The immunosignature of canine lymphoma: Characterization and diagnostic application

Stephen A. Johnston, Douglas H. Thamm, Joseph B. Legutki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Background: Cancer diagnosis in both dogs and humans is complicated by the lack of a non-invasive diagnostic test. To meet this clinical need, we apply the recently developed immunosignature assay to spontaneous canine lymphoma as clinical proof-of-concept. Here we evaluate the immunosignature as a diagnostic for spontaneous canine lymphoma at both at initial diagnosis and evaluating the disease free interval following treatment. Methods: Sera from dogs with confirmed lymphoma (B cell n = 38, T cell n = 11) and clinically normal dogs (n = 39) were analyzed. Serum antibody responses were characterized by analyzing the binding pattern, or immunosignature, of serum antibodies on a non-natural sequence peptide microarray. Peptides were selected and tested for the ability to distinguish healthy dogs from those with lymphoma and to distinguish lymphoma subtypes based on immunophenotype. The immunosignature of dogs with lymphoma were evaluated for individual signatures. Changes in the immunosignatures were evaluated following treatment and eventual relapse. Results: Despite being a clonal disease, both an individual immunosignature and a generalized lymphoma immunosignature were observed in each dog. The general lymphoma immunosignature identified in the initial set of dogs (n = 32) was able to predict disease status in an independent set of dogs (n = 42, 97% accuracy). A separate immunosignature was able to distinguish the lymphoma based on immunophenotype (n = 25, 88% accuracy). The individual immunosignature was capable of confirming remission three months following diagnosis. Immunosignature at diagnosis was able to predict which dogs with B cell lymphoma would relapse in less than 120 days (n = 33, 97% accuracy).Conclusion: We conclude that the immunosignature can serve as a multilevel diagnostic for canine, and potentially human, lymphoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number657
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 8 2014


  • Antibody response
  • Cancer
  • Diagnostic
  • Dog
  • Peptide microarray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research

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