Dogs have always been man’s best friend. Today they’re gonna be more than that.
Recently, it has been found that dogs are as susceptible to developing gliomas(tumors) as humans are.
Previous research revealed that adult dogs often develop these cancers nearly the same age in human years as children. This suggests that there’s a possible link between brain age and glioma development.
Currently, studies into diffuse gliomas have relied on in vivo mouse models. However, the pathology of glioma development in a mouse’s brain is vastly different from that in a human or dog brain.
Human and dog glioma pathology have many similarities, which means that dogs could provide the best model yet to help scientists understand these types of cancer.
Prof. Roel Verhaak from the Jackson Laboratories in Maine has found that gliomas in dogs may help scientists better understand the complicated patterns of diffuse gliomas.
Brain tumors in dogs similar to humans
The team aimed to identify whether glioma tumors developed in the same way in dogs and humans.
They analyzed the 83 tumor samples from dogs and compared them with human biopsies from adults and children.
The team used a vast variety of molecular sequencing technologies to obtain this information. They discovered that both humans and dogs shared mutations in genes that belong to well-known cell cycle pathways.
They found that several mutations appeared in both the human and the canine samples.
This hinted that dogs and humans develop these types of tumors similarly.
The team also learned that the gliomas in dogs were more identical in children than they were to adults, and discovered that the mutations occurred at similarly in both species.
For example, adult tumor samples harbored mutations in the gene IDH1, but these occurred at only a low rate in pediatric and canine samples.
They also saw other similarities between tumor samples from dogs and children. These included changes in the number of chromosomes.
Finally, the team found that changes in the immune system in the tissue surrounding the tumors were similar between human and canine samples.
Treating dogs to treat people
The researchers believe that using existing treatments to cure glioma in dogs could advance treatments for humans.
Using immunotherapy on dogs would allow researchers the opportunity to safely find ways to make it more successful in humans.
These results will help scientists better understand the relationship between other human cancers and those of dogs. It will advance the development of better treatments for both species.
If the information from this new study leads to developments in cancer research and treatments, dogs could not only be a person’s best friend, but officially be a missing link to curing cancers.