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THE PROBLEM: Osteosarcoma, a type of primary bone cancer, behaves the same way in both children and dogs. Notably, the most common cause of death is cancer spread to the lungs. In people, surgeons use surgery to remove these tumors, and one out of every four people will survive long-term, living longer than five years post-surgery.  

THE PROJECT: Dogs rarely have surgery to remove the spread of the cancer to other sites in the body due to the perceived risk of side effects with a major surgery in an older dog. However, advances in veterinary surgery have shown that surgeons can remove these tumors using minimally invasive techniques that are easier on the patient and allow dog patients to go home quickly after surgery. Researchers are currently enrolling dogs with bone cancer tumors that have spread to the lungs in a study to look at the feasibility of this type of surgery in dogs. Tissues removed during surgery will be collected and shared with researchers in both the human and veterinary fields. Tumors removed during lung surgery will be analyzed to help better understand how the tumor changes from the original site in the bone to the secondary site in the lungs.  

POTENTIAL IMPACT: Findings will help elucidate if we should be treating metastatic bone cancer differently to improve care and treatment for dogs and children with this devastating disease.     


Study ID
Study Status
Grant amount awarded
Grant recipient
Ethos Discovery   
Study country
United States
Heather Wilson-Robles, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)    
Study category