Trinka and Osteosarcoma
My name is Diane and we for various reasons went
for our dog Trinka. Our vet gave our Trinka only 2 months to live when they discovered
the OS during xray of a broken leg. Due to the return of the biopsy
as NEG, we went ahead and had her leg set with a steel rod. The Vet
was convinced that there was cancer in there and took 5 more
biopsies. (and didn't seal the bone afterward). This time the
results came back POS. :( But we decided since Trinka was a large
#120 Rott/Lab Mix that she was not a good candidate for amputation. Plus I had promised her I would not take her leg.
The following is a paraphrase
of some of my
previous postings and you may find some additional
tools in them to
help you fight osteosarcoma. We sadly sent
Trinka over the
Rainbow Bridge on Sept 24th. But we had a full
year of beach trips
and quality time with our little (120#Rott/Lab )
This is a very hard battle we are all fighting
with you. I have
called this a shape shifter disease in the past
and it is indeed a
disease that seems to be different for each of our
different each day/week/month in our own pup. You
will have a gut
feel as to what will work and what won't for
osteosarcoma. Others have
to focus on your pet, not the Cancer, and they are
amount of research you will try to do can
definitely cause a "brain
fade" :) But if you are like most of us…. You
will nod your head,
smile and research until your head is swimming
You may want to look into Fosamax for osteosarcoma. It
worked for Trinka
and Fosamax along with various vitamins, flax oil
and cottage cheese,
minerals and milk thistle and Essiac tea tincture
and a supplement
called Inflamaway made her quality of life for
over 1 yr as if
nothing had really happened to her other than a
encompassing her leg.
Trinka got lots of turkey and chicken (we got soup
and casseroles :)), fresh veggies and a very little
One thing I do want to tell you about the Fosamax is
VERY IMPORTANT.... It must be given on an empty
stomach with lots of water. I solved the lots of
water trick by putting enough turkey fat(about 1/4
teaspoon) in warm water to make her think it was
REALLY GOOD STUFF and she would drink the whole bowl
(8-12 oz)of smell good, no food water. heheh.. And
you can not give food or other meds for another hour
or so. Our routine was Fosamax then outside for a
short walk, then back inside to watch me "prepare -
stall" her breakfast.
"Alendronate, or Fosamax, is a bisphosphonate.
This class of drugs
has been used for several years to treat human
bone cancers. It
inhibits the activity of cells called osteoclasts,
specialized cells that tear down and remove old
bone cells, clearing
the way for their replacement by new cells.
However, in bone cancer,
the osteoclasts proliferate too rapidly. As the
bone weakens and
becomes more fragile, it causes the great pain.
destroy some of the osteosarcoma tumor cells, it
is not a cure for
bone cancer. However, it may extend high-quality,
There have since been
others that have
tried or are using Fosamax as an additional
treatment. Some have
positive results, some have had no results.
Here is a little more about it.
"Alendronate, or Fosamax, is a bisphosphonate.
This class of drugs has been used for several years to treat human
bone cancers. There are now second and third generation drugs which
are being used. It inhibits the activity of cells called
osteoclasts, which are specialized cells that tear down and remove
old bone cells, clearing the way for their replacement by new cells.
However, in bone cancer, the osteoclasts proliferate too rapidly. As
the bone weakens and becomes more fragile, it causes the great
pain. While alendronate may destroy some of the osteosarcoma tumor
cells, it is not a cure for bone cancer. However, it may extend high-
quality, comfortable life in the dog. An article in Veterinary
Record described an extremely limited canine trial, in which two
dogs with bone cancer were given alendronate as palliative therapy.
(one of these dogs also had a broken leg as Trinka did). Both dogs
had survival times equivalent or greater to those of standard
amputation/chemotherapy, with good quality of life, and no side
effects. A non-toxic therapy which could prolong comfortable life
would touch many dogs and their families. The university of
California in Davis is currently doing a study. It can be
administered daily or weekly. Orally or by IV. We choose the daily.
It took a few days for the drug to really take effect during which
time I used codeine as pain management - REMEMBER THIS IS NOT A
CURE BUT A WAY TO KEEP QUALITY OF LIFE HIGHER for as long as
possible. I can honestly say the fosamax made a difference with
trinka. BUT this stupid, horrid disease is a "shape shifter" and not
one case is like another. You know your pup the best of all and if
you use your instincts you will always do what is best. There are
new studies using Fosamax in Humans that you can look at.
