Glioblastoma Clinical Trials

There are two trials actively recruiting canine patients with glioblastoma:

TRIAL 1 Study Description:

This study will evaluate two different therapies used in combination with an immune enhancer (checkpoint inhibitor) to treat dogs with high grade glioma (HGG) or glioblastoma (GBM). Dogs with a single brain mass that is amenable to surgical resection will be eligible for the study. All dogs will have a surgical resection of their tumor.


In the first study, dogs will be treated with a series of vaccinations using the patient's own tumor lysate, an immune response modifier and a checkpoint inhibitor starting 10 days after surgery. Vaccines are given once a week for 3 weeks, once every 4 weeks for 3 months, then once every 8 weeks until the end of the one-year study period.


In the second study, dogs will be treated with an immune-based gene therapy locally around the tumor resection site. Dogs will be treated with angancyclovir for 10 days post surgery to induce death of genetically modified tumor cells. In both cases, dogs will have follow up physical and neurological exams and MRIs at 4, 8 and 12 months after surgery. 


If MRI suggests changes have occurring at the tumor site then patients will undergo a stereotactic guided biopsy of the area to distinguish between tumor progression or immune response. If clinical signs such as worsening of neurological signs or cluster seizures occur, then dogs will receive alternative medical management or undergo euthanasia based on the wishes of the owner.

Location/Study Sites:

University of Minnesota

Study Type:

Interventional (therapeutic)

Primary Study Contact:

Dr. Elizabeth Pluhar


Inclusion Criteria:

  • Any dog with a solitary intracranial mass diagnosed with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) consistent with a glioma and suitable for surgical resection

  • Normal mentation status at the time of surgery

  • Histologic confirmation of a high-grade (III-IV) glioma

  • Informed consent provided by owner

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Severe neurologic dysfunction, especially changes in level of consciousness

  • Tumor not amenable to surgical resection

  • Existence of concomitant disease that would affect the dog’s long-term prognosis and preclude completion of chemotherapy or vaccine therapy

  • Dogs with a histological diagnosis other than high grade glioma or glioblastoma

  • Unwillingness to complete the treatments and follow-up proscribed in the protocol without a compelling reason.

TRIAL 2 Study Description:

Dogs with a single brain mass that is amenable to surgical resection will be eligible for the study. All dogs will have a surgical resection of their tumor, followed by treatment with an oncolytic virus that infects and kills tumor cells (and also expresses a potent immune stimulatory molecule (IL-12) to augment anti-tumor immune responses) without affecting normal brain cells. Once a safe and tolerable dose of oncolytic virus is determined, the therapy will be combined with a checkpoint inhibitor to determine if additional beneficial effects may be seen.

Location/Study Sites:

  • Auburn University

Amy Yanke, DVM
(334) 884-4690


Donald Sorjonen, MS, DVM
(334) 884-4690


Jey Koehler, DVM, PhD

  • University of Georgia

Simon R. Platt BVM&S, MRCVS 

  • Mississippi State University

Andrew Shores, DVM, PhD 

  • Purdue University

​Tim Bentley, BVSc, FRCVS
(765) 494-1107​

Mallory Lind
(765) 494-1107

  • Tuskegee University

Madan Vig, DVM, PhD 

Study Type:

Interventional/therapeutic. Phase I, open-label dose-escalating, single arm, single dose clinical trial


Inclusion Criteria:

  • Clinical and MRI findings consistent with a diagnosis of malignant glial tumor

  • More than 6 months of age

  • Life expectancy greater than 6 months

  • Owner compliance

  • Patient must not be pregnant

  • Steroid use is allowed

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Treatment with chemotherapy, immunotherapy and/or surgical resection within 4 weeks of enrollment (6 weeks for nitrosoureas)

  • Treatment with any viral therapy or gene therapy prior to study enrollment

  • Prior history of encephalitis or other CNS infection

  • Current therapies with anti-viral agents

  • On-going active infection, symptomatic CHF or cardiac arrhythmias

  • Allergic reactions to contrast media

  • Metallic implants or certain types of stents

Contact information:

Veterinarians may contact any of the regional study sites for more information regarding referrals or visit:

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Dr. M. Renee Chambers

(205) 481-7939 or 481-7938


Auburn University

Dr. Amy B. Yanke

(334) 884-4690

Mississippi State University

Dr. Andy Shores

(662) 325-7339

Leslie Reed

(662) 325-7339

University of Georgia

Dr. Simon R. Platt

(706) 542-1405

Lisa Reno

(706) 542-3221 or 542-322​