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Targeted Delivery of Chemotherapy to Fight Bone Cancer

Osteosarcoma is the most commonly diagnosed bone tumor in large dogs. As the cancer grows within the bone, it causes debilitating pain that usually can be eliminated only through amputation. Following amputation, many dogs return to near-normal levels of physical activity and quality of life, but many pet owners would appreciate alternative treatments that preserve the limb. Conventional chemotherapy drugs aren’t used because they must be given orally or intravenously, exposing the dog’s entire body to toxic elements. Researchers will design and test the safety and effectiveness of a novel way in which to deliver chemotherapy directly to the site of tumor growth. This therapy may eliminate the need for amputation and reduce toxic exposure to the dog’s organs.

Dr. Timothy M. Fan, University of Illinois