The squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a malignant epithelial neoplasm of keratinocytes, and may also be called as an epidermoid carcinoma. This tumor can affect several species, being frequently found in horses, cattle, dogs and cats, increasing the incidence with age. Despite the impact of the disease on the health of the affected animals and the financial burden of the owners, the pathogenesis of CCE is not fully elucidated. Chronic exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation, lack of pigment in the epidermis, loss of hair, breed, smegma build-up, age and viral infection are all factors that trigger the disease. Viral infection in horses is caused by Equus caballus papillomavirus type 2 (EcPV2) is one of the important causes. In a previous study conducted by our research group, abnormal expression of HER-2, AKT and mTOR proteins was identified in equine ECC samples located on the penis and foreskin. These previous results indicated the alteration of these proteins in the CCEs of horses. Due to this association, the present research aims to evaluate the antitumor effect of Rapamycin (mTOR inhibitor) on cell cultures of equine SCCs located in penis and foreskin. It is proposed to characterize four SCC cell lines (three located in penis and one in foreskin), to evaluate the expression of HER-2, AKT and mTOR proteins in the cells (to confirm that the change in the primary tumors was maintained in the in vitro conditions). And lastly evaluate and antitumor effect of Rapamycin. The present research presents the possibility of evaluating a new drug target that could be used in the treatment of horses with SCC.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: