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W02-008: Cyclooxygenase Expression and Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke in Feline Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common oral cancer in cats. The prognosis for cats with oral SCC is dismal. Surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are ineffective at treating this disease. The average life expectancy for cats with oral SCC is only 2 months. Cyclooxygenases (COX) are a family of enzymes that degrade components of cell membranes. There are two forms of COX. COX-1 is found throughout the body and is responsible for normal functions. COX-2 is found in certain situations, such as inflammation. There has been accumulating evidence that COX-2 is important in many cancers and might be a potential new target for treatments. The purpose of this study is to determine if COX-2 is found in high levels in feline oral SCC. Also, cats might ingest tobacco-related pollutants deposited on their fur through their grooming behavior. Based on the results of this study, it will be important to establish whether drugs that target COX-2 are useful to prevent or treat feline oral SCC.

Grant ID: W02-008

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2002

Amount awarded: $5,070

Investigator: Kenneth Rassnick, Sheree Beam, Hollis Erb, Cornell University; Antony Moore, Tufts University