Grants - Designated Grants - Colorado - 2019

Anne Avery, VMD, Ph.D.

Funded in partnership with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s PedAL Initiative and the Wine Celebration Fund-A-Need

Acute myeloid leukemia is a cancer of bone marrow cells. It can be difficult to treat, particularly in young patients. The disease can differ from one patient to another, depending on the kinds of mutations that are found in the cancer cell. Different mutations may respond to different treatments.

Dogs also develop acute leukemia. In this species the outcomes are dismal, with most dogs being euthanized within days of the diagnosis because of poor quality of life. Currently available chemotherapy is ineffective in this species.

In this project we will sequence DNA and RNA from 100 cases of naturally occurring acute leukemias in pet dogs. Our goal is to find mutations and gene expression patterns shared between dogs and people. Once these shared features are identified, new treatments can be devised which can be tested first in dogs, and if successful, translated to humans. This approach offers a chance at better therapies in both species.