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Clinical Trials

EndoscopyThe VTH conducts investigative clinical trials to determine the safety or effectiveness of a new method of diagnosis or modality of treatment for animal diseases. Some diseases occurring in companion animals model diseases in humans. The results of our clinical trials may provide the new knowledge needed to advance both animal and human health.

All clinical trials are reviewed and approved by the Veterinary Teaching Hospital Board of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

Selection of Clinical Trials

At any given time, there are numerous clinical trials beginning and ending throughout the Teaching Hospital. While it would be impractical to list all of them, you can learn about some of our featured trials below:

Brain Tumor Trial
Molecular Combinatorial Therapy for Canine Malignant Gliomas

To determine the safety and effectiveness of a new chemotherapy drug and drug delivery method in the treatment of brain tumors (gliomas) in dogs.


This clinical trial is a collaboration between the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary 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. 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.

Learn more about this research on the Brain Tumor Clinical Trials for Dogs website.

Heart Valve Disease Trial
Accuracy of Non-Invasively Determined Pulmonary Artery Pressure in Dogs with Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease (MMVD)

To assess the accuracy of using heart sonograms (echocardiography) to determine blood pressure in the pulmonary vessels in dogs with heart valve disease (MMVD).


This study is intended to assess the accuracy of echocardiography in determining pulmonary pressure in dogs MMVD. The results of the proposed study will improve the diagnostic evaluation of pulmonary hypertension (PH) in dogs and our understanding of dogs with pre-clinical MMVD, providing for the first time important data of cardiac function. Because early phases of PH in dogs with MMVD may be reversible, it is important to recognize the condition as soon as possible as this may affect outcome and impact therapeutic decisions.

Learn more about this research on the Heart Valve Disease Trial website.

Oncology Trial
Genetic Analysis of Disseminated Histiocytic Sarcoma

To determine the genetic basis of the disseminated form of Histiocytic Sarcoma (HS) and ultimately identify potential targets for treating the disease.


The disseminated form of Histiocytic Sarcoma is often aggressive, deadly, and resistant to standard drug therapies. Certain breeds, such as Bernese Mountain Dogs, have an unusually high incidence of this rare form of cancer. Preliminary data indicate that specific gene expression patterns are associated with the disseminated disease, suggesting the existence of subtype-specific genetic changes. We seek to identify the full complement of the most important genetic mutations in disseminated HS, and determine their incidence in Bernese Mountain Dogs.

Learn more about this research on the Disseminated Histiocytic Sarcoma Trial website.