Boo with Students

Intratumoral Immunotherapy for Canine Mammary Carcinoma Trial

Veterinarians in the WCORC are evaluating a new immunotherapy drug called "IMAX" which is injected directly into mammary carcinomas in dogs.



IMAX was developed in the Purdue Institute for Cancer Research, and it contains three components that stimulate the immune system to attack the cancer.


  • Dogs with mammary carcinomas
  • No prior radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
  • Prior surgery is allowed if a tumor mass is still present.
  • Absence of any major organ dysfunction.
  • Expected survival of ≥ 6 weeks.
  • Commitment by the pet owner to not give supplements such as CBD oil, extra vitamins, herbs, holistic products, health food store products, and other similar products during the trial.
  • A 2-week washout will be required if the dog is receiving supplements before the trial.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are only allowed if the dog needs the medication for pain relief from the cancer or other conditions, and if the cancer has been documented to be growing in the face of NSAID treatment. A 2-week washout will be required for non-essential NSAIDs.

What Is Involved for the Dog/Dog Owner?

  • An initial 1-2 day visit at Purdue for an initial evaluation including blood test, x-rays, ultrasound, and biopsy of the tumor to measure immune cell infiltration.
  • A return visit to Purdue one week later for the IMAX treatment. The dog will stay in the hospital for 24-36 hours after the IMAX treatment. Some dogs are expected to experience fever for approximately 8 hours after the treatment and therefore they are monitored in the hospital.
  • The dog will be evaluated at Purdue weekly after the treatment for 4-8 weeks, depending on how well the treatment works.
  • A second biopsy of the tumor will be obtained on one of the weekly visits in order to measure the immune cell infiltration into the tumor.
  • Additional doses of IMAX will be given if the tumor is shrinking, but still present.
  • If the tumor is still present after IMAX therapy, it will be removed surgically at Purdue.

Financial Support

  • The dog owner must pay for the office visit for the first appointment to determine if the study is best for the dog.

  • The study will pay portions, but not all, of the costs of the evaluation, treatment, and monitoring. Should the tumor persist and need to be surgically removed, the owner must be willing to pay for the surgical procedure.


What do I do to allow my dog to participate or to learn more about the trial?

Pet owners and veterinarians that are interested in the trial, or who would like more information, or have questions please contact our Clinical Trials Nurse, Lindsey Fourez at 765-494-1130 or Please leave a message for a call back.