ICBR’s Cytometry Assists in Canine Cancer Research
Dr. Kirsten Jackson is a medical oncology resident at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine. In her residency program she will complete a M.S degree project in her first year. Dr. Jackson enlisted the help of ICBR’s cytometry core to optimize her flow panel and help sort her target cells for her research. Her project is looking at peripheral blood in normal dogs vs dogs that are sick with a particular type of cancer (melanoma). They are looking at myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC) in dogs’ peripheral blood. MDSC are cells in the tumor microenvironment that work to suppress the immune system which allows the tumor to evade detection.
The goal of the project is to use these MDSC cells for transcriptomic analysis. Our cytometry lab is conducting all the cell sorting for Dr. Jackson’s project. She is comparing the ratio of MDSCs in normal dogs to dogs that have cancer, and hopes to find a better way to identify these cells in a peripheral blood sample or in tissues in canine patients. “Our hope is that these cells could be used to provide more information about a patient’s disease and potentially track how they are responding to treatment.”
Her project is unique in that it deals with cancer that is not human-related. A lot of work is being done looking at these MDSC cells in humans and mice so there is also the potential for a translational component to her work. Dr. Jackson’s research is still in progress at this time, but she hopes that her research will help to provide more information about the role of the MDSCs in Canine Cancer. Dr Jackson’s project is supported by Dr Rowan Milner’s Comparative Oncology Laboratory.