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Optimizing the identification of tumor spread to lymph nodes in dogs with oral tumors

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For questions and more information about this study, please contact the team using the information below.
Study coordinator
Name - Dr. Michele Steffey
Phone - (530) 752-1393

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"Help us study a technique to find the spread of cancer better in dogs with oral tumors!"
Animal: Dogs
Age: None specified
Healthy Pets: No
Keywords: oral tumor, dog, canine, lymph node, sentinel lymph node, indirect CT lymphography, ICTL, oral neoplasia, metastasis
Type: Device / Surgical Technique
12 Participants
Background and purpose
Successful treatment of many cancers depends on the extent of disease present at the time of diagnosis, and on accurate detection of that disease. Some oral cancers commonly spread from the mouth to nearby lymph nodes. Lymph node metastasis, if present, can influence the prognosis and treatment recommendations made for a patient. Currently, however, our standard veterinary staging protocol (aspiration cytology of the geographically nearest lymph node) misses a diagnosis of lymph node metastasis in a concerning number of patients. Because lymphatic pathways and lymph nodes of the head are very complicated and the closest lymph node is not necessarily the most likely to show disease, it is possible to miss disease because we do not know which is the best lymph node to evaluate. Lymph node mapping, a technique to visualize the lymphatic drainage of tumors, is increasingly used to improve cancer staging and treatment protocols in the treatment of cancer in people. Mapping allows identification of the “sentinel lymph node,” or lymph node that is most likely to demonstrate evidence of metastatic disease. This lymph node can then be aspirated or surgically removed with the primary tumor to be evaluated microscopically for spread of cancer. This trial is being performed to optimize a method of sentinel lymph node mapping that can be accessible to a greater number of veterinary practitioners in an effort to improve the accuracy of cancer diagnoses and treatment recommendations we make for our veterinary patients, improving their quality of life and length of time with us following diagnosis with this cancer.
What happens in this study

If you choose to enroll your dog, your dog will receive two CT scans on separate days: the first done for standard diagnostic/surgical planning, and the second done immediately prior to surgery. Both CT scans will be performed with contrast while under general anesthesia.

Pet owner responsibilities

If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for bringing your dog to the UC Davis VMTH for his/her scheduled appointments, covering costs associated with the standard diagnostic workup of your dog’s tumor, the first (diagnostic/surgical planning) CT scan, and standard costs associated with surgical removal of the oral tumor, and allowing him/her to be hospitalized for the required length of time pre- and postoperatively.

Participation requirements

We are looking for dogs diagnosed with an oral tumor with owners that have elected to surgically remove the tumor.

We cannot accept dogs with pre-existing, palpably very large lymph nodes.

All costs associated with this study, including the second CT scan and the 1 hour of extra anesthesia time associated with each CT scans will be paid by the sponsor. Additionally, a financial benefit of $500 will be credited to your VMTH account after your dog completes the second CT scan on the day of his/her surgery.
PDF Docs
Clinical Trial Informational Flyer
Study duration and period
We expect that participation in this clinical trial will not extend your pet’s hospital stay beyond the length of time required for postoperative care.
Recruitment period
From Aug. 23, 2016 to Aug. 23, 2019
UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
1 Garrod Drive
Small Animal Clinic - Soft Tissue Surgery
Davis, CA 95616
Dr. Michele Steffey

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