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Fernando Constantino-Casas

Veterinary Comparative Pathology

We have been investigating the clinical, pathological, and molecular mechanisms of tumours in dogs, cats, and laboratory models. The methodologies include histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, miRNA, protein biomarkers, and genetic screening. Research areas include tumour hypoxia (Glut-1, Ca-IX), COX-2 enzyme expression, intratumoral microvessel density, FOXP3 positive regulatory T cells, and rodent models using a piggyBac transposition system. We have been looking at soft tissue sarcomas, mast cell tumours, histiocytic sarcomas, oral squamous cell carcinomas, nasal carcinomas, and gastrointestinal tumours. 

We have been investigating syringomyelia (SM) in the cavalier King Charles spaniel (CKCS) from a clinical, immunological and pathological perspective. Affected dogs can present with distressingly painful clinical signs and cervical hyperaesthesia. The complete pathogenesis of the syrinx and the clinical signs are incompletely understood. We have been investigating the morphological basis of symptomatic and asymptomatic CKCS dogs with SM, assessment of pain-related neuropeptides (substance P and calcitonin gene related peptide), endoneurial inflammatory cells and the pathogenesis of syrinx formation in the spinal cord of affected CKCS dogs. 

A further area of investigation has been the clinical, immunological, and pathological mechanisms of hepatitis and pancreatitis in dog breeds including the cavalier King Charles spaniel, English springer spaniel, and Skye terrier. The results of these studies will aid understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease and the variation among breeds, age, and gender; to help to prevent the disease and improve treatment to ensure a better quality of life of affected dogs.

Key Publications

Wong K, Van der Weyden L, Schott C, Foote A, Constantino-Casas F, Smith S, Dobson J, Murchison E, Wu H, Yeh I, Fullen D, Joseph N, Bastian B, Patel R, Martincorena I, Robles-Espinoza R, Iyer V, Arends M, Brenn T, Harms P, Wood G, Adams A, Kuijjer M. Cross-species genomic landscape comparison of human mucosal melanoma with canine oral and equine melanoma. Nature Communications. 2019:10(1):353-366.

Mueller S, Engleitner T, Maresch R, Zukowska M, Lange S, Kaltenbacher T, Konukiewitz B, Ollinger R, Zwiebel M, Strong A, Yen H-Y, Banerjee G, Louzada S, Fu B, Seidler B,  Gotzfried J, Schuck K, Hassan Z, Arbeiter A, Schomhuber N, Klein S, Veltkamp C, Friedrich M, Rad L, Barenboim M, Ziegenhain C, Hess J, Dovey OM, Eser S, Parekh S, Constantino-Casas F, De la Rosa J, Sierra MI, Fraga M, Mayerle J, Kloppel G, Cardinanos J, Liu P, Vassiliou G, Weichert W, Steiger K, Enard W, Schmid RR, …. Rad R. Evolutionary trajectories and KRAS gene dosage define pancreatic cancer phenotypes. Nature. 01 February 2018;554:62-68.

Kent ACC, Constantino-Casas F, Rusbridge C, Corcoran BM, Carter M, Leadger T, Watson PJ. Prevalence of pancreatic, hepatic and renal microscopic lesions in post-mortem samples from cavalier King Charles spaniels. J Small Anim Prac. 2016;57:188-193.

Rad R, Rad L, Wang W, Strong A, Ponstingl H, Bronner IF, Mayho M, Steiger K, Weber J, Hieber M, Veltkamp C, Eser S, Geumann U, Ollinger R, Zukowska M, Barenboim M, Maresch R, Caldinanos J, Friedrich M, Varela I, Constantino-Casas F, Sarver A, Ten Hoeve J, Prosser H. A conditional PiggyBac transposition system for genetic screening in mice identifies oncogenic networks in pancreatic cancer. Nat Genet. 2015;47-56.

F Constantino-Casas, D Mayhew, TM Hoather and JM Dobson. The clinical Presentation and Histopathologic-Immunohistochemical Classification of Histiocytic Sarcomas in the Flat Coated Retriever. Vet Pathol. 2011;48:764-771.


 Fernando Constantino Casas

Dr Fernando Constantino-Casas

University Pathologist

Group members: Jane Dobson, David Sargan, Penny Watson, Clare Rusbridge, Roland Rad, Nick Bexfield.

    Plain English

    Tumourigenesis is a significant challenge area, where veterinary medicine and human medicine have joined efforts to understand the nature of tumour development, tumour evolution, metastasis, and therapy. We have been investigating soft tissue sarcomas, canine mast cell tumours, histiocytic sarcomas, oral squamous cell carcinomas, nasal carcinomas, and gastrointestinal cancer in laboratory animals.

    Cavalier King Charles spaniels (CKCS) are prone to develop Syringomyelia. We have been investigating clinico-pathological cases of CKCS with SM to understand its pathogenesis and possible clinical management. 

    Canine chronic hepatitis is a common disease. The aetiology in most cases is unknown, however infectious, toxic, metabolic, and immune-mediated causes have been proposed. We have been investigating the epidemiology and clinical and pathological features of hepatitis in dogs, with particular focus on the spaniel and terrier breeds. 


    Cavalier Matters

    Fernando is available for consultancy