A US study has found that the common cause of lung cancer in dogs appears to be the same gene—HER2—implicated in a particular type of breast cancer diagnosed in many women.
Published in Clinical Cancer Research, researchers from the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), and The Ohio State University, also found that neratinib—a drug that has successfully been used to battle human breast cancer—might also work for many of the nearly 40,000 dogs in the US that annually develop the most common type of canine lung cancer, known as canine pulmonary adenocarcinoma, or CPAC.
Neratinib inhibits a mutant cancer-causing form of the gene HER2, which is common to both CPAC and HER2-positive human breast cancer patients.
“With colleagues at Ohio State, we found a novel HER2 mutation in nearly half of dogs with CPAC,” Dr Will Hendricks said.
“We now have a candidate therapeutic opportunity for a large proportion of dogs with lung cancer.”
Based on the results from this study, a clinical trial using neratinib is planned for dogs with naturally occurring lung cancer that have the HER2 mutation.