01726-A: Identifying Growth Factors That Promote the Spread of Osteosarcoma

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $11,135
Stuart Helfand, DVM; Oregon State University
April 1, 2012 - September 30, 2013

Sponsor(s): Golden Retriever Foundation

Breed(s): Irish Wolfhound
Research Program Area: Oncology - Osteosarcoma
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Project Summary

The ideal cancer treatment would destroy all cancer cells at the site where the cancer arose. Unfortunately, many cancer cells are endowed with properties that help them to move away from the primary tumor and force themselves through the walls of blood and lymphatic vessels to be carried away to distant sites where new tumors form, a process known as metastasis. This is the major cause of death due to cancer. While it may not always be possible to destroy all cancer cells before they spread, therapies that impair tumor metastasis would improve the outcome for cancer patients. Canine osteosarcoma is a common and lethal bone cancer that is highly metastatic leading to the eventual death of affected dogs. This study investigated the use of several recently developed drugs in human oncology as potential agents to inhibit motility and invasive tendencies of canine osteosarcoma. In vitro methods that mimic naturally occurring metastatic behavior of canine osteosarcoma, were used. These drugs, known as targeted small molecules, selectively interfere with cellular programs that endow cells with metastatic attributes. This study determined that the drugs evaluated markedly suppressed the highly migratory and invasive nature of canine osteosarcoma cell lines derived from canine bone tumors. The results provide compelling evidence for use of several targeted small molecules as a potential adjunctive strategy to control spread of osteosarcoma in dogs.


JM Gullaba, SC Helfand, K Marley: Effects of crizotinib on canine osteosarcoma migration and invasion. Abstract O-14 in: J Vet Int Medicine 27:685, 2013.

Marley, K., Gullaba, J., Seguin, B., Gelberg, H. B., & Helfand, S. C. (2015). Dasatinib Modulates Invasive and Migratory Properties of Canine Osteosarcoma and has Therapeutic Potential in Affected Dogs. Translational Oncology, 8(4), 231–238. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tranon.2015.03.006

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