Studies on pet cats and dogs, with natural bladder cancer, have revealed important gene mutations, shared with humans which may lead to new treatments.
An international team, led by the Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK, and involving five EARA members – the University of Helsinki, Finland, the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, the University of Lisbon and the Champalimaud Foundation, both Portugal, and the University of Zurich, Switzerland – sequenced the genes of tumours from dog, cat and human bladder cancer patients and compared them with healthy tissues from the same species.
In doing so, the study uncovered around 60 genes that were mutated in human bladder cancer, two of which were also found in canine cancer, and three in feline cancer – similar gene effects were also found across all three species, indicating a common genetic basis for the disease.
David Adams, at Wellcome Sanger, said: “Cancer genomics studies across species can help us uncover the tiny details of how bladder cancer disease forms and grows.
“Our research uncovering these shared molecular aspects opens up the possibility of developing new, targeted treatments.”