New Treatment for Hemangiosarcoma May Benefit Dogs & Humans

Without a doubt, Hemangiosarcoma is one of the most difficult cancers to treat in dogs.  A malignant cancer of the blood vessels, hemangiosarcoma is aggressive and silent, and can cause massive internal bleeding as it progresses. All too often, dogs diagnosed with this form of cancer receive a very poor prognosis from their vets — if the cancer is even caught in time. 

Fortunately though, there is a lot of research being done into this type of cancer, and a new treatment being used at Oregon State University is showing great promise, and it may eventually help dogs, and humans alike.

Orion is a 9 year old Golden Retriever who is being treated at Oregon State University after being diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma. After successfully removing a tumor from his heart, some of the cancer cells found in the tumor were grown in a lab and then were tested to find out which class of cancer-fighting drugs they would be most sensitive to.  In Orion’s case, his tumor cells tested extremely sensitive to a cancer inhibitor called a TKI.  Specifically one called “dasatinib,” which had never before been used on a dog.

This discovery led Orion’s family and cancer team to obtain dastinib to try it with him and to see if using that drug, along with the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin, would help him fight this disease. So far, it’s working.

The idea of analyzing individual cancer cells and customizing cancer treatments accordingly is a novel approach to treating cancer and may ultimately be the future of cancer treatments for animals and humans. 

To learn more about Orion’s story and the amazing work being done at Oregon State University to fight canine hemangiosarcoma and other types of cancer, read:

Saving Orion: OSU’s cutting-edge oncology clinic offers hope for one family’s dog

OSU K9 Research May Aid Human Cancer Treatment

About Kerry Malak

I am a Bulldog mom, Reiki Master/Teacher, pet loss counselor and canine cancer advocate who loves working with people and animals to help them live longer, happier and healthier lives.
This entry was posted in Cancer Treatments, News and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to New Treatment for Hemangiosarcoma May Benefit Dogs & Humans

  1. Peter Long says:

    Thanks Kerry.
    Am desperate as my beloved 7 year old German Shepherd has been diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma, and the vet gives me no hope.
    So desperate…….

    Kind regards

    • Kerry Malak says:

      Peter, I’m so sorry to hear about your pup. Can you tell me more about what has happened with him so far? Also, I’d like to invite you to join our Facebook page. We have some other families who have dealt with or are dealing with hemangiosarcoma right now too and it may help to connect with them and share your experiences. The page is at

      • Peter Long says:

        Hi Kerry

        SO good to hear from you. I am not good at Face Book, but will try ! Far better on email !!!!!

        I am SO devastated. My beloved Chart was diagnosed 10 days ago with Hemangiosarcoma. Had his spleen out and the smallish tumour along with it. All went well and by a very experienced vet. However he was very negative about the prognisi. As it had bleed, he says that it will spread rapidly to other organs, despite Charts remarkable recovery. He is SO well again. I have done so much reading, hence finding you too. Very few positive cases, but there are a few………a lovely one on Ginger. Can find it if you google Cure for Hemangiosarcoma. Heded there as : Ginger and her Diet for Hemangiosarcoma. She lived 6,5 years after the op. and also had bleed !!!! Also just spoken to a well known vet here in Cape Town who has also not given me much hope, but said that there are cases that despite the bleed and spread of micro cells, that they for what ever reason, do not take and form tumours in other organs.
        I have read about Salvestrols (Platinium), and have started Chart on them. Have a look : Salvestrol cancer cure. Also giving Chart a good multivitamin.
        So would love to hear something positive. He is my best friend, and I just cannot imagine life without him. I am going to stay as positive as posible and try that tack at least.
        Hope you have recovered from your sadness, and to know that her life lives on in all of us here.
        Longing to hear more.
        Kind regards

