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Drug Repurposing to Aid Treatment of Canine Lymphoma

elderly viszla dog in field of snow

Lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in dogs with few treatment options available. Traditional chemotherapeutic drugs have been used to extend quality of life, achieve clinical remissions, and slow cancer progression, but can be expensive.  Additional safe, low cost therapies are needed for canine patients. This study repurposes an antibiotic drug that has established data regarding its benefit and safety in dogs when used to treat certain infections. Furthermore, research has shown that this drug decreases the ability of the lymphoma cells to thrive in a laboratory setting. In the current study, dogs will be prospectively enrolled to receive either prednisone alone or prednisone in combination with the study drug. This study is available through the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Oncology service and is sponsored by the Cornell University Animal Health Grants Program.

GOALS: The purpose of this study is to determine if a repurposed antibiotic drug can improve the outcome for dogs with large cell lymphoma receiving concurrent prednisone compared to dogs receiving prednisone alone. Additionally, we will obtain data to identify prognostic factors in dogs with lymphoma who are treated with low cost, oral medications. 

ELIGIBILITY: Dogs cannot have already received treatment for their lymphoma diagnosis and must have a confirmed diagnosis of large cell lymphoma from a fine needle aspirate with at least one enlarged lymph node that can be felt on the body.  Dogs must be two years of age or older, still feeling well (substage a), and must be able to tolerate twice daily oral medications. After enrollment and staging, dogs will be randomized to either receive prednisone alone or prednisone in combination with the study drug.

COMPENSATION: This study covers the costs associated with staging tests performed at CUHA, including a complete blood count, serum biochemical panel, urinalysis, three-view thoracic radiographs, and an abdominal ultrasound. In addition, flow cytometry will also be performed at CUHA on a lymph node aspirate to determine immunophenotype (B-cell vs. T-cell). Blood tests will be monitored throughout the 12-week study period to assess for possible side effects and toxicities and are covered by the study as well.

OWNER RESPONSIBILITIES: Up to 9 visits are required for the study. The owner is responsible for administering oral medications at home twice daily as instructed and for insuring that the enrolled dog is present at all required follow up visits. Owners are responsible for the associated costs of any tests or procedures unrelated to the study.

CONTACT/SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT: Please call the clinical trials coordinator at 607.253.3060, or email

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