Vaccine Study for Dogs with Splenic Hemangiosarcoma

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine is currently recruiting dogs recently diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma for clinical research trial. This investigational trial is for the development of a vaccine for future treatment of splenic hemangiosarcoma in dogs.

Enrollment Status: Currently Enrolling

  • Inclusion criteria: Any dog recently diagnosed with splenic hemangiosarcoma that does not have other life threatening diseases and is treatment naive. Your dog is eligible for the study when they
    have had their spleen removed (by splenectomy) and sampled at the University of Florida and are able to receive standard of care chemotherapy (doxorubicin) treatment. More specific inclusion criteria will be discussed with you during your evaluation appointment.
  • Treatment: Your dog will have the vaccine in addition to standard of care therapy. The vaccine will be given over 6 visits approximately 3 weeks apart in addition to 6 chemotherapy visits.  If appropriate, your dog will also receive boosters every 6 months. The chemotherapy visits will be scheduled 2 weeks prior to each vaccine visit. At each visit, blood will also be drawn to measure the immune response for study purposes.
  • Cost: You will need to schedule an Oncology Evaluation Appointment for your dog. This evaluation appointment is a pre-requisite for determining eligibility and does not guarantee that your dog will qualify to receive the study vaccine. If your dog is eligible for the study at the time of the evaluation, all costs will be discussed with you prior to study enrollment. The study will cover the cost of six doses of the vaccine or placebo (approximately a value of $800) for dogs that are eligible to receive it. The study will also pay $200 towards X-rays of the chest at Chemotherapy 4 (or week 10)and $200 towards X-rays of the chest at Vaccine 6 (or week 18) of the trial (or, in other words,$400 will be put towards chest x-rays as part of the study). Complications due to vaccine are not expected, but should any arise, the study will pay for those treatments directly associated with the injection site reaction to a maximum of $100.00. No other costs will be covered by the study
  • Contact: Complete the Study Interest Form to see if your dog qualifies and have your referring veterinarian complete the Oncology Referral Form found below.
  • PI: Dr. Rowan Milner


Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is a devastating cancer of large breeds dogs often presenting as an emergency in otherwise healthy dogs. Affected dogs have sudden bleeding into the abdomen or into the sack around the heart. The survival time is short in dogs, even with prompt surgery and chemotherapy. Immunotherapy (e.g. cancer vaccines) may offer hope for improving survival. We have extensive experience with the GD3 vaccine in dogs with other types of cancer such as melanoma and osteosarcoma. For example, our research findings in 690 dogs with melanoma show improved survival even in dogs with advanced disease. We also have shown that the GD3 vaccine in conjunction with chemotherapy improves time to metastasis (spread of cancer) to the lung and overall survival in dogs with osteosarcoma.


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