A Study to Explore the Effect of External Beam Radiation on the Strength and Histology of Long Bones in a Canine Model

Clinician and Radiation Therapist with canine patient on SRT table
Area of Study: 

Purpose of Study: 

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of radiation therapy on the strength and histology of normal and cancerous bone.  


Your dog may qualify if:

  • He/she has been diagnosed with appendicular osteosarcoma
  • Has not had an amputation
  • Has received no prior chemotherapy or immunotherapy
  • Is otherwise healthy
Client Responsibilities: 

If you agree to participate, your pet will receive a course of palliative radiation therapy (that which should alleviate pain associated with the primary OSA, but not cause acute side effects) consisting of two successive daily treatments of 8 Gy radiation (total over the 2 days of 16 Gy) under general anesthesia. Palliative radiation therapy will be FREE OF CHARGE (an approximately $2800 value). 

Tumors located near the shoulder or hip will require a planning CT. Those further down the leg may not.

All treatments must be completed at Iowa State University. 

Client Benefits: 

By participating in this study, several aspects of your dog's medical care will be provided at no cost to you. 

Radiation will be delivered to the tumor and the mid-shaft of the unaffected front or back limb on the same side as the tumor. Radiation treatment cost will be covered by the study, with the expectation that after the patient dies or is euthanized, the body will be returned to the team at ISU. Areas of bone that received radiation therapy will be collected for investigation into the changes caused by radiation therapy. Cremains may be returned to you, should you wish. 

This study is intended for clients who elect palliative radiation therapy and oral pain relief medications as the sole treatments for their dog’s OSA.


Dr Nicholas Rancilio: 515-294-4900

Dr Meg Musser: 515-294-4900