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THE PROBLEM: Soft-tissue sarcoma is a frequent type of cancer that affects dogs of all breeds. Complete surgical removal is the standard therapy. However, the tumor will regrow in as many as 75% of patients, and up to 30% of patients succumb to the disease. New drugs that selectively kill tumor cells or stimulate the immune system to attack the tumor could significantly enhance treatment. However, researchers have limited knowledge about the various cells within STS cancers or how these cells communicate with each other and foster tumor growth.  

THE PROJECT: Detailed analysis of single cells that make up STS is urgently needed to address these questions effectively and to inform the development of new therapies. Researchers will sequence different individual cells from tumors from dogs with STS to fill this knowledge gap. 

POTENTIAL IMPACT: Findings will provide a detailed understanding of these tumors and help define critical markers to learn how single cells communicate in STS tissues. The team hopes this information will help identify new therapy targets and novel treatments for the thousands of dogs diagnosed with STS cancers each year.    

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University of Zürich
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Enni Markkanen, Dr. med. vet, Dr. sc. nat   
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