2465: Identification and Characterization of Genetic Mutations in Canine Mast Cell Tumors

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $57,212
Cheryl A. London, DVM, PhD; University of California, Davis
April 1, 2003 - March 31, 2005

Sponsor(s): American Boxer Charitable Foundation, American Bullmastiff Association, Chinese Shar-Pei Charitable Trust, Collie Health Foundation, French Bulldog Club of America, Golden Retriever Foundation, Jeffrey Pepper, Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States, Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Oncology
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The most common malignant tumor in dogs is the mast cell tumor (MCT, a form of skin cancer), occurring with an incidence of close to 20 percent in the canine population. MCTs range from relatively benign to extremely aggressive, leading to tumor spread and eventual death. Particular breeds of dog are at risk for the development of this tumor, indicating a role for genetic factors. We have previously identified mutations in the gene c-kit in 30-50 percent of dog MCTs. c-Kit plays a critical role in regulating the growth and function of normal mast cells, and as the mutations we discovered cause uncontrolled function of c-kit, it is likely they influence MCT development in dogs. This proposal will establish a prospective tumor registry of dog MCTs to be used for investigation of the true incidence of c-kit mutations within specific dog breeds. Moreover, the studies outlined in this grant will identify additional genetic mutations present in dog MCTs that can be used for the development of new targeted therapeutics. In summary, this work will provide a much more detailed understanding of dog MCTs, thereby building a framework for the development of new therapies and strategies for disease prevention.


Romansik, E. M., Reilly, C. M., Kass, P. H., Moore, P. F., & London, C. A. (2007). Mitotic Index Is Predictive for Survival for Canine Cutaneous Mast Cell Tumors. Veterinary Pathology, 44(3), 335–341. https://doi.org/10.1354/vp.44-3-335

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