Genome-wide assessment of recurrent genomic imbalances in canine leukemia identifies evolutionarily conserved regions for subtype differentiation
Myeloid neoplasms include cancers associated with both rapid (acute myeloid leukemias) and gradual (myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloproliferative neoplasms) disease progression. Percentage of blast cells in marrow is used to separate acute (rapid) from chronic (gradual) and is the most consistently applied prognostic marker in veterinary medicine. However, since there is marked variation in tumor progression within groups, there is a need for more complex schemes to stratify animals into specific risk groups. In people with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), pretreatment karyotyping and molecular genetic analysis have greater utility as prognostic markers than morphologic and immunologic phenotypes. Karyotyping is not available as a prognostic marker for AML in dogs and cats, but progress in molecular genetics has created optimism about the eventual ability of veterinarians to discern conditions potentially responsive to medical intervention. In people with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), detailed prognostic scoring systems have been devised that use various combinations of blast cell percentage, hematocrit, platelet counts, unilineal versus multilineal cytopenias and dysplasia, karyotype, gender, age, immunophenotype, transfusion dependence, and colony-forming assays. Predictors of outcome for animals with MDS have been limited to blast cell percentage, anemia versus multilineal cytopenias, and morphologic phenotype. Prognostic markers for myeloproliferative neoplasms (eg, polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia) include clinical and hematological factors and in people also include cytogenetics and molecular genetics. Validation of prognostic markers for myeloid neoplasms in animals has been thwarted by the lack of a large case series that requires cooperation across institutions and veterinary specialties. Future progress requires overcoming these barriers.