Bone Cancer’s Genetic Mutations Are the Same in Children and Dogs

Research Update
Photo by Levi Saunders on Unsplash

Here are some numbers: Each year, roughly 800 to 1,000 children are diagnosed with bone cancer (osteosarcoma, or OS). For pet dogs, the count reportedly exceeds 25,000. For both species, it’s a scary diagnosis with a generally poor outcome. And despite the fact that it’s been under investigation for decades, there have been no significant medical breakthroughs or improvements in survival rates.

This may be changing, however. A study published in Communications Biology [2019; 2 (1)] and reported in Science Daily has identified recurring genetic mutations common to both humans and canines afflicted by the disease. In fact, the transcriptional profiles—quantifications of gene expression at the RNA (ribonucleic acid) level—of the two species are “virtually indistinguishable.”

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