“Investigating the Biologic Activity of Gemcitabine in Canine Osteosarcoma.” Dr. Cheryl A. London and Dr. Melanie McMahon (Resident). Study sponsored in partnership with Chase Away K9 Cancer Campaign and the Sacramento Valley Dog Fanciers Association
Osteosarcoma (OSA) is the most common bone tumor in dogs, reportedly occurring in over 8,000 dogs each year in the United States and representing up to 85% of all bone malignancies. OSA occurs most often in the long bones and is locally aggressive causing local destruction of bone, leading to non weight bearing lameness on the affected limb. Treatment involves amputation of the affected limb followed by chemotherapy. However, approximately 90% of dogs with OSA will die of cancer spreading to other organs primarily lungs. To improve the survival advantage, new therapeutic approaches need to be explored. Gemcitabine is a synthetic analog of cytosine arabinoside that has anti-tumor activity in a variety of human cancers. Recent laboratory data and mouse models suggest that it can inhibit the viability and growth of human OSA cells.
Objective: the purpose of this study is to evaluate the anti-tumor activity of Gemcitabine against canine OSA cell lines to assess whether this chemotherapeutic agent has potential clinical utility. Additionally, the ability of Gemcitabine to work synergistically with other agents such as small molecule inhibitors and bisphosphonates, both of which have some activity against OSA, will be tested. This study may lead to a new treatment option for OSA.