Purpose of Study
The purpose of this study is to evaluate a drug called rapamycin that may help slow down the progression of cancer cells. Metastatic disease, primarily to the lungs, is the major cause of death among human and canines with osteosarcoma. Rapamycin, an oral drug, blocks a pathway that helps cancer cells grow, theoretically slowing the spread of metastatic disease to the rest of the body. Our hope is that, with the use of rapamycin, we can increase the lifespan of dogs diagnosed with osteosarcoma.
Participants in the study will receive $1,500 toward their amputation bill. In addition, they will receive four chemotherapy treatments and all study required follow-up appointments at no cost.
Enrolled dogs must weigh at least 25kg, have newly diagnosed osteosarcoma in the long bone of a limb, and have no evidence of metastatic disease. They cannot have received prior radiation or chemotherapy and must undergo an amputation of the limb at the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH).
Dogs enrolled in the study will be randomized into two groups. All dogs will receive an amputation of the affected limb followed by four doses of chemotherapy (given every three weeks). This is considered “Standard of Care” therapy. After completing standard of care, dogs in one group will go on to receive rapamycin for four months while dogs in the other group will return every eight weeks for follow-up exams and radiographs.
Owners are financially responsible for their dog’s osteosarcoma diagnosis which includes cytology or histology of the lesion, blood work and urinalysis, thoracic radiographs and an abdominal ultrasound. Owners need to be willing to commit to a long-term study which includes coming to the WSU VTH for all their dog’s cancer treatments and for study-required checkups. Some owners will be responsible for giving rapamycin to their dogs on a set schedule and for bringing their dog in to the VTH for blood work and checkups while on the drug.