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Osborn Research Club

ISU Entomology / Osborn Research Club / Companion Animals as Spontaneous Models for Human Cancers

Companion Animals as Spontaneous Models for Human Cancers

1420 Mol Biol Building
February 11, 2013
Krysta Deitz, DVM , Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences
The spontaneous occurrence of cancer in companion animals provides a unique opportunity to study cancers that affect their human counterparts. Pet dogs and cats share the same environment as their owners and develop similar cancer types. These animals provide a model to study cancer that can benefit canines, felines, and humans, which has many benefits over traditional laboratory animal models of cancer, where tumors are induced in mice that do not share a home environment with humans. In addition, mice do not live as long as dogs and cats, and they are smaller, making it more difficult to obtain tissue and blood specimens. This talk will focus on the study of canine thyroid cancer and its similarities to human thyroid cancer. The dog as a spontaneous model for thyroid cancer will be discussed, including behavior, pathologic findings, and genetic expression. In addition, recent work exploring genetic expression as shown with microarray analysis in canine thyroid tumors, and validation of upregulation of specific genes including VEGFA, osteopontin, and secreted frizzled-related protein 2 will be discussed.