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W14-042: Analysis for three receptors in oral squamous cell cancer tissue biopsies – hope for a future treatment

Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most common oral cancer diagnosed in cats. It accounts for 60-­‐ 70% of all feline oral tumors, with oral cancer accounting for approximately 10% of all feline cancers. This locally aggressive disease leads to life-­‐limiting clinical signs in cats. Feline OSCC is a frustrating disease for veterinarians and pet owners, as treatment with surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy provides poor disease control and cure rates.

Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are a class of proteins on the cell surface that regulate a variety of normal cell processes. Recently, staining of feline OSCC biopsies confirmed presence of three of these receptors, including vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR), platelet derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) and stem cell growth factor receptor (c‐kit). Western blot analysis is a method that is widely used to evaluate protein expression in tissues. The method will be used to show expression of these three specific receptors in feline OSCC biopsies and compare the amount in tumor tissue to the amount in normal oral tissue. The hypothesis is that higher protein expression of these three receptors will be confirmed in biopsy samples from feline OSCC.

Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are a class of drugs used in human medicine, which are new to veterinary medicine. Palladia® and Kinavet-CA1® are TKIs available for use in animals. Confirming and quantifying protein expression of these receptors will support further investigation of treatment with TKIs for feline OSCC.

Grant ID: W14-042

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2014

Amount awarded: $5,505

Investigator: Rebecca George and Annette Smith; Auburn University