Auburn University has received $1.4 million from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health to study a new therapy for lymphoma in dogs.
Researchers plan to modify a nonreplicating virus, administer the virus to dogs with lymphoma, and administer a drug to the dogs. The virus will infect lymphoma cells and then encode a protein to convert the drug into a toxin to kill the cells.
Lymphoma is the third most common cancer in dogs. Average life expectancy for dogs undergoing chemotherapy is about one year. Without any treatment, life expectancy is about two months from the time of diagnosis.
The grant from the National Cancer Institute covers two years of laboratory work and three years of clinical trials.
Dr. Bruce Smith, with the College of Veterinary Medicine's Scott-Ritchey Research Center, is leading the study. Auburn co-investigators include Drs. Curtis Bird, Mary Lynn Higginbotham, Annette Smith, and Elizabeth Whitley.