Copyright ©The Author(s) 2017. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Exp Med. May 20, 2017; 7(2): 42-48
Published online May 20, 2017. doi: 10.5493/wjem.v7.i2.42
Recent clinical trials of cancer immunogene therapy in companion animals
Liliana M E Finocchiaro, Gerardo C Glikin
Liliana M E Finocchiaro, Gerardo C Glikin, Unidad de Transferencia Genética, Instituto de Oncología “Ángel H. Roffo”, Universidad de Buenos Aires, 1417 Buenos Aires, Argentina
Author contributions: Finocchiaro LME and Glikin GC contributed equally to this work (bibliographic search, table design and writing of the paper).
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Dr. Gerardo C Glikin, Unidad de Transferencia Genética, Instituto de Oncología “Ángel H. Roffo”, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Av. San Martín 5481, 1417 Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Telephone: +54-11-45802813
Received: January 21, 2017
Peer-review started: January 21, 2017
First decision: March 8, 2017
Revised: April 24, 2017
Accepted: May 3, 2017
Article in press: May 5, 2017
Published online: May 20, 2017

This mini-review presents the results of veterinary clinical trials on immunogene therapy published from 2014 to 2016. A variety of tumors, among them melanoma (canine and equine), mastocytoma (canine), mammary adenocarcinoma (canine) and fibrosarcoma (feline) were treated by using diverse strategies. Non-viral vectors were usually employed to transfer genes of cytokines, suicide enzymes and/or tumor associated antigens. In general terms, minor or no adverse collateral effects were related to these procedures, and treated patients frequently improved their conditions (better quality of life, delayed or suppressed recurrence or metastatic spread, increased survival). Some of these new methodologies have a promising future if applied as adjuvant treatments of standard approaches. The auspicious results, derived from immunogene therapy studies carried out in companion animals, warrant their imperative usage in veterinary clinical oncology. Besides, they provide a strong preclinical basis (safety assays and proofs of concept) for analogous human clinical trials.

Keywords: Cancer, Gene therapy, Immunotherapy, Companion animals, Comparative oncology

Core tip: Cancer immunogene therapy is a major growing area among human clinical trials. Until August 2016 there were about 2409 registered gene therapy trials, where 1554 were aimed to cancer, and among them 864 corresponded to immunotherapy. Working with veterinary cancer bearing patients can significantly speed up translational research and benefit both veterinary and human patients. New data demonstrated the safety and efficacy of different immunotherapy approaches. Following our previously published review on the subject covering from 1996 to 2014, this new mini-review is focused on veterinary cancer immunogene therapy covering published work in the field from 2014 to 2016.