Colorado State University Animal Cancer Center
Advancing Cancer Research
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Douglas Thamm

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Name of Investigator: Douglas H. Thamm
Title: Barbara Cox Anthony Professor of Oncology
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Contact Information:
Email Address:
Work Address (mailing): CSU Flint Animal Cancer Center
Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Campus delivery 1678
300 W. Drake Rd., Fort Collins, CO 80523
Office Location (Building/Room #): ACC 216
Office Phone Number: (970) 297-4075
Laboratory Location (Building/Room #): ACC 146
Laboratory Phone Number: (970) 297-4062
  Douglas Thamm

Biography of Investigator:

Dr. Thamm is the Barbara Cox Anthony Professor of Oncology and Director of Clinical Research at the Colorado State University Flint Animal Cancer Center, within the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He is also a member of the Developmental Therapeutics Program of the University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program at Colorado State University. Dr. Thamm received his bachelor's degree and V.M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed a Residency in Medical Oncology at the University of Wisconsin, and was employed as a postdoctoral researcher there for five additional years. He is the author of over 119 peer-reviewed publications, 20 book chapters and 150 research abstracts in the field of veterinary oncology and cancer research.

Classes Taught/Currently Teaching:
  • CMB510 Introduction to Cancer Biology
  • VS701 Postgraduate Medicine
  • VM753 Clinical Sciences III
  • VM773 Clinical Sciences IV

Research Focus:

Our translational research group is primarily involved in investigating novel therapies in pets with spontaneous neoplasia. The dog is an excellent translational model for the investigation of novel antineoplastic therapies. Unlike murine models, the canine model utilizes relatively outbred, immunocompetent animals with spontaneously occurring tumors, with a spectrum of tumor histotypes and biological behavior similar to that found in humans. The relatively large size of canine tumors when compared with murine tumors may more closely approximate human solid tumors with respect to important biological factors such as hypoxia, clonal variation, spontaneous metastasis, and spontaneous drug resistance, and allows for serial sampling of tumor tissue over time. Finally, the relatively rapid time course of disease progression, when compared with human cancer, allows for more rapid assessment of therapeutic endpoints than is possible in many human clinical trials.

Laboratory studies in support of these efforts, including standard cell biology assays for growth, apoptosis, migration/invasion, cytokine production and identification biomarkers of drug activity. Techniques such as western analysis, immunocytochemistry, immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR, are commonly employed in our laboratory in human and animal cancer cell lines and primary tissues.

Name of Laboratory:
Experimental Therapeutics

Laboratory Personnel:
Laboratory Manager
Barbara Rose:

Student Hourly Workers:
Tess Ehrhart:

List of Major Laboratory Equipment

  1. 800 square feet of laboratory space within the CSU Flint Animal Cancer Center
  2. One tissue culture hood, two tissue culture incubators
  3. -80 degree freezer, liquid nitrogen storage with computerized storage databases
  4. Two -20 degree freezers and two 4 degree refrigerators
  5. Three variable speed, refrigerated benchtop centrifuges, two microfuges
  6. Two adjustable-temperature water baths
  7. Equipment for nucleic acid and protein electrophoresis
  8. Stratagene MX3000P real-time PCR workstation
  9. 2 Bio-Tek Synergy HT Multi-Mode Microplate Readers
  10. BTX ECM 800 electroporator

Selected Current Work/Projects:

Survivin Inhibition with EZN-3042 For Canine Lymphoma Therapy
The goal of this study is to determine the safety and effectiveness of a systemically delivered antisense molecule directed against survivin in dogs with spontaneous non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Role: Principal Investigator

Novel Bone-Targeting Combination Therapy for Osteosarcoma
This preclinical study is evaluating a novel bisphosphonate-chemotherapy conjugate in orthotopic murine models of osteosarcoma
Role: Co-Principal Investigator

Mechanisms Underlying Increased Hepatocellular Carcinoma Malignancy from HZE Ions
This NASA-funded study is investigation the possible potentiation of tumor metastatic capacity upon exposure to heavy ions such as those that may be encountered during space flight.
Role: Co-Investigator

Predictive Models of Drug Response in Canine Osteosarcoma – A Prospective Clinical Trial Testing the COXEN Approach
This prospective clinical trial is investigating a novel gene expression-based chemosensitivity predictor for optimizing choice of adjuvant chemotherapy in dogs with appendicular osteosarcoma.
Role: Co-Principal Investigator

Selected peer-reviewed publications (from 119 published or in press).

Thamm DH, Mauldin EA, Vail DM. Prednisone and vinblastine chemotherapy for canine mast cell tumor: 41 cases (1992-1997). J Vet Intern Med. 13: 491-497, 1999.

Thamm DH, Kurzman ID, MacEwen EG, Feinmehl R, Towell TL, Longhofer SL, Johnson CM, Geoly FJ, Stinchcomb DT. Lipid-complexed intralesional cytokine / superantigen immunogene therapy for spontaneous canine tumors. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 52: 473-480, 2003.

