What are veterinary clinical trials?

Veterinary clinical trials are studies done in the clinic setting.  They allow veterinarians to investigate methods to prevent, detect, and treat various pet diseases.  It is because of clinical trials that researchers can determine if a new diagnostic test or treatment works better than those that are currently recommended.  This ultimately improves the quality of pet medical care.  

Why do we offer clinical trials at WVRC?

Clinical trials benefit our patients and clients.  They allow us to offer cutting edge resources for pets with a variety of diseases.  The treatments used in clinical trials have been rigorously evaluated prior to advancing to the point of clinical evaluation.  We are frequently involved in clinical trials that are partially or fully funded, which can help in some instances where treatment may be financially challenging. 

Also, it is important to WVRC that we expand knowledge and make advances in veterinary medical care.  As a busy practice, we have the opportunity to enroll patients in studies that provide invaluable data that is used by investigators to improve health care for generations to come.  WVRC partners with a wide array of investigators, from university faculty members to pharmaceutical sponsors to offer clinical trials at our facility. 

What information is important to know when I am considering enrolling my pet in a clinical trial?

When clients are interested in participating in a clinical trial, we provide them with a thorough understanding of the study.  We explain the benefits, risks, and requirements for the owner and pet.  Once entered into the study, we provide compassionate care throughout the treatment period. 

Questions to ask when considering clinical trial enrollment:

  • What is the purpose of the trial or the question that the trial is attempting to answer?
  • What are the possible benefits and risks associated with a particular clinical trial?  How does this compare to more standard treatments for the disease?  If there is a side effect associated with the study, is the cost of treatment for that side effect covered?
  • What are the eligibility criteria?  Each clinical trial will have specific eligibility criteria that need to be fulfilled in order for a pet to participate.  These vary among studies. 
  • What commitments are expected of me and my pet?  How often are recheck visits, etc?
  • Are there financial incentives?
  • Can you discontinue the study at any time?  Although enrollment in a clinical trial is done with the intent to fulfill the obligations associated with that trial, the best interests of the patient always supersede study involvement.  Therefore, in most clinical trials you have the option to discontinue the study at any point for any reason.  There are no penalties for withdrawing consent to participate in the study.

What should I do if I want to learn more about a clinical trial?

If you are interested in learning more about a specific trial, please contact Dr. Goodman (the Clinical Trials Coordinator) or the service that is involved in the trial for more details.  An appointment may be necessary to fully evaluate whether or not a patient is a good candidate for a particular study.  This will allow us to offer all study and non-study related diagnostic/treatment options so that you are best able to make an informed decision regarding study participation. 

Ongoing Clinical Trials:

The clinical trials that are offered may change on a monthly basis, depending on which trials are recruiting patients.  We are also participating in some clinical trials that are not listed. 

Canine Transitional Cell Carcinoma Study

WVRC is assisting the University of Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in patient recruitment for this clinical trial. Details: TCC Flyer.pdf.

Canine Mast Cell Tumor Study

Objective

  • Is a small biopsy from a mast cell tumor accurate for prognostication purposes?

Inclusion criteria

  • Any dog with a mast cell tumor that is over 2 cm in diameter

Protocol

  • The tumor is surgically removed in a routine manner
  • After removal, a small biopsy of the mass is taken and this is compared to histopathology results of the entire tumor

Incentive

  • No client incentive