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Similarities Found Among Bladder Cancer Affecting Cats, Dogs, People

Bladder cancer affecting cats and dogs could serve as a model for the disease among humans, a new study finds. Researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the University of Guelph in Ontario, and elsewhere performed whole-exome sequencing on 87 urothelial carcinomas from dogs and 23 from cats. Urothelial carcinomas affecting cats and dogs, the researchers note, are histologically and clinically similar to muscle-invasive bladder cancers that affect people. As they report in Genome Biology, their sequencing analysis also uncovered similarities among disease driver genes — particularly TP53, FAT1, and NRAS in cats and ARID1A and KDM6A in dogs — and in DNA mismatch repair deficiencies. “Cancer genomics studies across species can help us uncover the tiny details of how bladder cancer disease forms and grows," senior author David Adams, senior group leader at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, says in a statement. "The genetic changes, or mutations, we have identified across humans, cats and dogs suggest they are important enough to be conserved between species. Our research uncovering these shared molecular aspects opens up the possibility of developing new, targeted treatments."