The role of Hedgehog signaling in feline oral squamous cell carcinoma

Angela McCleary-Wheeler, DVM, PhD | Jeanine Peters-Kennedy, BS, DVM

Squamous cell carcinomas account for approximately 1 in 10 of all feline cancers, and of these, approximately one third are found within the oral cavity, making this the most common oral cancer in cats. Oral squamous cell carcinoma is an extremely aggressive form of cancer that carries a routinely poor prognosis in cats, and effective therapies to combat this dreadful disease are extremely limited.

This study is investigating the role of a series of intracellular proteins, part of a metabolic pathway called the Hedgehog pathway, in the development of feline oral squamous cell carcinoma. Characterization of the mechanism of how this aggressive cancer forms in cats helps to improve our ability to diagnose and treat it.