Pharmacology of Cancer Drugs and Resistance

On Demand

Course Overview

In this course we discuss the early findings with regard to the kinetics of tumor cell death that lead to current approaches to the treatment of cancer. For the major classes of cytotoxic agents that are used in veterinary medicine we have a detailed discussion of the mechanisms of action and potential mechanisms leading to intrinsic and/or acquired resistance. We also discuss some of the concepts that underlie combination chemotherapy and finally, provide some examples of the link between pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of some chemotherapy agents.  

Learning Objectives
  • Describe the kinetic basis of cancer drug therapy
  • Describe determinants of intrinsic tumor cell sensitivity, specifically related to drug class and cell-intrinsic factors
  • Describe putative mechanisms of action for anti-cancer agents used in veterinary medicine
  • Describe key components driving efficacy of combination chemotherapy: dose intensity and effect of schedule
  • List and provide examples of tumor cell resistance mechanisms for anti-cancer agents used in veterinary medicine: intrinsic resistance, acquired resistance and pharmacokinetic factors influencing dose-response relationship
  • Describe the pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic relationships driving efficacy and toxicity for select drugs: carboplatin and doxorubicin


RACE Application Status
This module has been submitted and approved for 1.5 hours of continuing education credit in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE approval.

For additional questions, please contact us at Learning@ACVIM.org.



Luke Wittenburg, DVM, PhD, DACVCP

Luke Wittenburg, DVM, PhD, DACVCP 
Assistant Professor, Developmental Cancer Therapeutics
Surgical and Radiological Sciences
Center for Companion Animal Health


Dr. Wittenburg received his DVM from Colorado State University in 2004 and went on to complete an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at a private practice in Los Angeles, California. Following this internship, he returned to Fort Collins and began a graduate program in Cancer Biology through the Program in Cell and Molecular Biology at Colorado State University. Dr. Wittenburg received his PhD in 2010 and continued at CSU as a post-doctoral researcher in the cancer pharmacology shared resource while completing a residency in veterinary clinical pharmacology, becoming a diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology in 2013. After a couple of years as junior faculty at Colorado State he joined the faculty at University of California, Davis in 2016 as an assistant professor where he started the Developmental Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory. Research in the Developmental Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory currently focuses on the importance of transcription factor complex protein interactions in the malignant phenotype of osteosarcoma and the pharmacokinetics of chemotherapeutics in veterinary species.

Sponsored by

Course Information

  • Date: Anytime
  • Duration: 90 Minutes
  • Location: Virtual
  • Audience: ACVIM, ECEIM, ECVIM-CA and ECVN Diplomates and candidates
  • Specialty: Oncology
  • Type: On Demand
  • CE Hours: 1.5



ACVIM Diplomates and candidates: $0

ECEIM, ECVIM-CA and ECVN Diplomates and candidates: $45 

Nonmembers: $75



 Already Registered?

On Demand courses are hosted in ACVIM’s online learning system ACVIM Online, powered by VetBloom.


Individual access has been provided to enrolled participants via email or  log in using your ACVIM.org username and password. You will be taken to your Learner Dashboard where any course you are enrolled in will show in the Current Learning section.

All ACVIM Oncology Diplomates and Candidates have been automatically enrolled in each Science of Veterinary

Questions? Check out the ACVIM Online Instructional Guide  or contact  Learning@ACVIM.org


Series Overview

The ACVIM has developed ten (10) Science of Veterinary Oncology (SOVO) online courses that are currently available and complimentary for ACVIM members with four (4) more in development and coming soon. These modules offer foundational building blocks of core knowledge areas pertaining to veterinary oncology and were developed based on the Job Task Analysis review performed in 2016. All modules are led by industry experts and each module is RACE-approved. 




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