Is Lymphoma in Dogs Genetic?

An investigation into the breeds of dogs with lymphoma is warranted. In a recent study, researchers from the European Canine Lymphoma Network identified the prevalence of lymphoma in a number of European institutions. These data were compared with the prevalence of lymphoma in a suitable control group to establish the overall breed risk for the disease. These findings support the notion that certain breeds are more susceptible than others to lymphoma.

Treatment for lymphoma depends on the clinical stage of the disease. Earlier stages of lymphoma do not present symptoms, and the dog may not even realize he or she has the disease. Moreover, chemotherapy drugs, especially cyclophosphamide, are known to improve the quality of life of dogs with lymphoma. The treatment for lymphoma in dogs will depend on the clinical stage, with lower-stage cases responding better to chemotherapy than those with more advanced stages of the disease.

Overall genetics

In this study, researchers gathered data for a custom SNP panel for previously identified genes that drive lymphomagenesis in dogs. They selected the SNPs based on several factors, including prevalence of the genes in specific dog breeds, application as targets for targeted therapies, and maximum MassARRAY capability. The SNP panel was applied to 47 purebred and 13 crossbred dogs. Interestingly, the mutation genotyping panel differed between the breeds, indicating that this approach is relevant in outlining prognoses and choosing targeted therapies.

There are similarities between canine AML and human AML, and further characterization of the disease in dogs could provide a useful model for testing new therapies in humans. In addition to benefitting human health, dogs would also be happy to receive new treatments. However, owners of canine lymphoma will likely be eager to try them out as well. In the meantime, dogs and their owners will benefit greatly from the findings.

DNA methylation

Although it is still unclear whether DNA methylation plays a role in lymphoma development, studies of human and canine cancer cells have shown that certain regions of the genome are hypermethylated. DNA methylation is a process by which a DNA sequence can become altered by a variety of agents. The study described here investigated the role of DNA methylation in canine lymphoma.

In humans, methylation is known to play a role in cancer development and progression. It has been associated with genomic stability and has also been linked to carcinogenesis in human cancers. In dogs, methylation affects the development and response of cells to an external stimulus. DNA methylation in cancer cells can also affect lymphocyte counts in peripheral blood. Several recent studies have investigated the association between methylation and lymphoma.

Mutations in SATB1

Mutations in SATB1 are known to cause lymphoma in dogs, but the exact mechanism remains elusive. Dog lymphomas have similarities to human cancers in that they are caused by alterations to the SATB1 gene. Mutations in SATB1 may also contribute to human lymphomas in other ways. Mutations in SATB1 promote the development of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a type of cancer. More research is needed to understand why SATB1 is involved in lymphomas in dogs.

Mutations in SATB1 may also lead to B-cell lymphomas. Mutations in this gene may be related to de-differentiation of the tumor. Mutations in SATB1 have a recurrent pattern, indicating that they are a gain-of-function mutation. However, the genetics of B-cell lymphomas are not fully understood. Mutations in SATB1 may be related to mutations in PTEN, a well-known tumor suppressor gene.

PCR antigen receptor rearrangement (PARR) test

The PCR antigen receptor rearrangement (PARR) test for lymphoma in dogs is a molecular diagnostic test that can differentiate between cancerous and benign processes of the immune system. Currently available assays have different strengths and limitations, and not all have the same performance metrics. In order to ensure a reliable test, the PCR antigen receptor rearrangement test should be compared to other diagnostic tests, including histology and cytology.

PARR provides diagnostic information that other tests do not provide, including tumour lineage. However, interpretation of PARR results requires careful consideration of the patient’s clinical presentation, cell morphology, and immunophenotype, which are all important aspects of the lymphoma process. In addition, good sample quality is essential as DNA of poor quality is unlikely to amplify well in the test. In addition, dominant peaks on a PARR product may be indicative of a neoplastic population, though they may also occur in non-lymphoma samples. Further studies may provide more insight into the significance of these dominant peaks.


The current standard of care for dogs diagnosed with lymphoma is chemotherapy. The FDA has approved the use of rituximab, an antibody that recognizes the CD20 antigen on mature B cells. Unfortunately, this therapy does not work as well in dogs. Therefore, treatment for dogs with lymphoma is currently based on a murine monoclonal antibody called AT-004. However, preliminary results suggest that this treatment may have some promise.

Current chemotherapy regimens for canine lymphoma include systemic chemotherapy, which is more effective in extending survival and maintaining a high quality of life than older approaches. Because the treatment involves lower doses and a more gradual dosing schedule, pets typically do not experience the adverse effects associated with conventional chemotherapy. Moreover, newer protocols eliminate the need for maintenance chemotherapy and provide durable first remission times for dogs.