Vaccination Against Canine Cancer Study

The VACCS trial is not yet enrolling patients.


The Vaccination Against Canine Cancer Study (VACCS trial) will be the largest clinical trial conducted to date for canine cancer. The goal of the VACCS trial is to evaluate a new vaccine strategy for the prevention, rather than treatment of dogs with cancer. Healthy dogs of certain breeds, 6 years or older, will be randomized to receive either a series of vaccines similar to other routine vaccines that are given to dogs currently, or placebo vaccines. Dogs will live at home and be checked 2-3 times yearly for 5 years after enrollment. A financial incentive will be offered to defray the cost associated with diagnostics and treatment of any cancers that dogs develop, regardless of whether they are receiving vaccine or placebo.

In addition to potentially providing a new strategy for cancer prevention in dogs, if successful, this study could provide important justification for eventually looking at a similar approach in humans.

In order to qualify for the VACCS trial, dogs must meet the following criteria:

  • Owners must live within 150 miles of one of the participating trial sites:

    • Colorado State University · Fort Collins, Colorado

    • University of California – Davis · Davis, California

    • University of Wisconsin – Madison · Madison, Wisconsin

  • Older than 6 years

  • Weigh at least 12 pounds (5 kg)

  • No history of previous cancer

  • No significant other illness that could result in a life span of less than 5 years

  • No history of previous autoimmune disease

  • No current treatment with oral or injectable immunosuppressive medications such as prednisone, cyclosporine, mycophenolate, or tacrolimus

  • Dogs must be one of the following breeds:

  • Mixed breed
  • Afghan hound
  • Airedale terrier
  • Alaskan malamute
  • Basset hound
  • Beagle
  • Bernese mountain dog
  • Borzoi
  • Boston terrier
  • Boxer
  • Briard
  • Bullmastiff
  • Cocker spaniel
  • Corgi
  • Deerhound
  • English setter
  • Field spaniel
  • Flat-coated retriever
  • French bulldog
  • German shepherd
  • German shorthaired pointer
  • Giant schnauzer
  • Golden retriever
  • Gordon setter
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Irish setter
  • Irish water spaniel
  • Irish wolfhound
  • Italian spinone
  • Keeshond
  • Labrador retriever
  • Leonberger
  • Newfoundland
  • Norwegian elkhound
  • Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever
  • Old English sheepdog
  • Petit basset griffon vendeen
  • Rhodesian ridgeback
  • Rottweiler
  • Saluki
  • Scottish terrier
  • Shetland sheepdog
  • Siberian husky
  • Springer spaniel
  • Staffordshire bull terrier
  • Standard poodle
  • Tibetan terrier
  • Viszla
  • Welsh terrier
  • West highland white terrier

If you believe your pet meets the criteria listed above and would like to receive additional information when the VACCS trial opens for enrollment, please complete the following information: