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Canine, Human Cancers Share Oncogene Mutations, Study Finds

Dogs may represent a good model for studying targeted therapies for human cancers, a new study appearing in Scientific Reports suggests. Researchers from the University of Georgia, the Broad Institute, and One Health Company, a canine precision medicine company, used a next-generation sequencing panel to analyze gene mutations present in tumor samples from 671 dogs from 96 breeds and representing about two dozen tumor types. Nearly a quarter of canine tumors harbored TP53 mutations, and the dogs' tumors also had mutations in other genes that are also altered in human cancers, such as NRAS, PIK3CA, and EGFR. These included known mutational hotspots in certain cancers like PIK3CA H1047R in hemangiosarcoma, ERBB2 V659E in pulmonary carcinoma, and BRAF V588E — corresponding to BRAF V600E in humans — in urothelial carcinoma. "These results demonstrate significant overlap in somatic hotspot mutations between human and canine cancers, further highlighting spontaneous canine cancers as an excellent model for the investigation of targeted therapies," the researchers write.