Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is one of the most aggressive cancers out there with a very low survival rate by the time it is detected in our dogs. Hemangiosarcoma treatments in dogs have previously only extended the life of a dog few months. That’s the reason NCCF has funded part of the research being done by the University of Minnesota that has led to a breakthrough in treating this dreaded disease! A drug that the University of Minnesota created has improved the survival rates of dogs who have Hemangiosarcoma.
The sobering statistics tell us that only 10% of dogs will survive one year past their diagnosis. Less than 50% will survive 4-6 months past diagnosis.
Some of the money in gifts from our generous donors has allowed researchers to come together and create a treatment that can extend a dog’s life beyond current expectations.
What the Study Uncovered
In the first phase of the study, the researchers developed and refined a blood test to diagnose hemangiosarcoma. The researchers worked to determine whether the blood test accurately detects the presence of HSA in dogs. They found that about 90% of the time, the test does indeed accurately identify dogs in which the disease is present.
In the second phase, they determined how effective this test is in determining whether the disease had returned in a dog that is being treated for the disease. To date, the results suggest the test can do this and they expect to be able to confirm this through ongoing analysis of the available data.
The focus of the third phase was to establish the utility of the test to diagnose hemangiosarcoma in the earliest stages, with the aim of preventing the disease in otherwise healthy dogs. In other words, the question they sought to answer was, “Can we identify dogs at high risk of hemangiosarcoma that would benefit from prevention?” It seems this is possible.
209 dogs were tested as part of Shine On phase-3 and they will be followed to establish the reliability of the test results, and how often the test would need to be repeated to maximize its utility. The researchers estimate that there is a less than 1% likelihood of a dog that tests “negative” to develop hemangiosarcoma over the subsequent 6-month period, more than 90% of dogs with a “positive” test require further evaluation for the presence of disease, and those where HSA is not identifiable would be candidates for prevention.
How would this prevention be achieved? By using the drug eBAT to kill the cells that create and maintain the tumor and to make the conditions unfavorable to tumor growth.
The researchers will continue to follow the 209 dogs tested as part of Shine On phase-3 to establish the reliability of the test results, and how often the test would need to be repeated to maximize its utility.
Is eBAT Safe
It is natural to wonder if eBAT is safe, and if it is effective for HSA prevention?” The good news is that eBAT has proven to be remarkably safe and its potential side effects are readily manageable. There will be ongoing follow-up of dogs at risk that did – or did not – receive eBAT prevention will allow the research team to confirm the effectiveness of eBAT in the prevention of hemangiosarcoma.
Updates of these results will continue to be disseminated through scientific and veterinary meetings at health seminars, as well as through scientific, peer-reviewed publications.
The drug eBAT was invented by study senior author Daniel Vallera, Ph.D., professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School and Masonic Cancer Center.
“eBAT was created to specifically target tumors while causing minimal damage to the immune system. HSA is a vascular cancer, meaning it forms from blood vessels. eBAT was selected for this trial because it can simultaneously target the tumor and its vascular system,” said Vallera.
Lead study author Antonella Borgatti, D.V.M., M.S., associate professor with the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine said, “In this trial we aimed for a sweet spot by identifying a dose of eBAT that was effective to treat the cancer, but caused no appreciable harm to the patient. Essentially we’re treating the cancer in a safer and more effective way, improving quality of life and providing a better chance at survival,”
Successes with eBAT
eBAT, the Hemangiosarcoma treatment for dogs, was tested on 23 dogs of various breeds, both large and small, with Hemangiosarcoma of the spleen. Dogs received three treatments of eBAT after surgery to remove the tumor and before conventional chemotherapy. The drug treatment improved the 6-month survival rate to approximately 70% and five of the 23 dogs that received eBAT treatment lived more than 450 days.
“This is likely the most significant advance in the treatment of canine HSA in the last three decades,” said study co-author Jaime Modiano, V.M.D., Ph.D., professor in the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and member of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota.
“We would also like this drug to achieve positive outcomes for humans here,” Modiano said. “The ultimate goal for all of us is to create a world in which we no longer fear cancer.”
This study gives us hope that Hemangiosarcoma treatments in dogs are getting better and working toward ending cancer as a death sentence.
What You Can Do To Help
Join us in continuing to FIGHT CANINE CANCER! Your donations are making a difference! To make a difference in Hemangiosarcoma treatment in dogs, and to fight dog cancer, please go to our donation page. Also, all purchase in our store fund the fight again cancer in dogs.