257: Investigation of Predictors of Outcome for Canine Mast Cell Tumors

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $45,696.59
Dr. Elizabeth M. Whitley, DVM PhD, Auburn University
April 1, 2005 - September 30, 2008
Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Treatment

Abstract

Mast cell tumors are common and high grade tumors are often deadly in dogs. Treatment for aggressive MCT often fails, in part due to imprecise prediction of aggressiveness when surgical biopsy samples are examined. This project aims to improve the accuracy of prediction by determining the importance of several cellular proteins in relation to the ability of the malignant mast cells (MC) to invade tissue and to metastasize to lymph nodes and to distant organs. We will examine biopsy specimens from previous and current cases of MCT for expression of proteins that have critical functions in adhesion between cells and their environment, in signaling for cell proliferation, and for metastatic capability. Responses of the affected dogs to surgical, radiation and chemotherapies will be compared to protein marker expressions, to try to identify proteins that are associated with aggressiveness. This information can then be used for selection of appropriate therapy. We propose to collect fresh tumor tissue from both aggressive and relatively non-aggressive MCTs and to culture them for use in experiments detailing differences between aggressive and non-aggressive MCT. Cell lines derived from canine MCT also will be useful in future investigations into the basic physiology of canine MC and for use in preclinical testing of drug therapies for MCT.

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