Amy K. LeBlanc, D.V.M.

Amy K. LeBlanc, D.V.M.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Molecular Imaging Branch


As Director of the Comparative Oncology Program, Dr. LeBlanc has a strong interest in animal modeling for development of new cancer drugs and imaging agents, and identification of imaging biomarkers, development and optimization of PET imaging hardware and imaging protocols.

Areas of Expertise


Selected Recent Publications

Improving human cancer therapy through the evaluation of pet dogs

Amy K. LeBlanc & Christina N. Mazcko
Nature Reviews Cancer. 727-742, 2020.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Comparative Molecular Life History of Spontaneous Canine and Human Gliomas

Amin SB, Anderson KJ, Boudreau CE, Martinez-Ledesma E, Kocakavuk E, Johnson KC, Barthel FP, Varn FS, Kassab C, Ling X, Kim H, Barter M, Lau CC, Ngan CY, Chapman M, Koehler JW, Long JP, Miller AD, Miller CR, Porter BF, Rissi DR, Mazcko C, LeBlanc AK, Dickinson PJ, Packer RA, Taylor AR, Rossmeisl JH Jr, Woolard KD, Heimberger AB, Levine JM, Verhaak RGW.
Cancer Cell. 37(2): 243-57, 2020. [ Journal Article ]

NCI Comparative Oncology Program Testing of Non-Camptothecin Indenoisoquinoline Topoisomerase I Inhibitors in Naturally Occurring Canine Lymphoma

Burton JH, Mazcko C, LeBlanc A, Covey JM, Ji J, Kinders RJ, Parchment RE, Khanna C, Paoloni M, Lana S, Weishaar K, London C, Kisseberth W, Krick E, Vail D, Childress M, Bryan JN, Barber L, Ehrhart EJ, Kent M, Fan T, Kow K, Northup N, Wilson-Robles H, Tomaszewski J, Holleran JL, Muzzio M, Eiseman J, Beumer JH, Doroshow JH, Pommier Y.
Clin Cancer Res. 24(23): 5830-40, 2018. [ Journal Article ]

Creation of an NCI comparative brain tumor consortium: informing the translation of new knowledge from canine to human brain tumor patients

LeBlanc AK, Mazcko C, Brown DE, Koehler JW, Miller AD, Miller CR, Bentley RT, Packer RA, Breen M, Boudreau CE, Levine JM, Simpson RM, Halsey C, Kisseberth W, Rossmeisl JH Jr, Dickinson PJ, Fan TM, Corps K, Aldape K, Puduvalli V, Pluhar GE, Gilbert MR.
Neuro Oncol. 18(9): 1209-18, 2016. [ Journal Article ]

Job Vacancies

Position Degree Required Contact Name Contact Email
Postdoctoral Fellow - comparative genomics, osteosarcoma Ph.D. or equivalent Amy LeBlanc


Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Shan Huang, M.D., Ph.D.
Ling Ren, Ph.D.
Christina Mazcko
Investigative Pathologist-Staff Scientist
Jessica Beck, DVM, PhD, DACVP
Postdoctoral Fellow
Josh Mannheimer, Ph.D
Manager II, Veterinarian [Contractor]
Erika Berger, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
Postdoctoral Fellow
Lauren McGee, PhD


Nature cover - Lending A Helping Paw: Improving human cancer therapy through the evaluation of pet dogs

Lending A Helping Paw: Improving human cancer therapy through the evaluation of pet dogs

Published Date


Comparative oncology clinical trials play an important and growing role in cancer research and drug development efforts. These trials, typically conducted in companion (pet) dogs, allow assessment of novel anticancer agents and combination therapies in a veterinary clinical setting that supports serial biologic sample collections and exploration of dose, schedule and corresponding pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationships. Further, an intact immune system and natural co-evolution of tumour and microenvironment support exploration of novel immunotherapeutic strategies. Substantial improvements in our collective understanding of the molecular landscape of canine cancers have occurred in the past 10 years, facilitating translational research and supporting the inclusion of comparative studies in drug development. The value of the approach is demonstrated in various clinical trial settings, including single-agent or combination response rates, inhibition of metastatic progression and randomized comparison of multiple agents in a head-to-head fashion. Such comparative oncology studies have been purposefully included in the developmental plan for several US FDA-approved and up-and-coming anticancer drugs. Challenges for this field include keeping pace with technology and data dissemination/harmonization, improving annotation of the canine genome and immune system, and generation of canine-specific validated reagents to support integration of correlative biology within clinical trial efforts.


LeBlanc AK, Mazcko CN. Improving human cancer therapy through the evaluation of pet dogs. Nat Rev Cancer. 2020 Dec;20(12):727-742. doi:
10.1038/s41568-020-0297-3. Epub 2020 Sep 15. PMID: 32934365.