00841-A: Pharmacokinetics and Phase I Clinical Trial of High-Dose Intermittent Oral Artemisinin in Dogs with Spontaneous Tumors

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $12,904
Guillermo C. Couto, DVM; Ohio State University
October 1, 2006 - June 30, 2008


Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Oncology
Donate to Support this Research Program Area


Osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone cancer in dogs. The estimated incidence is 10,000 dogs per year in the United States. Many large- to giant-breeds are at increased risk for osteosarcoma. Recently, retired racing Greyhound have been reported as the highest-risk breed. Artemisinin is a drug that has been used anecdotally in dogs with osteosaroma. Originally, it was used for treatment of malaria in South Asia, but it also kills cancer cells due to free radical generation in a reaction mediated by iron. Cancer cells have higher iron concentration than normal cells, so artemisinin is selectively toxic. Artemisinin and its analogs are effective in several types of human cancer cells in test tubes. We have previously shown that low concentrations of artemisinin derivatives induce cell death in several types of canine cancer cells in the test tube. Artemisinin and its analogs have been used in clinical cancer treatment in people, and in dogs with osteosarcoma, with daily administration of small doses; however, there are few reports of successful outcome. A marked decrease of the gut absorption of artemisinin occurs within days if it is given daily. We hypothesize that high, pulse-dose artemisinin will be safe and effective in cancer treatment because it is unlikely to induce absorption resistance and it can achieve higher blood concentrations. This strategy has resulted in encouraging clinical responses in a limited number of dogs with cancer in our clinic. This study will investigate if the absorption resistance can be avoided by pulse-dosing of artemisinin, and the safety of high-dose artemisinin treatment in dogs. The data of this study are essential in order to design additional clinical trials for cancer therapy using this promising group of compounds.


Hosoya, K., Couto, C. G., London, C. A., Kisseberth, W. C., Phelps, M. A., & Dalton, J. T. (2014). Comparison of High-Dose Intermittent and Low-Dose Continuous Oral Artemisinin in Dogs With Naturally Occurring Tumors. Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, 50(6), 390–395. https://doi.org/10.5326/JAAHA-MS-6145

Help Future Generations of Dogs

Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.

Learn How to Help

Make an Investment Today:

  • $50
  • $100
  • $250
  • $1000
  • Give Now
Connect With Us:
Get Canine Health News:
Please leave this field empty

© 2018 AKC Canine Health Foundation | Privacy Policy | Site Map

Site by Blackbaud, Inc.

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software