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Evaluation of high-frequency irreversible electroporation (H-FIRE) for treatment of canine lung tumors


To evaluate the feasibility, safety, and immune effects of using a novel non-thermal ablation technique, high-frequency irreversible electroporation (H-FIRE), for treating canine lung tumors.


Canine lung tumors can occur as primary or metastatic tumors. New treatment options are needed for these types of tumors, as patient outcomes are often poor, and survival times have improved little over several decades.

High Frequency Irreversible Electroporation (H-FIRE) is a novel non-thermal technique that precisely ablates tumors while sparing critical structures. H-FIRE also potentially induces an anti-tumor immune response, which may help to guard against metastatic disease development.

This study proposes to evaluate the feasibility and safety of treating canine lung tumors with H-FIRE, and to evaluate the tumor immune response to H-FIRE. Because canine lung tumors are a comparative model for human lung cancer, this work may inform future studies to evaluate the use of H-FIRE in people, ultimately improving outcomes for both humans and dogs. 


  • Dogs of any age, weight, sex, or breed with a diagnosis of primary or metastatic lung tumor(s) located peripherally in the lung lobe(s).
  • Radiographic or CT diagnosis of at least one lung tumor with a minimum diameter of 2 cm.
  • Tumor determined to be amenable to surgical resection and accessible for CT-guided H-FIRE treatment.
  • Cytological diagnosis of primary or metastatic lung tumor.
  • Owners have elected resection surgery to treat their dog’s lung tumor(s).
  • Dogs must be free from other significant systemic illness.


  • Dogs who have received any tumor-directed therapy (e.g. radiation), immunotherapy, or immunosuppressive drugs prior to study enrollment.
  • Evidence of extensive metastatic disease.

Study Design

Dogs with suspected lung tumors will have an initial visit to determine eligibility, including relevant bloodwork, examination, and diagnostic imaging. Once the dog is enrolled, minimally invasive H-FIRE treatment will be administered under CT guidance at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) in Blacksburg, VA. Tumor resection surgery will take place on the same day after H-FIRE treatment. 


For enrolled dogs, the study-related bloodwork, histopathological analysis of the resected tumor is covered by the study and a credit of $1,000 toward the cost of tumor resection surgery is provided. The cost of H-FIRE treatment is covered by the study. Owners’ out of pocket costs for tumor resection surgery are estimated at $2,500-4,000. 


  • If you'd like to proceed with a study screening appointment, please ask your veterinarian to initiate a referral using this link: Please note that the cost of the screening visit is typically not covered by the study.
  • Dr. Joanne Tuohy, Surgical Oncology
    Clinic Phone: (540) 526-2300
  •  Mindy Quigley, Clinical Trials Coordinator
    Office Phone: (540) 231-1363 | Email: