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Mason Immunotherapy Research

Our Research

What is cancer immunotherapy?

Cancer immunotherapy aims to create, redirect, or strengthen an immune response against cancer cells within the body. In essence, this enables the patient's immune system to help target their cancer cells.

Immunotherapy encompasses many different treatment modalities, including monoclonal antibodies, cancer vaccines, cell-based therapies (CAR-T cells, antigen presenting cell vaccines, others), and checkpoint inhibitors.

What are the merits of immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is often highly specific - instead of affecting all rapidly-dividing cells, its effects can be targeted to a selective population of cells (cancer cells) that have a specific, shared characteristic. This allows cancer treatment to be more precisely applied to cancer cells, while sparing as many normal cells as possible.

Also, subsets of immune cells have the capacity for memory - if they are trained to recognize and kill cancer cells, the immune system as a whole can retain this knowledge over the course of years. Constant immune surveillance in the body combined with long-term memory of what cancer cells "look" like enables early immune recognition and targeting of cancer relapse.

Immunotherapy & Disease Models


Canine Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is the most common cancer 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 most common subtype of NHL in dogs is Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma.

Learn more about our work with Canine Lymphoma

Canine Hemangiosarcoma

Hemangiosarcoma is a common, aggressive cancer that arises from the cells that line blood vessels. The current standard of care is surgical removal of the spleen followed by chemotherapy. Unfortunately despite surgery and chemotherapy, the disease usually spreads and most dogs succumb to their disease within 6-12 months of diagnosis.

The Mason Lab have developed an antibody therapy to delay or prevent the spread of disease after surgery.

Learn more about our work with Canine Hemangiosarcoma

Canine Osteosarcoma

Osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone tumor found in dogs, and in most cases, it occurs in middle aged to older large and giant breed dogs. The exact cause of osteosarcoma is not known although it is likely that many factors are involved. Increasing evidence suggests that both canine and pediatric osteosarcoma might respond well to immune therapy when used in combination with other treatment modalities.

Learn more about our work with Canine Osteosarcoma