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Mammary cancer is the most common type of tumor diagnosis in intact female dogs. Currently, there is no way to screen high-risk dogs for early mammary lesions and up to 60% of these tumors are already malignant at the time of diagnosis. Researchers will investigate the role of three cell markers in the progression of canine mammary cancer, from benign early lesions to aggressive cancer. In previous human studies, an increase in expression of these cell markers in women is linked to mammary cancer. If successful, researchers will explore the use of these markers to improve early diagnostics of mammary tumors in dogs. One of the markers also may be valuable as a prognostic and/or therapeutic marker of cancer. Being able to diagnose canine mammary cancer early, before the development of invasive and widespread disease, would greatly improve prognosis for canine patients.

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University of Saskatchewan
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Melissa Meachem, DVM, MVetSc, DACVP
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