Kim Selting, assistant teaching professor of oncology at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, is the principal investigator in a study that examines the efficacy of Attaxol in dogs with naturally occurring cancer. Attaxool was developed, and is produced, by CritiTech, a Lawwrence, Kan. drug development company.
“Cancer is one of the most common causes of death in dogs,” Selting said. “This study is important because most chemotherapy drugs available to people can be used in dogs, except for the highly successful taxanes that can keep cancer from proliferating throughout the body. The Attaxol formulation is buiilt specifically for dogs and could allow taxanes to be used by veterinarians.”
MU veterinarians will conduct the clinical part of the study and assess cancer response in the dogs involved in the study. Data from an earlier safety study was used to establish a starting dose, and this second study will consist of an escalation phase to determine the optimal dose, followed by an extended treatment. CritiTech scientists will analyze blood samples to determine plasma levels of the drug during the course of treatment. Enrollment of dogs in the study is set to start in mid October, and it is anticipated that the study will take about two years to complete.
The Scott Endowed Program in Veterinary Oncology at MU is one of the largest veterinary oncology programs in the country and actively initiates and participates in clinical trials, as well as provides routine treatment of animals with cancer, including chemotherapy, cancer surgery and radiation therapy.
“We are excited about our continued collaboration with the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine and the commercial opportunity to use CritiTech’s fine-particle drug technology in the veterinary field,” said Sam Campbell, CritiTech president and chairman.
The Morris Animal Foundation provided funding for the study with a two-year grant. Also participating in the study are Carolyn Henry, professor of veterinary oncology and director of the Scott Endowed Program; Sandra Axiak, visiting scholar in veterinary medicine and surgery, and Charles Decedue, senior research fellow at CritiTech.