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Veterinary Specialty Hospital - North County

Minimally Invasive Metastasectomy in Canines (MIMIC)


Following removal of the primary tumor and adjuvant chemotherapy, the development of lung metastasis is the most common cause of mortality in dogs with osteosarcoma. A distinctive feature of lung metastases of osteosarcoma in human patients is the surprising benefit that can result from surgical resection of the lung nodules. The use of surgery to manage osteosarcoma pulmonary metastases in dogs has been shown to be promising, but is not commonly used due to the presumed post-surgical morbidity of conventional thoracic surgery. Innovations in minimally invasive surgery have created a new opportunity to include surgical resection of lung metastases in dogs. Through these innovations, open chest surgery can be replaced by thoracoscopy, a surgical technique using miniature incisions in the chest wall to allow resection of lung nodules with the assistance of a magnified video camera. This has the potential to minimize the pain, morbidity, and recovery time to patients at a fraction of what’s observed with conventional techniques. Using minimally invasive surgery, specifically video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS), we predict patients will be recovered within 2 days and able to begin return to normal life. The goal of our study is to assess the feasibility and tolerability of VATS for lung metastasis and eventually deliver this care as an outpatient procedure. These fully funded trials will also assess the therapeutic benefit to our canine patients and pave the way to conduct accelerated studies to identify new drugs to prevent lung metastases in both human and canine osteosarcoma.


  • Dogs weighing >5 kgs with a diagnosis of OSA or other malignancy

  • Local tumor controlled or able to be controlled through surgery or radiation

  • Presumed radiographic pulmonary metastasis


  • Veterinary Specialty Hospital – North County