A new cure for skin cancer in dogs!

Mast Cells the real cause for skin cancer in dogs — The “Jekyll and Hyde” of Tumor Growth


Mast cells have been called the Jekyll and Hyde of tumor growth because they can be both beneficial and detrimental in a tumor. “Mast cells are involved in the body’s immune responses to bacteria, ticks and intestinal parasitic worms, but they also cause allergic reactions that contribute to diseases such as asthma, rhinitis and atopic dermatitis,” explains Starkey.

“We compared the levels of the initial products — called ‘messenger RNAs’ — of about 20,000 genes in 20 primary cutaneous mast cell tumors that metastasized and 20 primary cutaneous mast cell tumors that did not metastasize, and found differences between the levels of over 200 gene products,” says Starkey. “The majority of the gene products were present at a lower level in the mast cell tumors that metastasized. Based on what is known about the genes concerned, it appears that reductions in the levels of the gene products assists cancerous mast cells to detach from surrounding cells in a primary tumor and gives them the ability to move.”

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The mast cell tumors included in the research study were from 12 breeds, including Labrador and golden retrievers, and boxers, and 6 cross breeds.

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