Here is the summary of a few projects we are currently working on.
Liquid biopsies and cfDNA for diagnosis of lymphoma
Liquid biopsy is the emerging term for characterizing the collection of body fluids and analysis of biomarkers to detect pathological processes. It can be used for early detection of neoplasia, stratifying and monitoring response to treatment, and detecting relapse.
We aim to investigate whether cell-free DNA (cfDNA) can be detected in plasma of dogs and cats with lymphoma and be used for diagnostic and prognostic purposes.
Detection of CTCs using MALDI-TOF MS for diagnosis of melanoma
Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) is an analytical technique based on the fragmentation of peptides into charged molecules that are then analyzed in terms of their mass to charge ratio, generating a characteristic spectrum fingerprint.
We aim to explore the use of MALDI-TOF MS to detect circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in horses with melanoma.
Use of ICC for differential cancer diagnosis
Fine-needle aspiration followed by cytopathology are commonly performed on masses and organs suspected of being cancerous. However, cytology alone may not suffice for final diagnosis due to biological variance and highly pleomorphic cells that escape standard and expected cytomorphologic patterns.
An alternative to increase cytology sensitivity is to perform immunocytochemistry (ICC), the phenotypical identification of cells using antibodies to recognize unique cellular markers.
Raw milk analysis using flow cytometry
Somatic cell count (SCC) and bacterial count (BC) are measures used to evaluate milk quality for consumers and mammary gland health status. There are several FDA-approved automated, specific technologies for milk analysis. However, their high cost and complex maintenance preclude acquisition by smaller farms and limit their availability in commercial laboratories.
Therefore, this project aims to develop and validate a new method to simultaneously perform SCC and BC, hoping to expand our local community outreach.