Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Dogs aid breast cancer research
Breast carcinoma has long been known to share similarities in dogs and humans.
New similarities found in mammary tumours 

Scientists have discovered new similarities between mammary tumours in dogs and breast carcinomas in humans.

Using archived samples of mammary tumours from dogs, researchers at the University of Zurich found that some cells in the vicinity of the tumour behave in the same way as corresponding cells in humans.

In the development of tumours and the progression of carcinomas, both the characteristics of cancer cells and the cells surrounding the tumour are important. In humans, many tumours are able to reprogram healthy cells around the the tumour so that they support the growth of cancerous cells.

This mechanism plays a major role in human breast carcinoma, but until now it was not known whether this occurs in dogs; despite the fact that breast carcinoma has long been known to share similarities in dogs and humans.

When Zurich scientists analysed the surrounding tissue of canine mammary tumours they found that the healthy tissue around the tumour produced substances that promote the growth of tumours.

Enni Markkanen, of the University of Zurich’s Vetsuisse Faculty, explained: “Simply speaking, the tumour enslaves its environment: it forces the surrounding cells to work to its benefit.”

Researchers say this mechanism works in the same way in dogs and in humans, meaning tumour tissue from dogs is much better suited to research on breast carcinoma than tissue from rats on cells cultivated in the laboratory.

Markkanen added: “Importantly, however, we don’t view our dog patients as test subjects for cancer research. But they can help us to better understand breast carcinoma in both dogs and humans and fight it more effectively.”

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

UK a step closer to ivory ban

News Story 1
 A UK ban on ivory sales is one step closer to coming into force, as the government has introduced the Ivory Bill to parliament. The ban covers items of all ages, rather than just ivory carved after 1947. Anyone breaching the ban will face an unlimited fine or up to five years in jail.

Conservationists have welcomed the bill, which comes less than six weeks after the government published the results of a consultation on this issue. Around 55 African elephants are now slaughtered for their ivory every day and the illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth £17 billion a year.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Strategic alliance to support development of agri-food sector

The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and Queen’s University Belfast have formed a new strategic alliance that will see both institutions form a research and education partnership.

Under the agreement, the organisations will pool their resources and expertise to support the development of the agri-food sector. It will work across three core themes: enabling innovation, facilitating new ways of working and partnerships.