Cancer

Easily Missed Signs of Skin Cancer in Cats

These tumors are often diagnosed in their advanced stages because of the cats exceptional ability to hide signs of serious disease. However, new research and emerging targeted therapies have the potential to improve lives. The advances may be able to provide a better outcome to patients stricken with these cancers, says Cheryl Balkman, DVM, ACVIM, Senior Lecturer and Chief of Oncology at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

In the News: Kitty Gastrointestinal Disease Testing

Two different disorders in cats - inflammatory bowel disease and a cancer of the gastrointestinal tract called alimentary lymphoma - have similar signs, including lack of appetite, weight loss, vomiting and diarrhea.

Ask About Advantages And Drawbacks

If you want to check out a potential clinical trial for your cat, these are questions to ask his veterinarian and the study’s research coordinator.

Pursuing Drugs for Mammary Cancer

Researchers studying feline mammary cancer at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine have set an ambitious agenda. They hope that their ongoing work will lead to better diagnosis, treatment and prevention of breast tumors in cats and humans. Much of their interest lies in how a novel class of drugs affects breast cell tumors. In a study funded by the Cornell Feline Health Center, Assistant Professor Gerlinde Van de Walle, DVM, Ph.D., and Associate Professor Scott Coonrod, Ph.D., both working at the Baker Institute for Animal Health, have identified a promising chemical, BB-Cl-amidine, that seems to kill off feline mammary cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unaffected.

Other Cancer Studies Underway in North America

In addition to ongoing research into feline mammary tumors at Cornell, researchers across North America are evaluating potential diagnostic and treatment options for cats with the disease. Ongoing studies include:

In The News: January 2015

In little more than a decade, changes have taken place in veterinary medicine to help prevent cats developing malignant tumors at the site of certain vaccinations. However, 22,000 cats in the U.S. still develop injection site-associated sarcomas (ISAS) every year, and the tumors are often more aggressive and prone to recurrence than spontaneous ones.

Short Takes: January 2015

In little more than a decade, changes have taken place in veterinary medicine to help prevent cats developing malignant tumors at the site of certain vaccinations. However, 22,000 cats in the U.S. still develop injection site-associated sarcomas (ISAS) every year, and the tumors are often more aggressive and prone to recurrence than spontaneous ones.

Short Takes: November 2014

Estimates are that osteoarthritis affects 90 percent of cats over the age of 12 years. Confirmation of the disease, however, can sometimes prove elusive. In the search for an accurate diagnosis, the Winn Feline Foundation has awarded a grant, funded by the animal health company Zoetis, to researchers at the University of Melbourne. Their goal is to develop a blood test biomarker - a molecule indicating an abnormal process - so the disease can be identified earlier.

Anti-cancer Research Focuses on Vitamin B12

Scientists at the Bauer Research Foundation in Vero Beach, Fla., are evaluating whether a vitamin B12-based drug called nitrosylcobalamin (NO-Cbl) can be used to treat several types of feline cancer.

Pursuing a Cure for Breast Cancer

Eighty to 90 percent of mammary tumors in cats are cancerous and can spread as rapidly as aggressive breast cancer does in humans. Researchers at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine are hoping to improve treatment of mammary adenocarcinomas, with the long-term goal of a cure. Their pioneering focus: the role of stem cells in the disease. Gerlinde Van de Walle, DVM, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of viral pathogenesis and stem cell biology at Cornell’s Baker Institute for Animal Health, is working to identify adult mammary stem cells (MaSC) in both healthy and malignant feline and canine mammary gland tissues.

Targeted Radiation Studied as Therapy for Oral Cancer

Treatment of oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) has traditionally relied upon surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation — with disappointing results. Cats with the rapidly spreading cancer, which accounts for 10 percent of all feline tumors, suffer pain when eating, drinking, grooming and breathing. Many are in such distress that they are euthanized.

Short Takes: July 2012

Lymphoma is the most common cancer diagnosed in cats, and while several prognostic factors have been documented, another factor recently considered to be important is weight loss. Body weight over time may be a simple, objective and useful marker of patient status.