Canine cancer vaccine trial at ASU could possibly save millions of dogs

Arizona State University is leading the way in developing a vaccine that could save the lives of millions of dogs. This is all being done thanks to a $6.4 million donation from the Open Philanthropy Project.

The vaccine is being designed to prevent any type of cancer in dogs.

"So far, it looks safe. That's all we can say so far. We've enrolled about 100 dogs or so into it," said Stephen Johnston, director of the Biodesign Center for Innovations in Medicine.

Johnston is working with three other universities: Colorado State University, University of Wisconsin and the University of California-Davis to vaccinate dogs against cancer. At these clinical centers, dogs are being given the vaccine and monitored.

"The dog gets an examination to make sure it doesn't have any pre-existing cancer and then if it passes the examination then we give it a vaccine and then every six months we bring the dog back in, and then we examine it for any signs of cancer," explained Johnston.

It will take up to two years to see if the vaccine will actually prevent cancer. If all goes well and the trial is successful, the vaccine could be on the market a short time later.