One of the worst things about osteosarcoma, which is awful for both dog and owner in every respect, is there have not been any new treatments for the disease in decades.
Until now. We have been following Dr. Nicola Mason’s work at the University of Pennsylvania on a new immunotherapy treatment for osteosarcoma patients, and now, finally, it has been granted a conditional license by the FDA and will be available around the country.
Under this conditional license, the treatment will be available at approximately two dozen specialty veterinary clinics around the US. This hasn’t happened yet, but should very soon. Once that happens, there are two current options to obtain the vaccine:
1) As part of a phase II clinical trial, which is basically an expansion of the one Dr. Mason originally did with 18 dogs, but now it will include 80 dogs all over the country. This trial will determine the vaccine’s effectiveness in dogs that have undergone amputation and chemotherapy. This study is being performed through the Comparative Oncology Trial’s Consortium (COTC) at academic institutions, as dogs have to be enrolled PRIOR to amputation, as samples need to be collected at surgery for scientific study. The study does not pay for amputation or chemotherapy (standard of care) but does pay for all vaccines and visits, etc., thereafter.
The first priority is to enroll eligible dogs in the study. However, the immunotherapy will also be
2) Commercially available: the vaccine has been licensed by the company Aratana Therapeutics and will be available for purchase at the clinical trial sites. It will be at the veterinarian’s discretion to use the Canine Osteosarcoma Vaccine if a dog does not meet study eligibility criteria.
The study sites will be named shortly, and, once they are released, they can be found on the AVMA’s clinical trials list. Stay tuned!