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Brain Tumor Clinical Trials for Dogs

Brain scans

Molecular Combinatorial Therapy for Canine Malignant Gliomas

For more information about participating in this trial, including eligibility requirements and contact information, visit the Molecular Combinatorial Therapy page of the Clinical Research Office site.

This clinical trial is a collaboration between investigators at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine 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. Earlier generations of these molecularly targeted cyotoxins have been used safely and effectively in dogs with gliomas.

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:

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.

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 our Neurology Clinical Trial Consultation Form.

Please note that a current MRI confirming the likely diagnosis of a glioma is necessary for determining eligibility. After you or your veterinarian has completed the form above, please email a copy of your dog's MRI report to Mindy Quigley.