Saturday, November 6th  –  9:00 – 10:00 am Central Time


The PennVet Shelter Mammary Tumor Program was founded to save homeless dogs with mammary tumors while at the same time advance clinical and translational research on breast cancer. Our studies have enabled us to 1) develop a more accurate and personalized prognostication system for dogs with mammary tumors, 2) undertake a comparative analysis of the molecular changes associated with breast carcinogenesis in canines and humans, and 3) evaluate changes in the tumor microenvironment (TME) associated with malignant transformation and poor outcomes. Understanding the global and diverse effect of estrogen has become a central theme in this work; it influences the biological behavior of the tumors due to its carcinogenic and anticarcinogenic effects, as well as modulating the TME. Recently, we have shown that high serum estrogen levels are associated with formation of a tumor-restrictive tumor stroma. This finding complements our previous work that identified both tumor-restrictive and -permissive collagen signatures that regulate biochemical, biophysical and biomechanical signaling in the tumor microenvironment. Collectively, this collaborative program aims to improve the clinical care of both canine and human breast cancer patients by unraveling the complex and dynamic relationship between tumor, tumor microenvironment and hormonal factors.