Author Topic: Morris Animal Foundation awards $775,000 to test osteosarcoma vaccine  (Read 386 times)

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Morris Animal Foundation awards $775,000 to test osteosarcoma immunotherapy vaccine in dogs


Morris Animal Foundation has awarded a $775,000 grant to the University of Pennsylvania to test a vaccine that could improve longevity and quality of life for dogs with the deadly bone tumor, osteosarcoma. The research team will conduct clinical trials to evaluate a novel immunotherapy treatment which combines a molecule expressed by cancer cells with a modified live form of the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes.

A pilot study demonstrated this combination elicited a powerful, targeted immune response directed against osteosarcoma cells in patients suffering from this type of cancer.

"This could be an incredible breakthrough in the fight against osteosarcoma, a highly aggressive and deadly cancer," said Dr. Kelly Diehl, Senior Scientific Programs and Communications Adviser at Morris Animal Foundation. "For the last 50 years, Morris Animal Foundation has been funding cancer studies, and this is one of the largest, single grants we have ever awarded. The results of the pilot study were so compelling, that we knew we had to support this research team and their progression to a clinical trial."

The vaccine supplements standard osteosarcoma treatment of amputation and chemotherapy by attacking cancer cells that have spread to other organs. The vaccine was created by removing harmful genes from the Listeria bacteria and then attaching markers of osteosarcoma cells.

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"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."