The University of Pennsylvania has been granted a $775 000 by the MAF (Morris Animal Foundation) to test and evaluate a new vaccine that can improve the quality and longevity of life for dogs that suffer from osteosarcoma. The research team plans to conduct several clinical trials in which they will evaluate this new immunotherapy treatment. The vaccine is a combination of a molecule expressed by the cancer cells and modified life form of L.monocytogenes.

This new approach will hopefully substitute the old school treatments for osteosarcoma in dogs, which was chemotherapy and amputation. Osteosarcoma is highly aggressive and very deadly cancer.

The mechanism of the vaccine is that the bacteria serves as a vehicle, as a delivery system, to take the cancer marker to the immune system of the patient and to instruct it to kill the tumor cells that express the marker. In this way, the immune system later will continue to search for the same cancer cells and will continue to attack and destroy them.

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