Hemangiosarcoma is a fairly common type of solid tumor in dogs for which few treatment options exist. Studies show certain cancers take advantage of a cellular “glue” to seal themselves off from immune cells and cancer treatments. This “glue” is a protein called “desmoglein 2” (DSG2), which is commonly found in many solid tumors. It is unknown whether DSG2 is common to dog hemangiosarcoma and could be a potential new therapy target. Researchers have developed a therapeutic protein known to target DSG2 in solid tumors under laboratory conditions, resulting in a breakdown of the tumor’s protective shield and allowing medicines and immune cells to penetrate and kill the tumor. In this study, the team will determine if hemangiosarcoma tumors express DSG2 on their surface and at what levels. If successful, findings will inform the next step in these studies – exploring if the researchers’ novel therapeutic protein, as a combination treatment, is effective against hemangiosarcoma, and possibly other aggressive cancers in dogs.
Grant amount awarded
Jiho Kim, PhD