Lymphomas in humans and dogs have similarities

A team of scientists from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Duke University have conducted one of the first studies to directly compare canine and human B-cell lymphoma by examining molecular similarities and differences between the two species.

B-cell lymphomas are very common in both humans and dogs.

“Pet dogs get cancer the same way humans do: at similar rates, and for unknown reasons.  Like humans, dogs’ tumors are spontaneously occurring, rather than genetically created as they are in mice, so canine tumors may more accurately mimic the situation in human cancer patients. Dogs are good models to study, because it will also be possible to study shared risk factors, in the environment, for example, that might predispose both humans and dogs to get lymphoma. Our knowledge helps dogs and humans with lymphoma.” says Kristy Richards, MD, PhD, and co-author of the research which has been published in the journal Cancer Research.

“Veterinarians treating dogs for lymphoma can offer clinical trials to their owners. Clinical trials in dogs are similar to those done in humans, with safety protections in place to minimize harm.”

Molecular analyses of canine and human tumors were completed at NCSU and at UNC Lineberger. The team used gene expression profiling and found that canine B-cell lymphoma expression profiles were similar in many ways to human B-cell lymphoma, thus paving the way for future studies, including therapeutic clinical trials in dogs and humans.

Source:  UNC School of Medicine media statement

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