Squamous cell carcinoma is often a terminal cancer in cats, with few successful treatment strategies. Recent evidence in humans suggests that some of the new generation anti-inflammatory drugs have the potential to drastically slow growth of tumors.
Preliminary evidence shows that blocking a traditional pathway of inflammation, known as the lipoxygenase (LOX) pathway, can diminish cancer cell growth. Additionally, this class of drugs may help with pain relief in cats with oral tumors. Unfortunately, it is unknown if this enzyme is over-expressed in all feline squamous cell carcinomas. This study is designed to examine the prevalence of LOX in feline squamous cell carcinoma. In addition, cell culture studies will be used to determine how LOX is involved in tumor survival and progression. These molecular based studies will be done using inhibitors of the LOX pathway and genetic “knock-out” techniques in an established feline oral squamous cell carcinoma cell line. Further, studying an archive of feline squamous cell carcinoma tumors with special staining that shows LOX expression will be used to determine the prevalence of over-expression of this enzyme. This will determine how effective treatment with inhibitors of this enzyme might potentially be for feline squamous cell carcinoma. Overall, this study will determine whether inhibition of LOX is a viable option for further clinical examination in cats with squamous cell carcinoma.