Researchers unravel genetic similarities in humans and dogs brain rumors

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WASHINGTON, Feb 26, (Agencies): New research reveals striking genetic similarities in brain tumors found in both humans and dogs, according to scientists from the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (VMBS), Baylor College of Medicine, and Texas Children’s Hospital. The study, published in the scientific journal Acta Neuropathologica, focuses on meningiomas, the most prevalent type of brain tumor in both species.

Dr. Akash Patel, an associate professor of neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine and principal investigator at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute (Duncan NRI) at Texas Children’s Hospital, emphasized the significance of this discovery. He stated, “The discovery that naturally occurring canine tumors closely resemble their human counterparts opens numerous avenues for exploring the biology of these challenging tumors. It also provides opportunities for developing and studying novel treatments applicable to both humans and dogs.”

Examining 62 canine meningiomas from 27 different dog breeds, the researchers conducted the “largest study to date of the gene expression profiles of canine meningiomas.” Dr. Jonathan Levine, a VMBS professor and head of the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences (VSCS), along with Dr. Tiemo Klisch, an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine and principal investigator at Duncan NRI, played vital roles in the study. VSCS assistant professor Dr. Beth Boudreau was described as “a key collaborator” in the research.

Building on previous work that found genetic similarities in gliomas, the second most common type of brain tumors in humans and dogs, the researchers plan to initiate clinical trials for further exploration. Dr. Levine expressed the team’s interest in creating benefits for both human and animal medicine, envisioning clinical trials that offer unique therapy options for dog owners while simultaneously informing the next steps in human trials.

Despite the time and funding required for clinical trials, the researchers are optimistic about the potential outcomes. Dr. Levine highlighted the existing genetic data obtained, providing a strong foundation for determining effective treatments. He emphasized that the first phase of the project has positioned them well for the next steps in their collaborative research.

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