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Feline squamous cell carcinoma - Advances

  • February 3, 2014 5:11 PM EST

    We're happy to report on two Winn-funded studies for the advancement of diagnosis and treatment of feline squamous cell carcinoma:


    New Staging Techniques and Evaluation of Therapies for Oral Squamous Cell Carcinomas

    Maria Cekanova, MS, RNDr, PhD, Alfred Legendre, DVM, MS, DACVIM, Amy LeBlanc, BS, DVM, University of Tennessee - $15,000


    Cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme is important for inflammation and tumor growth.  It has been shown that COX-2 inhibitors, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as piroxicam, meloxicam, and celecoxib could be used for the detection of COX-2 in tumors. This study used new COX-2 inhibitors labeled with fluorescence or radio-tracers to detect oral SCC cells.  In addition, the study assessed potential treatments in vitro with different COX-2 inhibitors alone or in combination with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), masitinib, using cells from naturally occurring tumors.  Masitinib inhibits epidermal growth factor receptor, which is also responsible for the growth of SCC.  The study results showed that NSAIDs and mastinib did indeed lead to death of tumor cells in the laboratory.  This drug combination must still be evaluated cats with oral SCC, but holds promise for an effective treatment.

    Cetuximab Targeting of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor in Feline Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    Stuart C. Helfand, DVM, Professor, Krystal Claybrook, DVM, Oregon State University - $15,000

    This research project investigated the treatment of oral SCC with TKI drugs such as cetuximab.  TKIs disrupt the cellular signalling network that drives cancer development.  The researchers found that the targets of TKI drugs are activated in the feline tumors, indicating they may play a role in cancer development.  Use of TKIs led to suppression of tumor growth in cell cultures in the laboratory.  Combinations of more than one TKI drug led to more profound tumor suppression. While the treatment still requires testing in cats, this research has the potential to lead to an effective treatment for oral SCC.

    • 26 posts
    February 7, 2014 2:14 PM EST

    Thank you for posting these wonderful studies. We definitely need more effective therapies for feline oral squamous cell carcinoma.

  • February 7, 2014 4:56 PM EST

    Yes, feline oral SCC is a bad disease. Winn has funded numerous studies in recent years on various aspects of this disease, so we hope some progress will be made.