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THE PROBLEM: Hemangiosarcoma is an aggressive, metastatic canine cancer, that rarely produces early clinical signs. Tumor surgical removal is the first choice of treatment. However, this treatment is not effective in avoiding metastatic disease, which is the primary cause of death. Many traditional chemotherapeutic approaches to prevent or treat metastatic disease have been described and tested without improving life expectancy for affected dogs.

THE PROJECT: In this study, researchers will investigate a new treatment approach using extracellular vesicles to deliver drugs directly to the tumor. All types of cells, including tumor cells, can produce small particles called extracellular vesicles, which act as molecular shuttles, delivering molecules that promote cell-to-cell communication. Drugs and antineoplastic agents may be loaded into these molecular shuttles and delivered to specific target tissues, including tumors. The team will develop a protocol to test these molecular shuttles as a delivery system of antineoplastic agents against canine hemangiosarcoma in vitro (under laboratory conditions).

POTENTIAL IMPACT:  If successful, findings will provide a foundation for further research into developing novel cancer treatments for dogs with hemangiosarcoma.

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University of Milan
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Clarissa Zamboni, DVM, PhD  
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