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Research Abstracts Online
January 2009 - March 2010

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Veterinary Medicine
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

PI: Vicki L. Wilke

Molecular Characterization of Canine Follicular Thyroid Carcinoma

Follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC) is a malignant and highly aggressive tumor in dogs, with golden retrievers, boxers, and beagles being predisposed. Little is known about the etiology and pathogenesis of this condition. The challenges associated with its diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis warrant investigation into molecular aberrations associated with malignancy, pathways that can be targeted to prevent metastasis, and development of minimally invasive methods to facilitate early detection. Preliminary microarray data from five tumor cases and four normal dogs using Genedata expressionist analyst indicate 610 probe sets differentially expressed between FTC and normal thyroid tissue. This corresponds to 208 unique genes with fold changes of two or greater. Twenty-four of these genes have fold changes that are greater than five and have been demonstrated to play roles in several cancer types including human thyroid cancer. The next objective is to critically analyze these genes using hierarchical clustering and ontology grouping to identify their potential biological significance. These findings will support the development of biomarkers for canine FTC, as well as diagnostic alternatives, particularly in patients for which surgery is not indicated. Improved characterization of tumor severity will more accurately define management options resulting in enhanced quality of life and prognosis.

Group Members

Alexa Hart, Staff
Alycen Lundberg, Undergraduate Student
Kristy Metivier, Graduate Student
Charlie Seiler, Staff
Katja Wucherer, Adjunct Faculty Collaborator