  2. Michelle says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your situation….I am also in a very similar situation with my fur baby “Missy”.. She’s a seven year old Victorian Bulldog that was diagnosed about three weeks ago with Hermangiosarcoma … I had noticed that she was not acting like herself for quite some time and told at least three vets that we saw (two at the same practice and then a new one we started seeing). Her diagnosis precipitated a urine sample that I took in thinking she had another bladder infection (she had chronic problems with infections) but the results came back saying that there was blood in her urine and I was told to bring her back immediately for an ultra sound.. The doctor did the exam and told me that he saw a mass in her bladder, about the size of a peach that was obstructing her urethra, making it impossible for her to urinate and causing her extreme pain… He advised me to put her down immediately… I honestly almost collapsed in the exam room…I actually did become a little hysterical and kept asking why there was nothing they could do for her…I called my mother who also spends a lot of time with Missy and loves her as well…She convinced the vet to give Missy some pain medication and let me take her home so that I could spend the day with her and let my family see her. We agreed that we would take her back around the time that they would close the vet’s office to put her to sleep.
    I was in complete shock when I walked out to the car…This was unbelievable to me…I knew she hadn’t been acting like herself but I thought maybe she was just out of shape and just needed to be on a diet and get back to exercising with me…She has always loved swimming, almost to the point where I have to drag her out of the pond or pool…She had always walked at least 4-6 miles a day with me up until last summer… I went to North Carolina to visit my sister and my nephew and left her at my parent’s house for a couple months. In that time my mother had fed her way too much, probably given her an insurmountable amount of snacks and bones and also didn’t exercise her even close to the amount that I had been. I should also mention that Missy had just had a mass removed from her front left paw which was diagnosed as cancer (mast cell sarcoma, I believe) which had been removed and according to the vet they had gotten “clear margins” from that, so there was nothing to worry about. Plus, while this was happening with Missy my mother’s Golden Retriever (ten years old), Oliver had been diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in his front right leg which we decided (based on the recommendation of our new vet) to amputate his leg. So, all of these things are going through my mind as I’m driving Missy to my house… I finally called a few friends and they told me I should get a second opinion… I decided that was probably a really good idea…So, after speaking to my mother, we decided to drive up to Indianapolis, about ninety minutes north from where we live in Bloomington, Indiana to get a second opinion for Missy.

    They ran another ultra sound one Missy which last about thirty minutes longer then the initial one and the doctor came in to tell use that yes, Missy did have a mass but it wasn’t in her bladder, it wasn’t obstructing her urination (I figured that out when she urinated outside the vet’s office that wanted me to put her to sleep) and it was the size of a melon! A CAT scan was done to determine if they could operate and the surgeon determined that they could so that was the plan…She had the mass removed and it turned out to be about 5lbs! The surgeon said he wasn’t able to get all the tissue out during surgery because the mass was attached to her abdominal wall and to pretty much every organ in that area! He said that once the biopsy came back we would decide what to do…It did come back as Hermangiosarcoma, which was another devastating blow to me…She stayed in the hospital for about four days and then she was able to come home. She just had her first chemo treatment last Monday and is set to have four more every three weeks. She had her staples removed on Monday also and we found out she had a secondary infection so she’s also on medication for that as well as thyroid medication because they diagnosed a thyroid issue also…Under the circumstances, she is doing really well… She’s back to wanting to go for walks, back to chasing anything that comes into the yard that she doesn’t approve of, which is everything, waking me up every morning with lots of kisses, and back to her protective self in the house and the car!
    I think I’m still in a state a disbelief with everything that’s happened…I’ve been trying to feed her as much protein as possible, I cook for her and my parent’s dogs and Missy’s older sister, Bella (an eight year old Boggle). They are all getting lots of protein and veggies with very little carbs, they’re also on fish oil and a multi-vitamin twice daily as well as allergy medication because it seems they all have issues with allergies. I’ve been trying to do as much research as I can but I read one thing on one site and then something completely different on another so I’m becoming even more confused! On top of all of this going on over the last few months, I’m in my last week of a full load of classes this summer trying to get A’s to try and get into a very competitive nursing program!
    If anyone has any suggestions, information, opinions, or just want to talk about this I would greatly appreciate it! I apologize that my post was sooo long…I haven’t had a chance to write about this to anyone online and there’s a lot that’s happened recently that I want to explain about Missy’s situation….

