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Examining the Role of Stem Cells and Genes in Mammary Tumor Development

Mammary tumors are among the most common cancers in female dogs and cats. Surgical removal is the most widely accepted treatment option for mammary tumors in small companion animals, but this treatment has a high incidence of tumor recurrence and metastatic disease. There is an urgent need for better understanding of the genes involved in tumor suppression. One tumor suppressor gene, SYK, has been little studied but appears to affect breast tumor development and aggressiveness in humans. Accumulating evidence indicates that mammary stem cells are the primary target cells for cancer development, and SYK has been found in the mammary cells of dogs and cats. The researchers will examine SYK and mammary stem cells and their role in cancer development in an effort to better understand how different genes affect mammary tumors.

Dr. Gerlinde R. Van de Walle, Cornell University, New York

Co-sponsor: Anonymous, for Hazel; Anonymous