Researchers in Japan have succeeded in developing a chimeric anti-PD-L1 antibody that instigates immune responses leading to tumor regression in dogs with malignant cancers.
Like humans, dogs too possess malignant cancers that are incurable even with existing therapies such as surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Oral malignant melanoma (OMM), a highly invasive cancer in dogs, can be cited as one such example.
Researchers at Hokkaido University revealed that PD-L1 is expressed in the cells of OMM and another type of cancer called undifferentiated sarcoma, confirming that these two cancers are likely targeted by the immunotherapy.
Using a rat anti-PD-L1 antibody they developed a rat-dog chimeric antibody, which received a positive response when administered to dogs with no allergic reactions.
"Chimerization of the antibody is now proven as a simple and effective strategy to develop therapeutic antibodies in veterinary medicine. Although further clinical studies are needed, other PD-L1-positive cancers could be targeted by the antibody we have developed", says Professor Satoru Konnai.
"Given the similarity between humans and dogs in cancer biology, our study should provide a beneficial model for human preclinical studies."
The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.