Bernardi/Comazzi

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PhD Student: Serena Bernardi

I graduated in Veterinary Medicine in October 2014 at the University of Bologna with a thesis titled "Cytoarchitectonic and immunohistochemical features of the lateral nucleus of the amygdala in Tursiops truncatus". In March 2014 I started a training in internal medicine at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Ozzano Emilia and after the bachelor's degree I kept doing my training as a new graduate, also taking part to the clinical pathology activities. I won a scolarship in March 2016 up to September 2016, which completed my period spent at the Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna.

 

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Tutor: Prof. Stefano Comazzi

Stefano Comazzi is professor at DIVET (University of Milan), Diplomate European College of Veterinary Clinical Pathology (ECVCP) and until 2014 he was President of the European Society of Veterinary Clinical Pathology (ESVCP). He is the founder and chair of the international network of canine lymphoma (eu-can-lymhp.net), directing the diagnostic working group in the flow cytometric approach to canine (and feline) lymphoproliferative malignant diseases. He is author of more than 80 papers on international journals, chapters of national and international books and an important international conference speaker. His research is mainly focused on lymphoproliferative and myeloproliferative diseases, considering great part of diagnostic aspects from cytological to flow cytometric evaluation and though the identification of markers that could be significant in diagnosis and prognosis to better support veterinary clinical oncology.

 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:

 

Comparison of emerging diagnostic techniques for the determination of immunophenotyping and the assessement of their relationship to the outcome in patients with feline alimentary lymphoma

In the feline species, alimentary tract lymphoma (AL) is the most common form of lymphoma and its main features are: extremely variable clinical presentation, variable cellular morphology and similarity to inflammatory enteropathies, which make it a very diagnostic challenge. This causes some difficulties in providing prognostic factors and treatment options.

Alimentary lymphoma is often underdiagnosed because of the invasiveness of some techniques (biopsy) and the paucity of standardized non invasive techniques (flow cytometric analysis).

 

The objective of this project are:

1. Assessment of species-specific and not monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) anti-CD and other lymphocyte marker via flow cytometry (FC) in feline species

This step provides the evaluation of reactivity of feline lymphocytes to a panel of mAbs via flow cytometry, obtaining samples from healthy cats. This will help widening the antibodies' panel available in this species, making FC a new useful tool in feline hematoncology diagnostic.

2.Use of flow cytometry for the determination of immunophenotype in cats with alimentary lyphoma

The same technique validated in step 1, will be applied to suspected neoplastic samples from abdominal organs (via FNA), peripheral blood and bone marrow. Determination of cell lineage is expected and the data obtained will be evaluated in the light of clinical data.

3.Evaluation of clonality (PARR) as adjunctive and possible test for the assessment of immunophenotype and comparison with FC

This step provides the application of PARR in cell lineage differentiation in feline AL through specific primers for the variable regions of TCRγ and IGH genes. Samples can be de same as step 2. The results will be evaluated in the light of clinical data and then compared to those of FC analisys.

 

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Cytology of a LGL lymphoma in a feline patient.

 

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Cytology of an Hodgkin's-like lymphoma in a feline patient.