Metabolomics in dogs as a translational model of human disease:
A pilot on lymphoma

Metabolomics is the large-scale study of small molecules, commonly known as metabolites, within cells, fluids, tissues or organisms. Collectively, these small molecules and their interactions within a biological system are known as the metabolome.

Just as genomics is the study of DNA and genetic information within a cell, metabolomics is the study of substrates and products of metabolism, which are influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Metabolomics is a powerful approach because metabolites and their concentrations directly reflect the underlying biochemical activity (in both health and disease) of cells/tissues. 

The study proposes to compare human and canine metabolomic cancer signatures of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). DLBCL is the most common subtype of lymphoma in both humans and dogs. The disease has a similar clinical presentation, diagnostic features, and therapeutic approach in both species. Notably, DLBCL has a higher incidence rate in the dog (20-100 per 100,000 individuals, depending on the dog’s breed, compared to 20 per 100,000 in humans). The similarities in disease presentation coupled with a shorter lifespan and faster disease progression in dogs enable timely assessments and comparisons between the human and canine cancer patients. CLEAR will be helping to fund the acquisition and storage of samples collected from dogs affected by DLBCL lymphoma and is consistent with our interest in supporting research efforts for this devastating disease.

Unraveling which pathways are similarly affected between human and canine patients, and which ones differ, will allow us to better establish the dog as an ideal translational model for accelerated metabolic biomarker discovery and of equal importance, this data can be translated in both directions to the benefit of both humans and animals. Read more about this amazing study by our friends from Weill Cornell Medicine of Cornell University.