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W18-019: Enhanced ethanol ablation: a low cost effective treatment for oral cancer

Some cancer patients have a poor prognosis, despite intensive combinations of surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. In other cases, these treatments are likely to improve outcome, but are inaccessible (e.g., financial, scheduling, and/or geographical limitations). Thus, there is immense need for treatments that can be given by the primary care veterinarian at low cost, and that effectively improve both patient quality of life and longevity. The investigator has recently demonstrated proof-of-concept for a low-cost, effective option, called enhanced ethanol ablation (EEA). Conventional ethanol ablation (injection of 100% pure drinking alcohol directly into tumors) was originally used for human liver cancer, achieving survival rates similar to surgery. However, that approach is ineffective for tumors that are large or invasive into surrounding tissues, and it requires substantial volumes of ethanol. EEA involves controlled injection of a chemically modified form of ethanol; the modified ethanol is a gel that gets trapped within the tumor. We have shown that EEA caused complete regression in seven of 7 oral tumors in hamsters, while dramatically reducing the required injection volume. In the proposed study, the investigator will optimize the EEA injection protocol for larger tumors, and perform a pilot study to evaluate safety and effectiveness in cats with oral cancer. Successful completion of the proposed study will result in a novel treatment that can be immediately translated to clinics for routine use in cats with oral cancer, and will provide a framework for future evaluation of EEA as a treatment for a variety of other tumor types.

Grant ID: W18-019

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2018

Amount awarded: $23,060

Investigator: Michael Nolan, DVM, PhD; North Carolina State University