The Comparative Oncology Program of the University of California, Davis Cancer Center focuses on several specific aspects of cancer biology in animals. The first major theme, Tumor Biology, is the study of major Oncogenes, Tumor Suppressor genes. Cancer Stem Cells and Inflammation-Cancer. The second major theme. Genetically Defined Animal Models of Cancer, is the study of tumor development and progression employing transgenic and knockout animal models to elucidate basic mechanisms. The third major theme, Spontaneous Cancers in Large Animals, uses non-rodent animals to study tumor development and investigate novel diagnostics and therapeutics in a preclinical setting. This program brings a unique combination of skills and models to the preclinical setting. It provides the critical links between bench and bedside. The programmatic goals are: (1) to examine the signaling pathways of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes and the role of inflammation and cancer stem cells in tumorigenesis using both in vitro systems and genetically defined animal models of cancer in vivo;(2) to characterize genetically induced tumorigenesis in animal models and development of novel animal models and experimental approaches;(3) to characterize spontaneous cancers in large animals and to perform preclinical evaluation of novel diagnostics and therapeutics;and (4) collaboration with other programs to facilitate translational research. The program has 29 members from ten different departments and three schools at UC Davis. It has 17 NCl funded projects for $2.6 million ADC (total peer-reviewed funding, $11.4 million ADC). The group has 524 publications for the last funding period;21% are inter-programmatic and 10% are intra-programmatic.

Public Health Relevance

This program moves the discovery of new therapies for cancer by taking fundamental cancer discoveries and modeling them in mice. In addition, the program is unique in having 1300 patients (dogs and cats) that present with cancer to the veterinary school each year. By working together with colleagues treating human patients, the hope is to bring otherwise not available therapies to our veterinary patients, while speeding the discovery for new and effective therapies for our human patients.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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University of California Davis
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Zeng, Shu-Xiong; Zhu, Yanjun; Ma, Ai-Hong et al. (2017) The Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase Pathway as a Potential Therapeutic Target in Bladder Cancer. Clin Cancer Res 23:6580-6591
Zhong, Cheng; Han, Ju; Borowsky, Alexander et al. (2017) When machine vision meets histology: A comparative evaluation of model architecture for classification of histology sections. Med Image Anal 35:530-543
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Jian, Chao; Tu, Mei-Juan; Ho, Pui Yan et al. (2017) Co-targeting of DNA, RNA, and protein molecules provides optimal outcomes for treating osteosarcoma and pulmonary metastasis in spontaneous and experimental metastasis mouse models. Oncotarget 8:30742-30755
Wan, Debin; Yang, Jun; Barnych, Bogdan et al. (2017) A new sensitive LC/MS/MS analysis of vitamin D metabolites using a click derivatization reagent, 2-nitrosopyridine. J Lipid Res 58:798-808

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