- A team at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine published the results of a histotripsy clinical trial to address osteosarcomas in client-owned dogs.
- Osteosarcomas are aggressive bone tumors that affect both humans and dogs.
- The team found that histotripsy safely and effectively treated the targeted volumes within the tumors, with no significant adverse events.
A team led by Dr. Joanne Tuohy at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine recently published the results of a safety and feasibility study on the use of histotripsy to treat osteosarcoma in client-owned dogs.
Osteosarcoma is an aggressive form of bone cancer that occurs in children and dogs, frequently in the long bones. Curative treatment often requires amputation or limb salvage surgery, and histotripsy may offer a noninvasive, limb-sparing alternative to aggressive surgery. Histotripsy is a noninvasive and non-thermal method of destroying target tissue using focused ultrasound.
Four dogs with osteosarcoma and one with chondrosarcoma were enrolled and treated. Histotripsy effectively treated the targeted portion of each tumor, even in highly mineralized areas, as verified by gross pathology and microscopic histology. Investigators reported no significant adverse events and indicated that the treatment was well-tolerated in all patients.
The team also aimed to assess whether the histotripsy triggered an immune response in the subjects. However, immunological results were inconclusive, likely due to the short time frame (24 hours) between treatment and resection. Future work will further evaluate the immune effects of histotripsy as well as aim to treat the entire tumor volume and hopefully eliminate the need for surgery.
The researchers also encountered a number of technical challenges that will help refine future studies. Detailed analysis of post-treatment CT images was difficult due to tissue heterogenicity, and the team indicated that MR imaging would be recommended for future studies. In addition, ultrasound-guided targeting and treatment monitoring were more difficult in deeper tumors and those with a significant proliferative bone compartment.
The Foundation funded this study in part through our Veterinary Program.
Dr. Tuohy recently spoke with Tripawd Talk Radio about her work treating osteosarcomas in dogs.