  3. Michelle says:

    I hope someone can help me in this situation…I have done TONS of research and have found that it just seems to go in circles with what the best solution is! My 6 year old Victorian Bulldog is a Katrina rescue that I adopted in Florida about 5 years ago was recently diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma. I was/am devastated…I thought I was doing everything to keep her healthy ever since I adopted her… I live in Bloomington, IN and initially I thought she had a bladder infection which she has had chronic bladder and ear infections since she came home with me so I assumed it was the same as usual. I took a urine sample in and a few days later the vet said I needed to bring her in for an ultra sound, we did that, and he immediately said she had a mass obstructing her bladder and urethra, the size of a plum, she was in a lot of pain and needed to be put down right now. I was shocked! I should mention also that this veterinarian also had recently removed a mass from her left front paw that was diagnosed as a grade 2 mass cell sarcoma and I was told she was fine and it would not reoccur… I asked if there was anything we could do for her and he said with her type of tumor there was a 90% chance of it returning so surgery was useless… I’m still unsure how he even knew what type of tumor it was without a biopsy but whatever…

    I didn’t agree with him and decided to take her home and talk to my family and friends about it…If nothing could be done and we decided to do what he recommended we’d come back…Everyone I talked to told me to get a second opinion…. So I found a place in Indianapolis that we took her to. They found the mass through another ultra sound and said it wasn’t obstructing the bladder but was attached to her abdominal wall and pretty much every organ in that area of her body, plus it was the size of a melon! They did surgery the next day and said they were able to get the bulk of the mass but there were still tissues left that they couldn’t remove for fear that it would perforate the intestines or bladder, etc. So…they recommended chemo… 5 rounds every 3 weeks to start 2 weeks after surgery…We have done 1 treatment and her next one is August 6 in Indy…

    I’ve been doing LOTS of research and have seen that supplements and vitamins and all kinds of other treatments … I read that shark cartilage was good for cancers like this and vitamin E, D, & C, something called Transfer Factors, K9 Immunity, and Adipops (I believe) at least for her to take while she’s going through Chemo to help fight the cancer… I’ve also looked into some research about medications but haven’t been able to come up with very much other than being confused about what would be the best for her right now…I have stopped giving her dog food (she was on Natural Choice) and have started cooking chicken, turkey, salmon, beef, and veggies with very minimal carbs… I will say that veggies aren’t her favorite right now but she has eaten some in the past… and maybe a cup of brown rice once a week…Plus I’m giving her Fish oil and a multi-vitamin every day. I did notice today that there was a place on her tail for the last 2 years with no hair I’m assuming was caused by her sitting on her tail on the deck but I saw that there was hair growing there today which made me happy! I was thinking that was possibly due to the fish oil or possibly the thyroid problem.. She was diagnosed with a thyroid issue (on top of everything else) and has allergies so I’ve been giving her Benadryl and Levothyroxine Sodium for the thyroid issue…
    I’m trying to keep up with new research and any new drugs that are found which could help Missy in this situation and hope something will come along or someone will know something that I haven’t heard or seen…If you have any information that you feel would help please let me know….I understand that this diagnosis is bad and I don’t want to be unrealistic, however, I don’t want to just sit by and not try and be proactive for her… I love my fur-kid and I want to do everything I can to help her in this situation…
    Thank you for your help.
    Michelle & Missy

    • Kerry Malak says:

      HI Michelle – I’m so sorry to hear about Missy. I can tell that she is a very loved pup and you are doing everything you can to help her. How is she doing now? Please consider joining us on Facebook at and there’s also a link on our page to the Pet Cancer Support group on Facebook. You will be able to talk with other pet parents and get more info there. We have several other people who are dealing with hemangiosarcoma or who have dealt with it who can share some of their experiences.

  4. Nancy says:

    My dog died of hemangiosarcoma, I recommend that you change your dog’s diet right away, like Blue Buffalo, and give your pet raw veggies and fruits that he or she can eat, I would recommend also to take your pet to a vet specialist not to a regular vet clinic they can not do much with limited equipment, and give them yucca, omega-3 or fish oil, and Nu Vet Vitamins and Essiac tea. In my case it was too late, if surgery can be done do it and do not hesitate, time is ticking and this type of cancer is a very aggressive one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s