Barking up the right tree: advancing our understanding and treatment of lymphoma with a spontaneous canine model

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Purpose of review

Spontaneous lymphoma in pet dogs is increasingly recognized as an ideal model for studying the disease in humans and for developing new targeted therapeutics for patients. Increasing interest by funding agencies, the private sector, and multidisciplinary academic collaborations between different disciplines and sectors now enables large knowledge gaps to be addressed and provides additional proof-of-concept examples to showcase the significance of the canine model.

Recent findings

The current review addresses the rationale for a canine lymphoma model including the valuable role it can play in drug development, serving as a link between mouse xenograft models and human clinical trials and the infrastructure that is now in place to facilitate these studies. Research in this field has focused on filling in the gaps to make the canine lymphoma model more robust. These advances have included work on biomarkers, detection of minimal residual disease, expansion of genomic and proteomic data, and immunotherapy.


Incorporating pet dogs into the drug development pipeline can improve the efficiency and predictability of preclinical models and decrease the time and cost required for a therapeutic target to be translated into clinical benefit.

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