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Purdue research finds similarities in dog, human breast cancer pre-malignant lesions
Date:11/15/2007

n dogs with breast cancer is that the data is outdated, Mohammed said. According to a 1969 study of female dogs over 4 years old that were not spayed, one out of four were expected to develop mammary neoplasia, or abnormal cell growth that may progress to cancer. Thirty percent to 50 percent of canine mammary tumors were malignant, and 50 percent to 75 percent of these recurred or metastasized within one to two years.

"Women have become more aware and conscientious of conducting their own breast self-exams, and pet owners also are more aware to check their animals," Mohammed said. "With better diagnostic tools and early detection, we are able to give dogs the same treatment that we give humans."

Mohammed said the dogs provide a more realistic comparison to humans than the mice and rat models, in part because the tumors developed spontaneously, just as in humans. Dogs have been evaluated in a few studies, but rodent research is more common, she said.

"This is a very large, untapped resource for comparative oncology research," Mohammed said. "Unlike laboratory rodents, dogs share a common environment with people and, therefore, may be exposed to some of the same carcinogens. Also, because dogs have a shorter life span than people, it is possible to study mammary lesions and invasive tumors that develop after a few years instead of decades."

Miller, a veterinary pathologist in the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, said that mammary cancer in dogs is one of the most common forms of cancer studied at the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.

"We already had hundreds of mammary tumor specimens archived in the diagnostic laboratory," Miller said. "It's a wonderful thing when we're able to collaborate with other departments at Purdue and Indiana University with these specimens. There's so much to be learned from these types of studies."

Tissue samples are kept indefinitely at the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory,
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Contact: Maggie Morris
maggiemorris@purdue.edu
765-494-2432
Purdue University  
Source:Eurekalert

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