02987: It’s All In The Genes: The Mutational Landscape of Acute Myeloid Leukemia in Dogs

Grant Status: Open

Grant Amount: $109,183
Tracy Stokol, BVSc, PhD; Cornell University
January 1, 2022 - December 31, 2024


Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Blood Disorders, Oncology
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One Health: Yes


Acute myeloid leukemia is a cancer of the blood. Although uncommon, it is a highly aggressive form of cancer and often kills dogs quickly, particularly because there are not many drugs that can treat leukemia. Great strides have been made in humans with acute myeloid leukemia, which is similar to the disease seen in dogs, and now there are new treatment options, longer patient survival, and the disease can be more accurately divided into subtypes to better inform treatment and prognosis. In fact, treatments are often tailored to the specific subtype of leukemia in the patient, which is known as precision medicine. All of these improvements in the diagnosis, treatment and prognostication of acute myeloid leukemia in humans have been made possible by genetic testing and identification of specific genetic defects or mutations that are responsible for the tumor. However, unlike humans, very little is known about the genetic mutations that underlie acute myeloid leukemia in dogs. In this multi-institutional study involving blood cancer specialists in veterinary and human medicine, investigators will perform in-depth genetic analysis of 50 dogs with acute myeloid leukemia by sequencing the genes within the tumor. Relevant genetic mutations will be identified by comparing gene sequences of the cancer cells to those of normal tissue. From this genetic analysis, investigators hope to identify mutations in acute myeloid leukemia in dogs that would be responsive to newer treatments or that could be targeted for development of new drugs. In turn, they could more accurately classify affected dogs into subtypes, which would help veterinarians better inform owners of prognosis and treat the dogs with more appropriate therapy, thereby prolonging their life, just as accomplished in humans.

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