Media advisory: Vaccination Against Canine Cancer Study halfway to enrollment goals

The Vaccination Against Canine Cancer Study – with sites at Colorado State University, University of California-Davis and University of Wisconsin-Madison – is almost halfway to its goal of enrolling 800 dogs.


As of August 12, some 378 dogs were enrolled across the three sites, said Dr. Doug Thamm, director of clinical research at the Flint Animal Cancer Center at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital at CSU.

The Vaccination Against Canine Cancer Study (VACCS) will be the largest clinical trial conducted to date for canine cancer. The goal of the VACCS trial is to evaluate a new vaccine strategy for the prevention, rather than treatment, of dogs with cancer.

Healthy dogs of certain breeds – including mixed breeds – ages 5.5 to 11.5 years old are screened to ensure that they are healthy and then randomized to receive either a series of vaccines or placebo vaccines. Dogs will live at home and be checked twice yearly for five years after enrollment. A financial incentive will be offered to defray the cost associated with diagnostics and treatment of any cancers that dogs develop, regardless of whether they are receiving vaccine or placebo.

Learn more about the VACCS trial.


Dr. Thamm is available for interviews to discuss the study. He and his team can also help identify clients who have made the decision to enroll their companion animals in the study.

Thamm is working on this study with Professor Stephen Johnston, director of the Center for Innovations in Medicine at Arizona State University. Johnston and his team discovered a way to identify commonalities among cancerous tumors. Using that information, they developed what they believe is a potential one-size-fits-all cancer prevention vaccine.

Read a story in the Denver Post with quotes from Stephanie Foster, who enrolled her dog, Fraser, in the study.

Dr. Thamm talked with CNN about the clinical trial and his own battle with cancer.

CSU employee Mary Dolce talked with the Coloradoan about her decision to enroll Doc, a 6-year-old Pekingese, Chihuahua, Dachshund mix.

Contact for reporters:
Mary Guiden
(206) 854-3786