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Veterinary Specialty Hospital - North County

Immunotherapy for Urothelial Carcinoma in Dogs



Urothelial carcinoma (also known as transitional cell carcinoma) is the most common type of bladder cancer affecting dogs. Treatment often involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, with the aim being to reduce the size of the tumor, alleviate symptoms, and improve the dog’s quality of life. In recent years, immunotherapy has emerged as a promising treatment approach for many types of cancer, including canine urothelial carcinoma. Immunotherapies aim to harness the body’s immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. They can be particularly attractive for treating cancers that are difficult to access surgically or that have metastasized (spread to other parts of the body).

Urothelial carcinoma in dogs shares many biological and molecular features with human urothelial carcinoma, including their ability to be shielded from the immune system. Human clinical trials in urothelial carcinoma investigating similar immunotherapies have shown these therapies to be more effective than traditional chemotherapies in some cases.

Development of a safe and beneficial immunotherapy option for canine urothelial carcinoma patients will advance veterinarians’ ability to treat this disease and will provide an important model to inform future canine and human clinical trials in this area.

This study seeks to evaluate the tolerability and efficacy of a novel immunotherapy in dogs with urothelial carcinoma.


  • Weight: between 5kg and 35kg

  • Tumor accessible for biopsy

  • No prior experimental, antibody, or immunomodulatory therapies

  • Expected survival time of at least 8 weeks

  • No significant comorbidities


Benefits of Participation

Pet owners who participate receive

  • Free of charge:

    The cost of the treatment, physical exams, hospitalization, and diagnostics associated with the study. Costs outside of the study requirements will not be covered.

  • Additional coverage:

    Up to $3,000 towards the cost associated with treating any side effects suspected to be related to the study