Molecular processes for canine cancer therapy investigated

Changes in the DNA—of a pet or a person—can mean the difference between a cell that works properly and one that is potentially cancerous, according to the National Human Genome Research Institute. Currently, researchers can scan human patient samples for genetic changes in a cancer; however, such molecular genetics findings aren’t easily transferrable to canines. A new study hopes to change that by focusing exclusively on dogs.

Scientists at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna have compiled findings on the molecular genetics of cancer development in canines. Their study was published in BMC Genomics on Nov. 16.

The researchers investigated an important process in the molecular genetics of cancer development in canine cell lines. These cell lines have long been used by researchers to analyze pathological processes and now were analyzed for changes in the expression of several RNA-species using next generation sequencing.

"Cancer researchers have been working for many years on the transition of epithelial tumor cells into the more aggressive mesenchymal state. Important gene switches could be identified in this process with potential for use as therapeutic targets: these gene products could be targeted with novel therapeutics,” explained Sabine Macho-Maschler, PhD, and study author.

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