The Inflamaway is an anti-inflammatory which is
comprised of herbs
that are tumor inhibitors also. I even tried the
Inflamaway to see
what the results were - I found it to work
Inflamaway is made by Premier Labs in Southern
California. It is
designed for human digestive tracts so it works
best if you crush
tablets and just mix it in the food. Otherwise
you get "pills in
poop" The added benefit of crushing the tablets
is that is also
becomes a digestive aid and helps in the "cancer
wasting" that can
The other treatment we did was several rounds of
herb being tested at the University of Washington
for the treatment
of breast cancer. My suspicion is that it is most
effective on soft
tissue cancers as the "suspicious" areas of
Trinka's lungs cleared
and at the time of her death there was no sign of
metastasis to lungs, internal organs or other
I think that
had the "Navy Protocol" been known at the time, I
would have tried
With nothing other than the Fosamax, Vitamin Supplements,
Echinacea, Milk Thistle, Essiac, Hoxley, Mushrooms, and a product
called Inflamaway (by Premier Labs)Later adding codein as a pain med -
she didn't tolerate NASIDs or Piroxicam.
When Trinka's tumor began growing so
fast I put Bag Balm on it
and wrapped it lightly to keep her from
licking it. Bag Balm is the
stuff they have used for donkey's years on cows teats. It has
antiseptic and anagelsic(sp) properties and really worked with
Trinka. Her tumor eventually reached 21 inches in girth. but the
skin never split due to the bag balm. You can get it in most drug
stores usually near the baby creams. It is in a green tin.
If the skin looked raw I added some neosporin - worked like a charm.
I also would sponge the area with lightly salted warm water followed
by clean warm water. Trinka would actually go to sleep when I did
this. It must have felt really good to her. Then put the bag balm
and neosporin on a piece of gause and place it over the tumor area.
and wrap lightly.
She lived for the next 11
months with little discomfort even though her tumor increased in
size. Her eyes were bright, mind clear, continued her daily walks
with "dad",and fully enjoying the home cooked meals with the cottage
cheese and flax oil additions. If the bone below the tumor had not
broken ( 12 months after DX) she would be here still as at that point
I was unable to control the pain and we (my husband and I) decided to
end it. But we had her much longer than our vet expected without
amputation or chemo…
Sending ear scratches and a BIG CYBER
HUG and a box of
Kleenex to you from us.
Diane, John, Tammy and angle Trinka.
Morgy and osteosarcoma-Morgy's story about his treatment of osteosarcoma using alternative methods for fighting cancer such as flaxseed. He survived for two and half years
J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001 Sep 1;219(5):614-7
Spontaneous regression of osteosarcoma in four dogs.
Mehl ML, Withrow SJ, Seguin B, Powers BE, Dernell WS, Pardo AD,
Rosenthal RC, Dolginow SZ, Park RD.
Department of Clinical Sciences,
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical
Colorado State University, Fort Collins 80523, USA.
Spontaneous regression of primary malignant bone tumors is rare but has been
reported in the human literature. To the authors' knowledge, spontaneous
regression of primary bone tumors in dogs or cats has not been reported.
Osteosarcoma (OSA) is the most common primary bone tumor in humans, and it has
been reported that the incidence of OSA is 40 to 50 times greater in dogs than
humans. In this report, high-grade OSA was diagnosed in biopsy specimens
obtained from 4 dogs that subsequently underwent spontaneous regression
without tumor-specific treatment. Osteosarcoma in dogs has characteristics
similar to that of OSA in humans.
Am J Vet Res 2001 Aug;62(8):1234-9
Metabolic alterations in dogs with osteosarcoma.
Mazzaferro EM, Hackett TB, Stein TP, Ogilvie GK, Wingfield WE, Walton
J, Turner AS, Fettman MJ.
Department of Clinical Sciences,
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical
Colorado State University, Fort Collins 80523, USA.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate changes in resting energy expenditure (REE) as well as
protein and carbohydrate metabolism in dogs with osteosarcoma (OSA).
