01929-A: Arginine Dependence: Identification of Cancer's Achilles Heel

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $9,720
Carlos O. Rodriguez Jr, DVM, PhD; University of California, Davis
May 1, 2013 - January 31, 2014


Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Oncology
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Arginine is a nonessential amino acid. This means that some normal cells in the body can make their own arginine and, once they make it, put it into the circulation for others cells of the body to use for such purposes as making proteins. Interestingly, it has been shown that many tumor cells cannot make their own arginine and thus are dependent on normal cells in the body to make it for them. The reason for this dependence is that these cancer cells have very low or no quantities of the enzyme machinery needed to make their own arginine. This led to the belief that cancer cells may be sensitive to the depletion of arginine and the development of an arginine-destroying tumor-targeting enzyme: pegylated arginine deiminase (PEGADI). PEGADI has entered clinical trials in humans and has proven clinical utility in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and melanoma and is currently being evaluated in prostate carcinoma. The purpose of Dr. Rodriguez's study is to determine the status of arginine-synthetic enzyme in archived biopsy specimens of canine melanoma, lymphoma, and bladder/prostate cancer. The data obtained from this study will determine which canine cancers lack the arginine-synthetic enzymes and will inform future clinical trials in dogs utilizing PEGADI to target the cancers' Achilles heels: arginine dependence.


None at this time.

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