Our Programs and Priorities
Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is an aggressive cancer in dogs that carries a poor prognosis. There are limited therapeutic options for HSA treatment, with none currently providing a significant opportunity for long-term survival. Since HSA cases commonly involve emergency, surgery, internal medicine, and chemotherapy services, numerous specialty services throughout a hospital are impacted. This means that the unmet needs are recognized by all parts of the profession.
Through our previous HSA work, Canine Hemangiosarcoma Molecular Profiling study, we now have new knowledge that allows truly innovative trials investigating HSA diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. The collective data obtained from these planned studies will provide significant translational benefit for humans affected with a similar cancer, angiosarcoma.
Current and Upcoming Studies in the Hemangiosarcoma Program
- Ethos Precision Medicine Umbrella Study for Hemangiosarcoma (ETHOS-PUSH)
- Rapamycin for the Treatment of Hemangiosarcoma in Dogs
- Sorafenib Study for the Treatment of Solid Tumors in Dogs
- Canine Hemangiosarcoma Precision Medicine and Liquid Biopsy Program (CHAMP)
Future Hemangiosarcoma Studies
- Hemangiosarcoma Liquid Biopsy — A liquid biopsy refers to the detection of cancer-specific cellular or subcellular analytes that allow a cancer diagnosis to be made from blood, rather than a tissue biopsy. There is a clear need for this innovation in the diagnosis and management of canine HSA, specifically to differentiate between benign and malignant disease when a dog is diagnosed with a splenic tumor rupture in the emergency room. Such a test could be used to predict prognosis and disease burden as a reference lab offering. Preliminary analysis of tumor and blood DNA suggest both diagnostic assays may be reasonably developed for canine HSA patients; however, further innovations in device technology are needed to deliver a point of care test result.
- Hemangiosarcoma Specialized Test for the Assessment of Molecular Prognosis (STAMP) — This tissue-based assay is based on a new understanding of HSA that was derived from the CHAMP study, which has defined the disease in at least four distinct genomic groups. Preliminary data suggests biologically distinct behaviors for these molecular subtypes, and provides a rationale for distinct therapeutic approaches for the subtypes (a focus of the ePUSH study). Differentiating HSA according to its molecular subtype would help clinicians and clients better understand prognostic differences that may exist between patients, and select patient-specific treatment approaches (potentially supported by the ePUSH data). Collectively, the HSA STAMP study provides an opportunity to develop a truly novel assay for clinicians managing dogs with this aggressive cancer type. Upon scientific validation, which has been proposed, we predict this assay will be rapidly adopted as part of the standard-of-care HSA diagnostic work-up, initially as an integrated assay added to the existing pathology assessment. Results of this study will then support the scientific prioritization of gene targets for the planned POC liquid biopsy diagnostic assay.