ANIMALS: 15 weight-stable dogs with OSA that did not have other concurrent
metabolic or endocrine illness and twelve 1-year-old sexually intact female Beagles
(control dogs). PROCEDURES: Indirect calorimetry was performed on all dogs to
determine REE and respiratory quotient (RQ). Stable isotope tracers
(15N-glycine, 4.5 mg/kg of body weight, IV; 6,6-deuterium-glucose, 4.5 mg/kg, IV
as a bolus, followed by continuous-rate infusion at 1.5 mg/kg/h for 3 hours) were
used to determine rate of protein synthesis and glucose flux in all dogs.
Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scans were performed to determine
total body composition. RESULTS: Accounting for metabolic body size, REE in dogs
with OSA was significantly higher before and after surgery, compared with REE
of healthy control dogs. The RQ values did not differ significantly between
groups. Dogs with OSA also had decreased rates of protein synthesis, increased
urinary nitrogen loss, and increased glucose flux during the postoperative period.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Alterations in energy expenditure,
protein synthesis, urinary nitrogen loss, and carbohydrate flux were evident in
dogs with OSA, similar to results documented in humans with neoplasia. Changes
were documented in REE as well as protein and carbohydrate metabolism in dogs
with OSA. These changes were evident even in dogs that did not have clinical signs
Vet Rec 2000 Jul 29;147(5):129-32
Use of the bisphosphonate drug alendronate for palliative
management of osteosarcoma in two dogs.
Tomlin JL, Sturgeon C, Pead MJ, Muir P.
The Royal Veterinary College,
Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery,
Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms.
The bisphosphonate drug alendronate was used to suppress bone remodelling and
tumour osteolysis as a palliative treatment for two dogs with osteosarcoma, one of
the tibia and one of the maxilla. A spiral fracture associated with the tibial
tumour healed after it was stabilised with an external skeletal fixator. Both dogs
remained comfortable and survived for 12 and 10 months respectively after
diagnosis, despite the fact that neither primary tumour was resected.
: Vet Surg 2002 Nov-Dec;31(6):525-32
Pasteurized tumoral autograft as a novel procedure for limb
sparing in the dog: A clinical report.
Buracco P, Morello E, Martano M, Vasconi ME.
Department of Animal Pathology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Turin, Italy.
Objective-To evaluate use of a pasteurized tumoral autograft prepared from the
resected primary bone neoplasm for limb sparing in a dog with distal radial
osteosarcoma (OSA). Study Design-Clinical case report. Animals-A 9-year-old male
Maremma shepherd dog. Methods-After right distal radial OSA removal, the
tumoral autograft was pasteurized. The excised bone segment was placed in a
sterile watertight box containing sterile saline solution preheated to 65 degrees C
in a water bath. The box was kept immersed in the water bath at 65 degrees C for
40 minutes to kill the tumor cells. The autograft was then fixed in the host with a
plate and screws based on standard AO/ASIF technique for carpal arthrodesis.
Three doses of cisplatin (70 mg/m(2) intravenously) were administered, 3 weeks
apart; the initial dose was administered the day after surgery. Results-The
autograft was incorporated in a manner comparable to an allograft, and after 708
days, the metallic implants were removed. A 1-month activity restriction as well as
spoon splint to protect the leg from a full loading were used thereafter. Limb
function was fair to good, and the dog remains disease free after 56 months.
Conclusions-A pasteurized autograft consisting of the resected primary bone
neoplasm is a valid alternative to a cortical bone allograft for limb sparing in dogs
with appendicular OSA in terms of feasibility and pattern of healing. Clinical
Relevance-This procedure can be an alternative method of limb sparing when
difficulties are encountered in establishing and maintaining a canine bone
J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 2002 Sep-Oct;38(5):445-51
Four fraction palliative radiotherapy for osteosarcoma in 24
Green EM, Adams WM, Forrest LJ.
Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine,
Wisconsin-Madison, 53706, USA.
Twenty-four dogs underwent palliative radiotherapy consisting of four 8 gray
(Gy) fractions of 60Co radiation on days 0, 7, 14, and 21 at 26 sites for axial
(n=11) or appendicular (n=15) osteosarcoma. Response was noted in 92% of sites
treated. Seventeen dogs were euthanized due to local or metastatic disease, one
dog died of metastatic disease, five dogs died of unrelated causes, and one dog is
alive. The four fraction protocol is effective for palliation of clinical signs
associated with axial or appendicular osteosarcoma and may result in a higher
response rate and longer survival time than three fraction palliative protocols.
Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 2002 Aug;50(2):131-6
STEALTH liposome-encapsulated cisplatin (SPI-77) versus
carboplatin as adjuvant therapy for spontaneously arising
osteosarcoma (OSA) in the dog: a randomized multicenter
Vail DM, Kurzman ID, Glawe PC, O'Brien MG, Chun R, Garrett LD,
Obradovich JE, Fred RM 3rd, Khanna C, Colbern GT, Working PK.
The Comprehensive Cancer Center,
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
PURPOSE: This trial was designed to compare the efficacy of adjuvant STEALH
liposome-encapsulated cisplatin (SPI-77) to "standard-of-care" carboplatin
therapy in dogs with osteosarcoma (OSA) in the context of a randomized study
design. METHODS: The study included 40 pet dogs with spontaneously arising
OSA which were randomized to receive SPI-77 (350 mg/m(2) i.v. every 3 weeks
for four treatments) or carboplatin (300 mg/m(2) i.v. every 3 weeks for four
treatments) along with amputation of the affected limb. Median disease-free
(DFS) and overall survival (OS) were compared using standard life-table analysis.
RESULTS: The median follow-up was 693 days (range 321-730 days). Of 38 dogs
eligible for follow-up, 25 were dead of their disease, 9 were alive and disease-free
(8 receiving SPI-77, 1 receiving carboplatin; P=0.02), 2 were free of disease when
they were lost to follow-up at 321 and 395 days, and 2 had died of an unrelated
disease. The median DFS times for dogs treated with SPI-77 and carboplatin were
156 and 123 days, respectively ( P=0.19). The median OS times for dogs treated
with SPI-77 and carboplatin were 333 and 207 days, respectively ( P=0.18).
CONCLUSIONS: While STEALTH liposome encapsulation of cisplatin allowed the
safe administration of five times the maximally tolerated dose of free cisplatin to
dogs without concurrent hydration protocols, this did not translate into
significantly prolonged DFS or OS. However, a larger proportion of dogs receiving
SPI-77 enjoyed long-term DFS when compared with dogs receiving carboplatin.
: J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002 Apr 15;220(8):1171-6
Comparison of radiography, computed tomography, and magnetic
resonance imaging for evaluation of appendicular osteosarcoma in
Davis GJ, Kapatkin AS, Craig LE, Heins GS, Wortman JA.
Department of Clinical Studies, College of Veterinary Medicine,
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104, USA.
OBJECTIVE: To determine which imaging modality best determines the
microscopic extent of primary appendicular osteosarcoma in amputated limbs in
dogs. DESIGN: Case series. ANIMALS: 10 dogs with appendicular osteosarcoma.
PROCEDURE: 10 dogs with appendicular osteosarcoma that did not receive
neoadjuvent chemotherapy were treated by use of limb amputation. Amputated
limbs were imaged by use of radiography, computed tomography (CT), and
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and examined microscopically to determine
longitudinal extent of neoplastic cell involvement and length of associated
intramedullary fibrosis. Changes detected by use of the various imaging studies
were compared with the actual tumor length determined microscopically. Data
were analyzed to determine which imaging technique most closely predicted tumor
length. RESULTS: Measurements obtained by use of craniocaudal radiographic
views were most accurate at predicting tumor length but underestimated tumor
length substantially in 1 limb and slightly in another limb. Measurements made by
use of CT were most accurate at predicting tumor length when intramedullary
fibrosis was taken into account but underestimated tumor length in 1 limb.
Measurements made by use of MRI were least accurate but did not underestimate
tumor length in any of the limbs. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE:
Although radiography is used in diagnosis of osteosarcoma in dogs, additional
imaging studies to confirm the extent of neoplasia prior to limb-sparing ostectomy
may be beneficial. Underestimation of tumor length would be associated with
higher incidence of incomplete excision and local tumor recurrence.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2002 Apr 12;292(4):886-91
The role of angiostatin in the spontaneous bone and prostate
cancers of pet dogs.
