00664-A: Exploration of Alternative Samples for Prognostic Assay of Canine Cancers: Getting the Most Out of Existing Samples and Testing New Ones Collected Without Surgery

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $11,782
Mike Starkey, PhD; Animal Health Trust
July 1, 2005 - June 30, 2006


Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Oncology
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For definitive diagnosis of many canine cancers it is currently necessary to anesthetize a dog and surgically excise a tissue sample for histological grading. However, for many cancers, histological grading does not predict how long an individual dog will survive or whether a surgically removed cancer will recur. At best, the procedure assigns a dog to a category associated with a certain probability of having a particular outcome. For human cancers, prognostic assays for individual tumors have been developed on the basis of mRNA, or DNA copy number profiles. In this study we will determine whether a tissue aspirate collected from the tumor of a conscious animal via a fine needle is representative of the tumor, and can be used for mRNA copy number profiling. In parallel, we will assess whether it is possible to recover DNA and RNA from tissue fixed for histopathological examination, so that surgical biopsies can also be used for assays that accurately predict the outcome for individual dogs.


Starkey, M. P., & Murphy, S. (2010). Using lymph node fine needle aspirates for gene expression profiling of canine lymphoma. Veterinary and Comparative Oncology, 8(1), 56–71. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-5829.2009.00205.x

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