Hospital for Small Animals, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush, Midlothian EH25 9RG, Scotland, UK.
The recently described cancer stem cell theory opens up many new challenges and opportunities to identify targets for therapeutic intervention. However, the majority of cancer related therapeutic studies rely upon rodent models of human cancer that rarely translate into clinical success in human patients. Naturally occurring cancers in dogs, cats and humans share biological features, including molecular targets, telomerase biology and tumour genetics. Studying cancer stem cell biology and telomere/telomerase dynamics in the cancer bearing pet population may offer the opportunity to develop a greater understanding of cancer biology in the natural setting and evaluate the development of novel therapies targeted at these systems.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Apr;1792(4):380-91. Epub 2009 Feb 28.