in that they are designed to affect only cancerous cells, and not normal brain tissue. Previous generations of one of the drugs (IL-13PE38QQR) used in this trial have been used safely in human brain tumor clinical trials.

This clinical trial has been approved by the:

  • VA-MD Vet Med Veterinary Teaching Hospital Review Board
  • Virginia Tech Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (12-014 CVM).

The trial has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The costs of the CED treatment procedure and follow-up MRI scans for individual dogs will be covered by the trial.

For more details about this trial, please visit the following pages:

As a dog owner, how can I participate in this trial?

If you suspect that your dog may have a brain tumor, you should arrange for an appointment with your local veterinarian. They will perform a complete neurological examination, which is the first and fundamental step in establishing a diagnosis in animals with brain disease. It is also a prerequisite for them to determine which additional diagnostic tests to recommend. However, advanced imaging studies of the brain, such as MRI, interpreted in conjunction with the neurological examination and other supporting tests, are usually necessary to best characterize diseases of the brain. If your local veterinarian cannot perform an MRI, they will often refer you to a veterinary neurologist that offers this service. The Neurology and Neurosurgery Service works on a referral only basis, which means that your local veterinarian must first evaluate your pet and arrange for an appointment to see one of our specialists. In order to be eligible for this specific clinical trial, your dog must have an MRI of the brain that demonstrates an abnormality consistent with a glioma.

The Boo Radley Foundation is an excellent resource for owners of dogs with brain cancer that are considering participating in clinical trials.

Clinical Trial Inclusion Criteria:

  • Dogs of any age, breed, or sex > 3 and < 45 kg body weight;
  • Clinical signs of mild to moderate neurologic dysfunction referable to the brain;
  • MRI evidence of a single telencephalic intra-axial mass lesion consistent with a glioma;
  • No clinical or other diagnostic evidence of other significant systemic disease.

We are happy to evaluate historical, clinical, and imaging findings to determine patient eligibility for this clinical trial. To expedite this process, please complete and return our Neurology Clinical Trial Consultation Form.

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