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Evaluation of high-frequency irreversible electroporation (H-FIRE) for treatment of canine lung tumors


To evaluate the feasibility, safety, and immune effects of using a novel non-thermal ablation technique, high-frequency irreversible electroporation (H-FIRE), for treating canine lung tumors.


Canine lung tumors can occur as primary or metastatic tumors. New treatment options are needed for these types of tumors, as patient outcomes are often poor, and survival times have improved little over several decades.

High Frequency Irreversible Electroporation (H-FIRE) is a novel non-thermal technique that precisely ablates tumors while sparing critical structures. H-FIRE also potentially induces an anti-tumor immune response, which may help to guard against metastatic disease development.

This study proposes to evaluate the feasibility and safety of treating canine lung tumors with H-FIRE, and to evaluate the tumor immune response to H-FIRE. Because canine lung tumors are a comparative model for human lung cancer, this work may inform future studies to evaluate the use of H-FIRE in people, ultimately improving outcomes for both humans and dogs.

This study is funded by the Veterinary Memorial Fund.


  • Dogs of any age, weight, sex, or breed with a diagnosis of primary or metastatic lung tumor(s) located peripherally in the lung lobe(s).
  • Radiographic or CT diagnosis of at least one lung tumor with a minimum diameter of 2 cm.
  • Tumor determined to be amenable to surgical resection and accessible for CT-guided H-FIRE treatment.
  • Cytological diagnosis of primary or metastatic lung tumor.
  • Owners have elected resection surgery to treat their dog’s lung tumor(s).


  • Dogs who have received any tumor-directed therapy (e.g. radiation), immunotherapy, or immunosuppressive drugs prior to study enrollment.
  • Evidence of extensive metastatic disease

Study Design

Dogs with suspected lung tumors will have an initial visit to determine eligibility, including relevant bloodwork, examination, and diagnostic imaging. Once the dog is enrolled, minimally invasive H-FIRE treatment will be administered under CT guidance at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Blacksburg, VA. Dogs will be transferred to the Animal Cancer Care and Research Center (ACCRC) in Roanoke, VA, where they will be monitored for 72 hours following administration of H-FIRE. Tumor resection surgery will take place at the end of the 72-hour monitoring period, and dogs will remain at the ACCRC until they are fully recovered from surgery, typically 2-3 days. Total hospitalization time for the study is approximately 5-7 days.


For enrolled dogs, the study-related bloodwork, histopathological analysis of the resected tumor, and up to $1,000 of the cost of a CT scan will be paid for by the study. The cost of H-FIRE treatment and post-treatment monitoring is covered by the study. An additional credit of up to $2,000 toward the cost of resection surgery is also provided.

For enrolled dogs, owners’ out of pocket costs, including initial screening to determine eligibility, are estimated at $2,500-4,500.


Mindy Quigley, Clinical Trials Coordinator
Office Phone: 540-231-1363 | Email:

Dr. Joanne Tuohy, Surgical Oncology
Phone: 540-231-4621 | Email:

If your query is urgent, please call the Small Animal Hospital on 540-231-4621.

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