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Evaluation of Cyclopamine as a Therapy for Canine Bone Cancer, 2012

Principal Investigator: Dr. Heather M. Wilson, Texas A&M University, First Award Grant

Cancer arises from a single mutated cell possessing the power to replicate, expand and eventually form a tumor. There are many theories as to what causes and prompts progression of this process. One theory states that a cell with stem cell capabilities divides to produce new tumor-initiating cells and daughter cells. Identifying pathways that can increase sensitivity of these cells to therapeutic intervention is paramount to finding a cure for bone cancer. Cyclopamine, a chemical found in the corn lily plant, inhibits the Sonic Hedgehog pathway, which is responsible for normal embryo development and for maintaining adult stem cells and directing the regeneration of tissues. This study will research cyclopamine’s effectiveness at inhibiting tumor-initiating cells in canine osteosarcoma cell lines. The goal is to provide a new targeted therapy for pets with osteosarcoma.