TriKE - a new canine cancer immunotherapy drug

brown and black dog in snow
Principal Investigator
Caitlin Feiock, DVM
Assistant Professor, Veterinary Clinical Sciences
Antonella Borgatti, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM (Oncology), Dipl. ECVIM-CA
Professor, Oncology, Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Amber Winter, CVT
Research Professional 2
[email protected]

Current status: Open and enrolling

Study title

Engaging the Immune System to Kill Solid Tumors in Pet Dogs - A Comparative Oncology Approach (TriKE Monotherapy)

Purpose of study

The purpose of the study is to evaluate the dose, timing, anti-tumor effects and potential side effects of a new immunotherapy drug designed for dogs, called a “TriKE”. 

Eligibility criteria

Dogs must: 

  • Have cytologically or histopathologicaly confirmed sarcoma, measuring at least 2cm
  • Weigh at least 7 kg (15 lbs)
  • Modified performance score less than 2 and expected survival of at least 2 months
  • Have no metastasis (local lymph node involvement may be included)
  • Have no significant co-morbidities that affect heart, lung, kidney, or liver function
  • Not be currently receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment (previous ok with a washout period)
  • Not have previous immunotherapy (previous cytopoint is allowed) 


Screening visit:  physical exam, tumor measurements, chest x-rays and CT of chest and abdomen for staging, blood and urine collection, flow cytometry using blood and tumor samples

Immunotherapy treatment days 0, 3, 7, 10, 14, 17:  physical exam, tumor measurements, TriKE given under the skin and observed up to 2 hours after; day 17 chest x-rays, blood and urine collection, flow cytometry using blood and tumor samples

Rechecks around day 28, 50, 70-90:  physical exam, tumor measurements, blood collection, flow cytometry; some visits will include urine collection, chest x-rays and CT of chest and abdomen for staging


The dog’s owner is responsible for costs associated with diagnosis to allow enrollment. Once enrolled, the study will pay for all costs associated with treatment, monitoring and staging (including initial staging if preformed at the University of Minnesota).

Clients will receive a $3000 stipend for local or systemic therapy at the end of the study period or if there is evidence of progressive disease. This treatment must take place at the University of Minnesota in order to be covered by the stipend.