In a first-of-its-kind study, University of Missouri scientists have helped advance a patient-specific, precision medicine treatment for bone cancer (osteosarcoma, OSA) in dogs. By creating a vaccine from a dog’s own tumor, scientists worked with ELIAS Animal Health to target specific cancer cells and avoid toxic side effects. Mizzou researchers hope to continue immunotherapy discovery with dogs in order to optimize the therapy for future human clinical trials in OSA and other cancers, especially metastatic OSA in children.


  • Brian Flesner, DVM, MS, DACVIM
  • Jeffrey Bryan, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVIM

Three key benefits of the findings:

  • Demonstrates the first time that dogs with OSA have experienced prolonged survival without the side effects of chemotherapy.
  • Shows the safety and efficacy of the precision medicine approach. 
  • Emphasizes the strength of the naturally occurring disease model of OSA in dogs to help discover new ways to treat children and teens with the same disease.