Recent clinical trials of cancer immunogene therapy in companion animals

World J Exp Med. 2017 May 20;7(2):42-48. doi: 10.5493/wjem.v7.i2.42.


This mini-review presents the results of veterinary clinical trials on immunogene therapy published from 2014 to 2016. A variety of tumors, among them melanoma (canine and equine), mastocytoma (canine), mammary adenocarcinoma (canine) and fibrosarcoma (feline) were treated by using diverse strategies. Non-viral vectors were usually employed to transfer genes of cytokines, suicide enzymes and/or tumor associated antigens. In general terms, minor or no adverse collateral effects were related to these procedures, and treated patients frequently improved their conditions (better quality of life, delayed or suppressed recurrence or metastatic spread, increased survival). Some of these new methodologies have a promising future if applied as adjuvant treatments of standard approaches. The auspicious results, derived from immunogene therapy studies carried out in companion animals, warrant their imperative usage in veterinary clinical oncology. Besides, they provide a strong preclinical basis (safety assays and proofs of concept) for analogous human clinical trials.

Keywords: Cancer; Companion animals; Comparative oncology; Gene therapy; Immunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Review