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  • Author or Editor: Rebecca G. Balkin x
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Objective—To establish the diagnostic significance of the telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay in detecting feline malignancies.

Sample Population—Solid tissue specimens collected from 33 client-owned cats undergoing diagnostic or therapeutic procedures at the University of Illinois Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital between July 1997 and September 1999 and an additional 20 tissue samples were collected from 3 clinically normal control cats euthanatized at the conclusion of an unrelated study.

Procedure—The TRAP assay was used for detection of telomerase activity. Each result was compared to its respective histopathologic diagnosis.

Results—Twenty-nine of 31 malignant and 1 of 22 benign or normal tissue samples had telomerase activity, indicating 94% sensitivity and 95% specificity of the TRAP assay in our laboratory.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—The diagnostic significance of telomerase activity has been demonstrated in humans and recently in dogs by our laboratory. We tested feline samples to determine whether similar patterns of telomerase activity exist. On the basis of our results, the TRAP assay may be clinically useful in providing a rapid diagnosis of malignancy in cats. The telomerase enzyme may also serve as a therapeutic target in feline tumors. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1578–1581)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research