Immunolight Therapy Clinical Trial for Canine Malignancies

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Study Type: Clinical Study
Study Location: North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Michael Nolan and his team at the North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine are seeking dogs (all breeds) with almost any type of tumor that measures 2-6 cm in diameter and is peripheral/palpable (mast cell tumors and hemangiosarcomas are not eligible).  Common examples include:

  • Soft tissue sarcomas (e.g., spindle cell tumors, fibrosarcoma, hemangiopericytoma, nerve sheath tumor, liposarcoma, etc.)
  • Digital tumors (e.g., squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma)
  • Skin tumors (e.g., melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, sebaceous gland tumors, round cell tumors, TVT, trichoblastoma, trichoepithelioma, pilomatricoma, etc.)
  • Rostral oral tumors (e.g., melanoma, fibrosarcoma, squamous cell carcinoma, epulis/ameloblastoma, etc.)
  • Perianal tumors (adenomas and carcinomas)
  • Anal sac tumors

Study Description:
Immunolight therapy involves the use of psoralen, a naturally-occurring compound found in broccoli and figs, as well as phosphors, tiny particles that absorb energy from X-rays to emit UV light in and around cells.  For decades, psoralen has been used to treat skin disorders, cancer and autoimmune disease.  Immunolight therapy converts penetrating forms of energy, such as low-dose X-ray, into energies that are capable of activating the drug inside the body.  This activation generates light inside the tumor to induce an immune response against cancer–akin to a related technology (photopheresis) that has been successfully used on cancers of the blood.

With the support of the Immunolight team, doctors in the department of Radiation Oncology at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine are working with researchers at Duke University’s School of Medicine to develop Immunolight therapy as a treatment option for dogs with various tumors.  This therapy is intended to provide an alternative treatment for cancer whose hallmark will be a non-invasive, immune-based treatment that does not involve the introduction of cytotoxic agents used in conventional chemotherapy, thus eliminating the devastating, life altering side effects of current therapies.

The goal of this study is to evaluate the safety of Immunolight therapy in canine cancer patients.  Information gathered in this study will be used to tell us more about how this therapy can be effectively used for treatment of various cancers in dogs and people.

Study benefits include:
Free staging tests, Free Immunolight therapy sessions, Free recheck examinations (a total value of ~$4,570 without the support of this clinical trial!).  Additionally, pet owners will be eligible for a study completion incentive of $1,250!


More Information


Contact Information:
Name: Clinical Studies Core
Phone:  919-515-2633, or 919-513-6384

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