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Yale Canine Cancer Vaccine Program

What drives Dr. Mark Mamula? He lost his own dog Savannah to cancer. Photo by Gary Choronzy.


The Yale Canine Cancer Vaccine Program offers a clinical trial through Yale School of Medicine’s (YSM) Section of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology to treat canines afflicted with cancer through a therapeutic vaccine in a phase I/II canine cancer vaccine trial. This canine cancer vaccine is designed to enhance immune responses to tumor proteins in canine cancers including osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, nasopharyngeal cancer, some adenocarcinomas, breast and colon cancer. The vaccine therapy is intended to activate antibody responses against a family of cancer proteins known as EGFR/HER2. 


Dogs receive two vaccinations over a three-week period and are followed over the course of their disease, using blood work, MRI, CAT scans, and ultrasound. Some animals still receive chemotherapy, but it not the conventional chemotherapy without the side effects that afflict humans. If the pet is on chemotherapy (carboplatin or others), there needs to be three weeks between the last cycle of chemotherapy before beginning the vaccination. 

Local veterinarians can administer the treatment.


How To Qualify For Trial

In general, qualifying for the vaccine trial requires confirmation of one of the tumor types described above. 

Canine patients may have had amputation (or removal) of the primary tumor and/or conventional chemotherapy. Patients who have not had other treatment (surgery or chemotherapy) may additionally qualify. The study is particularly interested in patients with evidence of metastatic disease (lung or elsewhere). Enrollment in the trial requires signed consent from the owner and veterinarian that will administer the vaccinations. Additional details of enrollment in the vaccine trial can be answered by Drs. Mark Mamula and Hester Doyle at the YSM. 

This clinical trial is entirely supported by a tax deductible donation to the Yale School of Medicine of $1,000 that can be made at the link below.  

To move forward with the vaccine program, the following documentation must be completed:

How To Support This Work

Yale’s Department of Internal Medicine is an international leader in research, education, and clinical care. Our programs are enhanced by the generous philanthropic support of our donors. A gift of any amount is vital to our mission and goals.

To donate directly to the Yale Canine Cancer Vaccine project, visit the giving website.

To learn more about our work and opportunities to partner with us through charitable giving, please contact Erin Shreve, Director of Development, via email or 203-436-8529.

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