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Studying How Mast Cell Tumors Spread, 2012

Principal investigator: Dr. Cheryl A. London, The Ohio State University

Mast cell tumors (MCTs) are the most common skin tumors in dogs, and they are often fatal. Previous studies in dogs with aggressive tumors found that the small microRNA (miR-9) expressed in those tumors was more likely to spread and kill affected dogs. This study provides a molecular framework for understanding how tumors with miR-9 spread.


Studying How Mast Cell Tumors Become Malignant, 2012

Principal investigator: Dr. Cheryl A. London, The Ohio State University

Mast cell tumors are the most common skin tumor in dogs, and they are often fatal. Unfortunately, identifying the tumors likely to become malignant is challenging because little is known about how mast cells transform from benign to malignant. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non–protein-coding RN as involved in the initiation and progression of cancer in humans. Researchers will analyze expression of miRNAs associated with aggressive mast cell disease and begin to define how they may promote aggressive progression of tumors in dogs. This will help veterinarians better determine the prognosis for dogs with these tumors and more effectively treat them.


Inhibiting Feline Oral Cancer, 2010

Principal investigator: Dr. William C. Kisseberth, The Ohio State University

About 10 percent of all tumors in cats are oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), making this the third most common tumor in cats. The location of the tumor combined with the pain it causes prevent the cat from eating, swallowing or grooming, and most cats survive less than three months after diagnosis. Although many types of treatment have become available, quality of life and survival times haven't improved. This study will investigate a new class of anti-cancer drugs that inhibit tumor growth and kill human OSCC and various canine cancer cell lines. These drugs may hold promise for treating this cancer in cats.


Studying How Mast Cell Tumors Become Malignant, 2010

Principal investigator: Dr. Cheryl A. London, The Ohio State University

Mast cell tumors are the most common skin tumor in dogs, and they are often fatal. Unfortunately, identifying the tumors likely to behave in a malignant manner is challenging because little is known about how mast cells transform from benign to malignant. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small nonprotein-coding RNAs involved in the initiation and progression of cancer in humans. Researchers will analyze expression of miRNAs associated with aggressive mast cell disease and begin to define how they may promote aggressive progression of tumors in dogs. This will help veterinarians better determine the prognosis for dogs with these tumors and more effectively treat them.


Clinical Utility of Measuring Circulating Plasma DNA in Dogs with Lymphoma, 2008

Principal investigator: Laura J. Rush, DVM, PhD, The Ohio State University

Lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in dogs. Although some breeds have higher incidence — including boxers, bull mastiffs, basset hounds, bulldogs, golden retrievers and Labradors — all dogs can develop the disease. Dogs with lymphoma usually respond well to chemotherapy, but most will eventually relapse and die of their disease within a year after chemotherapy. This may be due to residual disease that remains in the dog’s body after treatment but can’t be detected. In a previous MAF-funded study, Dr. Rush and her team showed that a simple blood test measuring plasma DNA levels may predict which dogs will have a shorter remission. This study will determine whether this test can detect relapse before clinical signs appear and whether the blood levels measured by the test can identify if the patient has disease remaining after completion of chemotherapy.


Genome Scanning for Aberrant DNA Methylation in Canine Lymphoma, 2007

Principal investigator: Laura J. Rush, DVM, PhD, The Ohio State University

Lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in dogs. Scientists already have documented that genetic alterations contribute to cancer development, including lymphoma. One such alteration, DNA promoter methylation, occurs frequently in human cancers, and investigators believe this change may also play a key role in canine lymphoma. Investigators will determine the prevalence of promotor methylation in canine lymphoma samples to help them uncover key cancer genes that regulate lymphocyte transformation and the progression of this disease in dogs. These genes may serve as diagnostic tumor markers and targets for future molecular therapy in dogs.