Pirie-Shepherd SR, Coffman KT, Resnick D, Chan R, Kisker O, Folkman J,
Surgical Research Laboratory,
Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston,
Massachusetts 02115, USA.
Angiostatin is a potent inhibitor of angiogenesis generated in cancer-bearing hosts
by tumor-derived proteases. Because the naturally occurring bone and prostate
cancers of pet dogs provide unique model systems to study factors that regulate
cancer progression and tumor dormancy, we investigated the capacity of these
tumors to generate angiostatin. We determined that angiostatin fragments are
present in urine of dogs with bone cancer. The identity of these fragments was
confirmed by comparison of the experimentally determined protein sequence to
that of a clone of canine angiostatin. Importantly, these fragments were absent in
urine collected from the same dogs after complete surgical removal of the primary
tumor. We also demonstrate that canine prostate cancer cells are capable of
processing plasminogen to angiostatin in vitro. These findings provide rationale for
using spontaneous canine tumor models to isolate endogenous angiogenesis
inhibitors and to investigate their therapeutic use against cancer.
Vet Pathol 2002 Mar;39(2):240-6
Prognostic significance of a new histologic grading system for
Kirpensteijn J, Kik M, Rutteman GR, Teske E.
Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals,
Faculty of Veterinary
Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
Histologic grade is an important determinant in clinical outcome of human
osteosarcoma (OS). In this study, the histologic characteristics of primary and
metastatic canine OS were evaluated using a new classification system. Histologic
characteristics were classified in 166 primary and 34 metastatic canine OS.
Prognostic variables for clinical outcome were determined using multivariate
analysis. Most OS were histologically characterized by severe to extreme cellular
pleomorphism, a variable number of mitoses, small to moderate amounts of matrix,
a high percentage of tumor cells, and minimal to moderate amounts of necrosis.
Tumor invasion into vessels was present in 117/152 (71%) tumors, and 12/50 (24%)
of the regional lymph nodes had evidence of metastasis. Classification of the 166
tumors resulted in seven (4%) grade 1, 34 (21%) grade II, and 125 (75%) grade
III OS. In the multivariate analysis, histologic grade III OS and elevated
pretreatment plasma alkaline phosphatase (AP) levels were independent predictors
of clinical outcome. Dogs with high-grade tumors and elevated AP should be
carefully evaluated for the presence of metastatic disease before starting
adjunctive therapy protocols.
J Vet Intern Med 2000 Nov-Dec;14(6):587-92
Prognostic significance of serum alkaline phosphatase activity in
canine appendicular osteosarcoma.
Garzotto CK, Berg J, Hoffmann WE, Rand WM.
Department of Clinical Sciences,
Tufts University, School of Veterinary Medicine,
North Grafton, MA 01536, USA.
Sixty-one dogs with appendicular osteosarcoma were treated with amputation and
chemotherapy of cisplatin and doxorubicin. Serum samples were obtained before
and after treatment for determination of total alkaline phosphatase (TALP)
activity as well as the activities of the constituent bone (BALP), liver (LALP), and
corticosteroid-induced (CALP) isoenzymes. The relationship between alkaline
phosphatase activities and survival was examined by Cox proportional hazards
regression analysis and Kaplan-Meier log rank analysis. Mean activity of TALP,
BALP, and LALP decreased significantly after treatment (P < .001). TALP and LALP
activities before treatment were significantly correlated with survival (P = .006
and .001, respectively). The correlation between BALP activity before treatment
and survival approached significance (P = .054). CALP activity and TALP, BALP, and
LALP activities after treatment were not significantly correlated with survival.
Dogs with normal pretreatment TALP and BALP activities survived significantly
longer than dogs with increased pretreatment activities (P = .001 and .003,
respectively). Median survival times for dogs with normal or increased TALP
activities before treatment were 12.5 and 5.5 months, respectively; and median
survival times for dogs with normal or increased BALP activities before treatment
were 16.6 and 9.5 months, respectively. In the design of future clinical trials
involving dogs with osteosarcoma, consideration should be given to stratifying the
randomization according to alkaline phosphatase activity. In addition, alkaline
phosphatase activity should be a factor considered by clinicians attempting to
tailor the aggressiveness of adjuvant chemotherapy to the needs of individual
patients or owners.