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 Canine Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is the most common cancer Mason Canine Lymphoma patient Imago of the blood in dogs. It is a cancer of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and it occurs in lymphoid tissues such as the peripheral lymph nodes, spleen and bone marrow.

The disease frequently occurs in middle aged and older dogs (median age 6-9 years). Certain breeds are predisposed to lymphoma and include Boxers, Bull Mastiffs, Basset Hounds, Saint Bernards, Scottish Terriers, Airedales, and Bulldogs. 

Most dogs with lymphoma develop enlarged lymph nodes, often felt as firm swellings underneath the jaw (submandibular lymphadenopathy), in front of the shoulder blades (prescapular lymphadenopathy) and/or behind the knees (popliteal lymphadenopathy). The most common subtype of NHL in dogs is Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma.

Combinations of systemic chemotherapy drugs that inhibit cell division and kill rapidly dividing cells lead to clinical remission in approximately 75% of dogs. However, the majority of canine patients relapse with lethal, drug-resistant lymphoma within 6 to 9 months of diagnosis and treatment.

This statistic demonstrates that current therapies to treat canine B-NHL are insufficient to eliminate all the cancer cells and provide a “cure” for this disease.

Dr. Mason’s laboratory is working on two different immune therapy approaches to treat lymphoma. The first is aimed at preventing disease relapse in dogs that have been successfully treated with chemotherapy. The second approach is for dogs that have relapsed with lymphoma and are developing chemotherapy drug resistant disease.


Current Lymphoma Clinical Trials


Re-directed Autologous T cell Therapy for drug resistant or refractory CD20+ B cell lymphoma

May 6, 2015

Pilot Study of Re-directed Autologous T cell Therapy for drug resistant or refractory CD20+ B cell malignancies

Overview:

In this approach, immune cells (known as T cells) are taken from the peripheral blood, genetically modified in the laboratory to express a receptor that recognizes B cells, and then expanded to produce large numbers of tumor specific T cells outside of the body.

These genetically modified (re-directed) T cells are then infused back into the body where they will seek out B cells and kill them. This process is known as adoptive immunotherapy and the cells that are infused into the patients are known as chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR T cells).

The approach has shown promising results in people with blood cancers such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). More information about this approach in people can be found here: http://www.nature.com/nri/journal/v12/n4/full/nri3191.html

Study Purpose:

The purpose of this study is to determine the safety and effectiveness of B cell specific CAR T cells to target and kill B cell malignancies. This study uses your dog’s own immune cells (T cells) obtained from a peripheral blood sample.

Your dog’s T cells will be genetically modified in the laboratory to become CART-20 cells designed to recognize, target, and kill CD20+ B cells. Your dog will receive chemotherapy prior to infusion and then  CART-20 cells will be infused back into your dog by an intravenous infusion (into a vein). It is hoped that these cells will seek out B cells and kill them, leading to a reduction in tumor burden and clinical remission.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Dogs with relapsed, drug resistant B cell lymphoma or B cell malignancies.
  • Dogs with confirmed expression of the target molecule (CD20) on the surface of their tumor cells (this can be determined at UPenn)
  • Dogs that weigh more than 10kg
  • Dogs whose T cells can be successfully grown and genetically modified in the laboratory
  • Dogs that have no other concurrent medical problems
  • Comments: At this time, we are enrolling patients in a sequential manner, meaning that the next patient will only be treated after the first patient has finished their course of therapy.

Contact:

If you are interested in participating in this clinical trial or would like to learn more about it, please contact:

Martha MaloneyHuss, DVM, Translational Research Intern in OncoImmunology
Phone: 215-898-6289
Email: martham@vet.upenn.edu

 Learn more about Dr. Mason's canine cancer immunotherapy research...



RNA-transfected CD40-B Cell Vaccines for Dogs With Newly Diagnosed Lymphoma

May 4, 2015

Study: Clinical Advancement of RNA-transfected CD40-B Cell Vaccine Technology for Cancer Therapy

Enrollment Closed

This clinical trial is currently closed for enrollment.

Study Purpose:

The purpose of this study is to determine whether repeat vaccinations with a cancer vaccine, made from your dog’s own immune cells (B cells), can prevent relapse of lymphoma when given following a standard 19-week course of chemotherapy. 

If your dog is in remission after chemotherapy, he or she will receive three vaccinations, each given three weeks apart.  After this, dogs will be vaccinated every two months to try to prevent lymphoma relapse. 

There is no fee to participate in the study.  The costs for the clinic visits, vaccines and follow-up monitoring will be covered by the study.

Sponsor:

Eligibility:

  • Dogs with a confirmed diagnosis of either B or T cell lymphoma
  • Dogs who have not yet received any treatment for their lymphoma
  • Dogs that are systemically healthy at the time of diagnosis
  • Dogs that will undergo a standard 19-week course of chemotherapy
  • Dogs that are in clinical remission following chemotherapy

Contact:

If you are interested in participating in this clinical trial or would like to learn more about it, please contact:

Martha MaloneyHuss, DVM, Translational Research Intern in OncoImmunology
Phone: 215-898-6289 
Email: martham@vet.upenn.edu

Learn more about Dr. Mason's canine cancer immunotherapy research...