Dr Gerlinde R Van de Walle, Ghent University, Belgium
Total Cost : \$97,656. SCARF contributed \$3000.
Mammary rumors are among the most common cancers in female dogs and cats. Surgical removal is the most widely accepted treatment option for mammary tumors in small companion animals, but this treatment has a high incidence of tumor recurrence and metastatic diseases. There is an urgent need for a better understanding of the genes involved in tumor suppression. One tumor suppressor gene, SYK, has been little studied but appears to effect breast tumor development and aggressiveness in humans. Accumulating evidence indicates that mammary stem cells are the primary target cells for cancer development, and SYK has been found in the mammary cells or dogs and cats. The researchers will examine SYK and mammary stem cells and their role in cancer development in an effort to better understand how different genes affect mammary tumors.