Thamm DH, Kurzman ID, King I, Li Z, Sznol M, Dubielzig RR, Vail DM, MacEwen EG. Systemic administration of an attenuated, tumor-targeting Salmonella typhimurium to dogs with spontaneous neoplasia: phase I evaluation. Clin Cancer Res. 11(13): 4827-4834, 2005.

Thamm DH, Turek MM, Vail DM. Outcome and prognostic factors following adjuvant prednisone/vinblastine chemotherapy for high-risk canine mast cell tumour: 61 cases. J Vet Med Sci. 68(6): 581-587, 2006.

Ptitsyn A, Weil M, Thamm DH. Systems biology approach to identification of biomarkers for metastatic progression in cancer. BMC Bioinformatics. 9 (Suppl 9): S8, 2008.

Rebhun R, Charles B, Ehrhart EJ, Lana SE, Thamm DH. Prognostic and comparative analysis of survivin expression in untreated and relapsed canine lymphoma. J Vet Intern Med. 22(4): 989-995, 2008.

*Vail DM, *Thamm DH, Reiser H, Ray AS, Wolfgang GHI, Babusis D, Kurzman ID, Jeraj R, Plaza S, Anderson C, Wessel MA, Robat C, Lawrence J, Tumas DB. A novel prodrug (GS-9219) demonstrates activity against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma: a pet dog model. Clin Cancer Res. 15(10): 3503-3510, 2009. * Equal effort reported

Thamm DH, Huelsmeyer MK, Mitzey AM, Qurollo BA, Rose BJ, Kurzman ID.  RT-PCR based tyrosine kinase display profiling of canine melanoma: IGF-1 receptor as a potential therapeutic target. Melanoma Res 20(1): 35-42, 2010.

Thamm DH, Kurzman ID, Clark MA, Ehrhart EJ, Kraft SL, Gustafson DL, Vail DM. Preclinical investigation of PEGylated tumor necrosis factor alpha in dogs with spontaneous tumors: phase-I evaluation. Clin Cancer Res 16: 1498-1508, 2010.

Sottnik JA, Duval DL, Ehrhart III EJ, Thamm DH. An orthotopic, postsurgical model of luciferase transfected murine osteosarcoma with spontaneous metastasis. Clin Exp Metastasis 27(3): 151-160, 2010.

Honigberg LA, Smith AM, Sirisawad M, Verner E, Loury D, Chang B, Li J, Pan Z, Thamm DH, Miller RA, Buggy JJ. The Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitor PCI-32765 blocks B cell activation and is efficacious in models of autoimmune disease and B cell malignancy. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107(29): 13075-13080, 2010.

Wittenburg LA, Gustafson DL, Thamm DH. Phase I pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic evaluation of combined valproic acid / doxorubicin treatment in dogs with spontaneous cancer. Clin Cancer Res 16(19): 4832-4842, 2010.

Wittenburg LA, Bisson L, Rose BJ, Korch C, Thamm DH. The histone deacetylase inhibitor sodium valproate sensitizes canine and human osteosarcoma to doxorubicin. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 67(1): 83-92, 2011.

Kennedy KC, Qurollo BA, Rose BJ, Thamm DH. Epidermal growth factor promotes the malignant phenotype in canine mammary carcinoma. Vet Comp Oncol 9(3): 196-206, 2011

Sottnik JL, Lori JC, Rose BJ, Thamm DH. Glycolysis inhibition by 2-deoxy-D-glucose reverts the metastatic phenotype in vitro and in vivo. Clin Exp Metastasis 28(8): 865-875, 2011.

Wittenburg LA, Ptitsyn A, Thamm DH. A systems biology approach to identify molecular pathways altered by HDAC inhibition in osteosarcoma. J Cell Biochem 113(3): 773-783, 2012.

Shoeneman JK, Ehrhart III EJ, Eickhoff JC, Charles JB, Powers BE, Thamm DH. Expression and function of survivin in canine osteosarcoma. Cancer Res 72(1): 249-259, 2012.

Thamm DH, Grunerud KK, Rose BJ, Vail DM, Bailey SM.  Mutagen sensitivity as a susceptibility marker for spontaneous lymphoma in golden retriever dogs: a case-control study. PLoS ONE 8(7): e69192, 2013.

Halsey CHC, Gustafson DL, Rose BJ, Wolf-Ringwall A, Burnett RC, Duval DL, Avery AC, Thamm DH. Development of an in vitro model of acquired resistance to toceranib phosphate (Palladia) in canine mast cell tumor. BMC Vet Res 10: 105, 2014.

Post Doctoral Fellows/Graduate Students:

Name: Alex Pyeun
Email Address:
Area of Study: Effects of PI3K/mTOR inhibition on canine hemangiosarcoma

Name: Travis Meuten
Email Address:
Area of Study: Dual inhibition of PI3K and mTOR with the small molecule VDC597 in canine lymphoma and osteosarcoma

Name: Kristen Farrell
Email address:
Area of Study: Novel bone-targeted chemotherapy for osteosarcoma

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