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Lymphoma generally goes undetected in dogs until obvious clinical signs are present, at which point the disease is frequently at an intermediate or advanced stage. Researchers are working toward developing a simple, inexpensive blood test for early diagnosis of lymphoma to help improve outcomes and treatment success. The team will use annually collected serum samples from dogs enrolled in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study to measure circulating molecules called microRNAs. These small, non-coding RNA molecules are frequently dysregulated in cancer and can serve as biomarkers for disease, and researchers hypothesize that detectable changes may occur before a cancer is clinically apparent. In previous studies, researchers found serum levels of many mRNAs are altered in dogs with lymphoma compared to healthy dogs. By examining samples collected before dogs develop enlarged lymph nodes and cancer, researchers hope to find mRNAs that can serve as early markers of lymphoma development, leading to earlier and more successful treatment. Findings also may serve as a blueprint for other cancer blood tests.

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University of Guelph
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Geoffrey Wood, DVM, PhD, DVSc
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