Clinical Relevance of the serum CTLA-4 in Cats with Mammary Carcioma


Project PTDC/CVT-EPI/3638/2014

Molecular evaluation of HER2 and Topoisomerases in feline mammary carcinoma - Developing rational strategies for effective diagnosis and cancer chemoimmunotherapy
Financiado pela Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

(Catarina Urbano, Catarina Nascimento, Maria João Soares, Jorge Correia e Fernando Ferreira)

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Recently, a research paper developed by a team led by Prof. Dr. Fernando Ferreira (CIISA/FMV/ULisboa) was published in Scientific Reports Journal. This study evaluates the clinical importance of serum CTLA-4 levels in cats with mammary carcinoma, in order to validate CTLA-4 as a target for future molecular treatments, similarly to what has already it happens in a woman's breast cancer, where the inhibition of this protein results in an increased ability of the immune system to destroy tumour cells. In this work, the authors demonstrated that serum CTLA-4 levels are increased in cats with mammary carcinoma (P = 0.022), being associated with some clinical and pathological characteristics (small tumour size, P <0.001; absence of tumour necrosis, P <0.001; non-basal tumours, P <0.02 and HER2-positive tumours) and with a chronic inflammatory state, characterized by an increase in serum levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α (R = 0.88, P <0.001) and IL-6 (R = 0.72, P <0.001). The authors also concluded that CTLA-4 expression in tumour-associated lymphocytes was positively correlated with FoxP3-positive T-regulating lymphocytes (R = 0.387, P = 0.01) and inversely associated with their serum levels (P = 0.03). Thus, the results obtained contribute to a better characterization of the immunological responses to feline mammary carcinoma and to the rationale of molecular therapies that inhibit the CTLA-4 pathway, validating the usefulness of feline mammary carcinoma as a model for the study of breast cancer in women.


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