The Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States

HEALTH & GENETICS RESOURCES

Mast Cell Tumors

NOTE: the following projects by Dr. Cherly London are no longer accepting samples for research purposes.

CHF Grant 2010 (2000)

Dissecting the Biology of c-Kit Mutations in Canine Mast Cell Tumors
Principal Investigator: Cheryl London, PhD.

Abstract:

The most common malignant tumor in dogs is the mast cell tumor (MCT, a form of skin cancer), occurring with an incidence of close to 20 percent in the canine population. Particular breeds of dog are at risk for the development of this tumor, indicating a role for genetic factors. MCTs range from relatively benign to extremely aggressive, leading to tumor spread and eventual death. Although surgical removal with or without radiation therapy may cure some patients, there are no effective treatments for dogs with aggressive MCTs.

We have previously identified mutations in the gene c-kit in several dog MCTs. c-Kit plays a critical role in regulating the growth and function of normal mast cells, and as the mutations we discovered cause uncontrolled function of c-kit, it is likely they influence MCT development in dogs. This research will explore the unique characteristics of the canine genome that lead to such a high frequency of c-kit mutations, as well as investigate the biological effects of such mutations on mast cells. In summary, this work will provide a much more detailed understanding of dog MCTs, thereby building a framework for the development of new therapies and strategies for disease prevention.

 

CHF Grant 2465 (2002)

Identification and Characterization of Genetic Mutations in Canine MCT
Principal Investigator: Cheryl London, PhD.

Abstract:

The most common malignant tumor in dogs is the mast cell tumor (MCT, a form of skin cancer), occurring with an incidence of close to 20 percent in the canine population. MCTs range from relatively benign to extremely aggressive, leading to tumor spread and eventual death. Particular breeds of dog are at risk for the development of this tumor, indicating a role for genetic factors.

We have previously identified mutations in the gene c-kit in 30-50 percent of dog MCTs. c-Kit plays a critical role in regulating the growth and function of normal mast cells, and as the mutations we discovered cause uncontrolled function of c-kit, it is likely they influence MCT development in dogs.

This proposal will establish a prospective tumor registry of dog MCTs to be used for investigation of the true incidence of c-kit mutations within specific dog breeds. Moreover, the studies outlined in this grant will identify additional genetic mutations present in dog MCTs that can be used for the development of new targeted therapeutics. In summary, this work will provide a much more detailed understanding of dog MCTs, thereby building a framework for the development of new therapies and strategies for disease prevention.

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