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Scientists identify bladder cancer genes in cats and dogs
Veterinary pathologists from 17 countries took part in the research.

The research could pave the way for new treatments.

An international team of scientists, working on human muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC), has found the shared genes which play a role in cats and dogs spontaneously developing urothelial carcinoma (UC).

It is hoped the research will help identify which genes to target when developing treatments for human patients with bladder cancer. Previous sequencing had discovered around 60 genes which could have an influence on the development of human MIBC.

The results could also inform the development of therapies for cats and dogs.

The study, which involved veterinary pathologists from 17 countries, gathered bladder cancer tissue samples from human, canine, and feline patients and matched it with ‘healthy tissue’ to identify which genes had mutated.

Of the 60 genes which are known to mutate in human MIBC, three were found in cats (TP53, FAT1, and NRAS) and two in dogs (ARID1A and KDM6A). The feline gene which mutated most often, TP53, is also the same which most frequently mutates in human MIBC.

Similar genetic events, such as mismatch repair deficiency and chromothripsis, were also discovered in all three species.

The study, which involved researchers from institutions including the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the University of Guelph in Canada, is the most extensive sequencing of canine bladder cancer to date and the first-ever sequencing of feline bladder cancer.

Dr Louise van der Weyden, a senior author of the study, said: “This was a triumphant effort, pulling together veterinary pathologists from all over the world. It really is remarkable to have such diversity in tissue samples, thus we can be confident about the generalisability of our research.

“Our findings show it is good to have multiple animal models for bladder cancer biology representing different driver genes to capture distinct patient populations. We hope our findings will inform research in this area to help not only humans who get bladder cancer – but animals too, as therapies can benefit both species.”


Image (C) Shutterstock


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VMG president joins House of Lords

News Story 1
 Miles Russell, president of the Veterinary Management Group (VMG), has been elected to the House of Lords as a crossbench hereditary peer.

He will join Lord Trees as a representative of the veterinary sector in the second chamber of the UK parliament.

Lord Russell said: "Those of us working in the animal health and veterinary sectors are only too aware of the importance of the work we do and the challenges we face.

"I will use my platform in the House of Lords to increase understanding of our sectors and to promote positive change." 

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Sixth case of bluetongue confirmed

A sixth case of bluetongue virus serotype 3 has been confirmed in the UK.

The case was detected in an animal on a premises linked to one of the farms within the Temporary Control Zone (TCZ) currently in place near Canterbury, Kent.

In response, the Animal and Plant Health Agency has extended the TCZ. Investigations into the spread of the disease are ongoing.

The cases in Kent come at a time when a new strain of the virus has spread rapidly across farms in the Netherlands. Both the Government and the British Veterinary Association have urged livestock keepers to remain vigilant.

Bluetongue is a notifiable disease and suspected cases must be reported immediately on 03000 200 301 in England or 03003 038 268 in Wales. In Scotland, possible cases should be reported to the local field services office.