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WAG LOVE FEST for Dog Cancer Cures

It was a gorgeous day as we took our dogs for a walk through the off-leash area at Marymoor Park. And that’s where I noticed that our Gus had a slight limp. The limp didn’t go away. Radiograph imaging and tests at the veterinary clinic revealed that he had osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.

We learned about a new therapy that was helping dogs beat osteosarcoma and become long-term survivors. (After all, surgery and chemotherapy could only keep this type of cancer in remission for around 12 months.)

We became hopeful.

But we soon learned that the study had closed, and we couldn’t get the treatment for Gus. Every month, when we went to see Gus’s oncologist for a checkup, I’d ask, “Dr. Choy, is the study open gain?" And the answer was always no. I even emailed the researcher but got no response.

three-legged golden retriever with osteosarcoma posing with a smile and tongue out on a trail
GUS had leg amputation and chemotherapy, but his conventional treatment couldn’t stop metastasis.

Eventually time ran out. The cancer returned and metastasized to his lungs, and Gus crossed the rainbow bridge. We were so devasted, and we just could not understand. Why aren’t there better therapies for cancer in dogs? Why aren’t there more clinical trials for new therapies for our pups? It turns out we weren’t alone.

A Glimmer of Hope: A New Trial

Joined by other families who had lost their beloved animals to cancer, we began raising funds to help scientists partner with veterinary oncologists to find better therapies. Now, six ears later, there are several new trials underway.

One of the studies is the Yale University’s EGFR vaccine study.

EGFR vaccine treatment – a form of immunotherapy - may help dogs with osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, and other EGFR-positive tumors become long-term survivors.

pittie in sunny grass field looking back at the camera
Cookie was one of the early recipient of the EGFR vaccine and is still happy, healthy and active 5 years (!) after her osteosarcoma diagnosis.

light golden retriever and his owner (dad) sitting on doorstep the their home.
Ranger ‘s osteosarcoma spread to his lungs. But Ranger became cancer free several months after receiving the EGFR vaccine.

The study is enrolling patients in Seattle, and dozens of dogs from as far away as Illinois are traveling to Seattle to be part of the study. If your dog was diagnosed with osteosarcoma or hemangiosarcoma, you can learn more about the EGFR canine cancer vaccine treatment by visiting this page or watching this video.

WAG LOVE FEST Walk and Fun Run

New studies seeking canine cancer cures are made possible by the generous donors and participants of Wag Love Fest walk/run.

We want to invite you to join the sixth annual Wag Love Fest at Marymoor Park on Sunday May 7!

There will be contests and other fun activities,and a Forever Loved wall with tributes to our beloved animals.

Join amazing dogs and humans who love their pups. Make flower garlands, participate in games and contests for awesome prizes, and meet Instagram pup and @scoutgoldenretriever’s famies.

Register using promo code “SEATTLEPUP50” and get 50% off registration.

Help us advance research and support clinical trials, so that we can have more effective and affordable therapies for all our pups.

We hope to see you soon!!

Mari Maeda

Edited by Wendi Black

May 2023

two light colored golden retreivers walking with their owners at the Wag Love Fest



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