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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Sue Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

Dog Cancer Clinical Trials

Updated: October 8th, 2018

These days really seem like “ruff” times for many.  Bad economy, emotional strain, and a lot of general hardship.

If you have a dog diagnosed with cancer, but you cannot afford expensive treatments, what can you do?

There are several different options in The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.  I know that not everyone can afford all the recommendations from the vet, so these alternatives are very valuable.

One of them is enrolling your dog in a clinical trial.

One advantage of enrollment are that the treatment might be even better than what is commonly available.  Another plus is that the costs are little to none.  Still another is that your canine companion will get a very high level of care from highly trained veterinary oncologists. Last and certainly not least, your dog helps other dogs and even people to advance the conventional cancer care front.

Of course, we need to consider some other aspects of clinical trials.  For example, just because something is new does not mean it is better.  The whole point of the trial is to see how effective the treatment really is. Another is that it is likely that you will need to return to the veterinary hospital on a regular basis for follow-up and lab testing, which is part of the study. It is also true that it is difficult to judge the safety of the treatment before the trial.

For those close to veterinary universities or areas with larger populations, you may be able to enroll your dog.

Click here for a list of clinical trials on the Veterinary Cancer Society website.


Dr D

Leave a Comment

  1. David Kennedy on April 27, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Is there any thing I can do about reducing the size of a melinoma without surgery?

    • Dr. Dressler on May 3, 2010 at 12:19 am

      Dear David,
      wow. Short question, long answer!! Malignant melanomas can be quite aggressive, depending on where they are and the results of a biopsy report. Thus we usually “throw the kitchen sink” at them if we are interested in prolonging life significantly. They tend to spread (metastasize). You might consider (all with supervision by a veterinarian)
      1. seeing an oncologist who might be willing to administer the canine melanoma vaccine
      2. starting a supplement program (Apocaps)
      3. getting a vet involved to obtain neoplasene
      4. using the plan in The Dog Cancer Survival Guide (diet, other supplements, and much, much more)
      5. consider whether chemo is right for your dog with an oncologist
      These will get you in the right direction. Melanomas, again, are usually quite serious in the dog, so please get appropriate professional care.
      Dr D

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