00848-A: Evaluation of Neutrophil Function in Treated Tumor-Bearing Dogs

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $12,857.64
Casey J. LeBlanc, DVM, PhD; University of Tennessee
October 1, 2006 - September 30, 2007


Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Oncology
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Anti-cancer therapy, or chemotherapy, consists of many different types of drugs aimed at killing cells that continuously divide. Therefore, effects of chemotherapy are seen not only in tumor cells, but also in other continuously dividing cells such as hair follicle cells, gastrointestinal tract cells, and blood cells that originate from the bone marrow. Neutrophils are one of five types of white blood cells and are the principle cells responsible for fighting bacterial infections. Humans and animals with cancer undergoing chemotherapy routinely have low neutrophil counts in their blood and are therefore prone to bacterial infections. However, canine cancer patients receiving chemotherapy with normal neutrophil counts also get bacterial infections and these infections can be life threatening. This suggests a possible defect in neutrophil function. We have obtained preliminary data using advanced techniques that suggest neutrophils from untreated canine cancer patients have a diminished capacity to "kill" bacteria. In the proposed study, we will use these same techniques to assess neutrophil function in canine cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, to see if these anti-cancer drugs worsen neutrophil function. Results obtained from the proposed study will be a springboard for future studies to test compounds that improve neutrophil counts and function, and therefore allow optimal use of chemotherapy. Prolonging cancer-free time intervals without sacrificing quality of life during treatment is the long-term goal of this research.


LeBlanc, A. K., LeBlanc, C. J., Rohrbach, B. W., & Kania, S. A. (2015). Serial evaluation of neutrophil function in tumour-bearing dogs undergoing chemotherapy. Veterinary and Comparative Oncology, 13(1), 20–27. https://doi.org/10.1111/vco.12015

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