Emerging therapeutic approaches for canine sarcomas: Pushing the boundaries beyond the conventional

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations


Sarcomas represent a group of genomically chaotic, highly heterogenous tumours of mesenchymal origin with variable mutational load. Conventional therapy with surgery and radiation therapy is effective for managing small, low-grade sarcomas and remains the standard therapeutic approach. For advanced, high-grade, recurrent, or metastatic sarcomas, systemic chemotherapy provides minimal benefit, therefore, there is a drive to develop novel approaches. The discovery of “Coley's toxins” in the 19th century, and their use to stimulate the immune system supported the application of unconventional therapies for the treatment of sarcomas. While promising, this initial work was abandoned and treatment paradigm and disease course of sarcomas was largely unchanged for several decades. Exciting new therapies are currently changing treatment algorithms for advanced carcinomas and melanomas, and similar approaches are being applied to advance the field of sarcoma research. Recent discoveries in subtype-specific cancer biology and the identification of distinct molecular targets have led to the development of promising targeted strategies with remarkable potential to change the landscape of sarcoma therapy in dogs. The purpose of this review article is to describe the current standard of care and limitations as well as emerging approaches for sarcoma therapy that span many of the most active paradigms in oncologic research, including immunotherapies, checkpoint inhibitors, and drugs capable of cellular metabolic reprogramming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-24
Number of pages16
JournalVeterinary and Comparative Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020



  • cancer
  • canine
  • checkpoint inhibitor
  • epidermal growth factor receptor
  • radiation therapy
  • sarcoma
  • toxin
  • urokinase plasminogen activator receptor, propranolol
  • vaccine

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

Cite this