Clinical Evaluation of Combined Carboplatin/ Gemcitabine


To determine the effectiveness of combined carboplatin and gemcitabine chemotherapy for the treatment of osteosarcoma in dogs following amputation.


Osteosarcoma (OSA) is the most common bone tumor in dogs. Despite amputation of the affected limb and the administration of chemotherapy (carboplatin, cisplatin, and/or doxorubicin) most dogs will die of tumor spread to the lungs or other organs within two years following diagnosis. Studies in the laboratory have demonstrated that:

  1. a new chemotherapy agent, gemcitabine, has activity against canine OSA tumor cell lines;
  2. when gemcitabine is combined with carboplatin, the killing of OSA tumor cell lines is significantly enhanced; and
  3. this effect is greatest when the cells are treated with carboplatin prior to gemcitabine.

Carboplatin and gemcitabine have been used extensively in combination for the treatment of human cancers and, more recently, the two drugs have been administered together to dogs with a variety of cancers. Early work in dogs indicates that the combination of carboplatin and gemcitabine is well tolerated.

Inclusion Criteria

To qualify for enrollment in this study, dogs must;

  • Have a body weight >15 kg (33 lbs)
  • Have confirmed appendicular OSA
  • Have no evidence of pulmonary metastases
  • Have received no previous chemotherapy or radiation therapy for treatment of OSA or any other condition
  • Undergo either limb-sparing tumor removal or amputation of the affected limb
  • Have no serious underlying systemic illness

Study Design/Treatment

Following amputation of the affected limb (or limb-sparing surgery), dogs will receive combined carboplatin and gemcitabine every 21 days for a total of four treatments. Chest x-rays will be performed at the fourth treatment and every three months thereafter.

Client Compensation

The first set of chest x-rays during the study (prior to the 4th treatment), along with the gemcitabine are covered by the study. Additionally, treatment for any side effects from the combined chemotherapy treatment will be covered by the study.

Contact Info

For more information on this trial, please contact:

Dr. Cheryl London
clinicaltrials [at] cvm [dot] osu [dot] edu