03019: Evaluation of a Targeted Anti αvβ3 Integrin Near-InfraRed (NIR-) Dye for Controlled Resection of Naturally Occurring Soft Tissue Sarcomas in Dogs

Grant Status: Open

Grant Amount: $135,272
Mirja Nolff, Dr. med. vet., DVM; University of Zurich
March 1, 2022 - February 29, 2024

Sponsor(s): Vizsla Club of America Welfare Foundation

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Oncology - Osteosarcoma, Oncology
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One Health: Yes


Soft tissue sarcomas are among the most common neoplasias of the skin and underlying tissue encountered in dogs. While they rarely spread to other organs, they tend to invade the surrounding tissues and grow unpredictably. Unfortunately, the surgeon cannot delineate these extensions by vision or touch, making it practically impossible to determine the true tumor borders during surgery. This is a very important limitation, as complete removal is essential to prevent regrowth. In order to compensate for the inability to define the true borders, the tumors are removed with a safety margin of 3 cm of surrounding tissue, which frequently result in very invasive surgeries. Nevertheless, complete resections are still not achieved in up to 30% of cases. If the surgeon would be able to actually see the true tumor borders while removing it, this important drawback could be addressed. Precise delineation of the tumor would enable the surgeon to remove the complete tumor while reducing the need for overly aggressive resections in unaffected regions. This study will evaluate the usefulness of a fluorescent dye that offers the chance to mark soft tissue sarcomas in dogs and make them shine under near-infrared (NIR) lighting during surgery. This study is designed to assess if the dye consistently and reliably marks tumor cells by comparing NIR-based resections with the standard approach to find out if 1) usage of the dye will increase the chance for complete resections and 2) the visible extension of the tumor under NIR light truly represents the histological extension of the tumor. As soft tissue sarcomas also occur in humans, the result of this study might not only serve to improve sarcoma treatment in dogs in the future but could also help to pave the way for improved treatment in humans.


Erin Beebe, Amiskwia Pöschel, Laura Kunz, Witold Wolski, Zahra Motamed, Daniela Meier, Franco Guscetti, Mirja C. Nolff, Enni Markkanen, Proteomic profiling of canine fibrosarcoma and adjacent peritumoral tissue, Neoplasia, Volume 35, 2023, 100858, ISSN 1476-5586, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neo.2022.100858

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