A researcher at the University of Guelph just received funding to test a viral therapy on dogs with bone cancer.
Viral Immunologist, Dr. Byram Bridle, and his team have developed two cancer vaccines that they will use in conjunction with current standard of care treatment in hopes of extending the life expectancy of dogs with Osteosarcoma.
It’s the same cancer and the same progression that killed Terry Fox during his Marathon of Hope.
With a grant from the Terry Fox Research Institute, Bridle and his team plan to begin testing the vaccines on dogs next year at the Ontario Veterinary College.
One of the vaccines will attack cancer cells without killing healthy cells and the other will prime the immune system to target future cancer cells.
Within three years, they expect to transition into a human clinical trial. Bridle says the dogs will hopefully benefit from the treatment and inform researchers on how to tweak it for maximum effectiveness in humans.
As of now, dogs with Metastatic Osteosarcoma typically live less than a year.
Life expectancy in humans depends on several factors but in many cases isn’t much better.
Bridle expects there will be many pet owners waiting for a chance to enroll once the trial begins.