Clinical Advancement of a Cancer Vaccine in Dogs

Canine lymphoma is the most common blood-based cancer in dogs with an estimated annual incidence of 30/100,000. Chemotherapy induces remission in 75-85% of patients; however, the majority of patients relapse with drug-resistant lymphoma within 8-10 months of diagnosis and most dogs die of their disease shortly thereafter. Cell-based vaccine strategies that stimulate anti-tumor immunity have shown promise in the treatment of many different cancer types including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) in humans.

In a previous study Dr. Mason developed a cell-based vaccine to induce anti-tumor immunity in dogs with NHL. Initial studies were hopeful as this early vaccine significantly prolonged second remission duration and overall survival, but ultimately the vaccine did not prevent relapse. These early findings suggest that while the lymphoma vaccine stimulated anti-tumor immunity it will require immunological boosting to achieve prolonged cancer-free survival.

In the current study, Dr. Mason will optimize her cell-based vaccine approach to induce functional, long lasting tumor-specific immune responses that will prevent relapse and prolong survival in dogs with NHL.

Co-sponsored with the AKC Canine Health Foundation, Grant Number: 01787


Nicola J. Mason, BVetMed, PhD
University of Pennsylvania