Amy LeBlanc

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

Canine meningiomas are comprised of 3 DNA methylation groups that resemble the molecular characteristics of human meningiomas

Naomi Zakimi, Christina N Mazcko, Christine Toedebusch, Gregory Tawa, Kevin Woolard, Amy K LeBlanc, Peter J Dickinson, David R Raleigh
Acta Neuropathologica. 2024.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Transcriptional profiling of canine osteosarcoma identifies prognostic gene expression signatures with translational value for humans

Joshua D Mannheimer, Gregory Tawa, David Gerhold, John Braisted, Carly M Sayers, Troy A McEachron, Paul Meltzer, Christina Mazcko, Jessica A Beck, Amy K LeBlanc
Communications Biology. 2023.
Full-Text Article

Exploration of Imaging Biomarkers for Metabolically-Targeted Osteosarcoma Therapy in a Murine Xenograft Model

Shan Huang, Ling Ren, Jessica A Beck, Tim E Phelps, Colleen Olkowski, Anita Ton, Jyoti Roy, Margaret E White, Stephen Adler, Karen Wong, Aswini Cherukuri, Xiang Zhang, Falguni Basuli, Peter L Choyke, Elaine M Jagoda, Amy K LeBlanc
Cancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals. 2023.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Transcriptomic profiling in canines and humans reveals cancer specific gene modules and biological mechanisms common to both species

Gregory J Tawa 1, John Braisted 1, David Gerhold 1, Gurmit Grewal 1, Christina Mazcko 2, Matthew Breen 3, Gurusingham Sittampalam 1, Amy K LeBlanc 2
PLOS Computational Biology. 2021.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Comparative Oncology Assessment of a Novel Inhibitor of Valosin-Containing Protein in Tumor-Bearing Dogs

Amy K LeBlanc et al.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. 2022.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

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