Canine brain tumor trials: Glioma

Surgeons performing surgery
Principal Investigator
Liz Pluhar, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS
Professor, Surgery, Veterinary Clinical Sciences

If interested in a trial, please email the program at [email protected] or click on I'm interested below

Current status: Open and enrolling

Purpose of study

The goal of the Canine Brain Tumor Clinical Trial Program is to offer cutting edge therapy to dogs intended to preserve quality of life and improve long-term survival rates. Additionally, we will use the information gained from treating dogs to design similar treatments for people with brain tumors. The majority of the costs associated with these experimental brain tumor therapies are paid for by grants from foundation and government agencies including the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund, the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, the American Brain Tumor Association and the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation.

Eligibility criteria

Dogs with glioma, as seen on MRI. 

  • If you live near the Veterinary Medical Center (VMC), your dog can have the MRI here. Please call 612-626-8387 to request an appointment with the Neurology Service to schedule this or your veterinarian can request the MRI using the AVID Service.

  • From other locations, please obtain an MRI at a Neurology clinic in your area. Once complete, we would like a copy of the images and report sent here, or if the Neurology clinic can do a 'DICOM' transfer, we will accept that (if the clinic can do this, they will know what that means). Please have them contact the CIC for instructions. To send by mail or FedEx, please use this address:

Dr. Liz Pluhar
College of Veterinary Medicine
339 Veterinary Medical Center
1352 Boyd Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108


There are several different treatments being compared, including: surgery followed by vaccine-based immunotherapy, surgery followed by oncolytic virus therapy, surgery followed by IL-12 gene therapy, sonodynamic therapy (ultrasound) followed by surgery.


Most visits performed here at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center will have the costs covered by the studies.

Study update

Update as of October 1st, 2023:  

We are currently only enrolling French bulldogs with high-grade gliomas for sonodynamic therapy (ultrasound).

For meningioma cases, there are surgical and vaccine options available at the owner's expense. 

All other studies are on hold at this time. We hope to have new ones coming up in the near future.