Preliminary investigation of blood concentrations of insulin-like growth factor, insulin, lactate and β-hydroxybutyrate in dogs with lymphoma as compared with matched controls

Vet Comp Oncol. 2018 Jun;16(2):262-267. doi: 10.1111/vco.12376. Epub 2017 Dec 4.


It is well established that tumour cells have metabolic differences when compared with normal cells. This is particularly true for energy metabolism in which dogs with cancer have been reported to have higher blood insulin and lactate concentrations than control dogs. Moreover, some human and animal studies suggest that the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) signalling pathway may play a role in tumorigenesis and tumour progression. At present, IGF-1 has not been evaluated in dogs with multicentric lymphoma. In this prospective, cross-sectional study, blood levels of IGF-1, as well as other markers of energy metabolism-insulin, glucose, lactate, and β-hydroxybutyrate-were measured in 16 dogs with histologically or cytologically confirmed treatment-naïve lymphoma. These results were compared with 16 age-, sex- and weight-matched healthy controls. Dietary histories were collected, and protein, fat and carbohydrate intake were compared between groups. Results demonstrated that IGF-1, insulin, glucose and insulin:glucose ratio were not different between groups. However, lactate and β-hydroxybutyrate were higher in the dogs with lymphoma than that in the control dogs (1.74 ± 0.83 mmoL/L vs 1.08 ± 0.27 and 2.59 ± 0.59 mmol/L vs 0.77 ± 0.38 mmol/L, respectively). Median dietary protein, fat and carbohydrates did not differ between the groups. This preliminary study suggests that higher insulin and IGF-1 levels relative to controls may not be a consistent finding in dogs with lymphoma. The significance of increased β-hydroxybutyrate in dogs with lymphoma warrants further investigation in a larger prospective study.

Keywords: canine; carbohydrate; insulin-like growth factor; ketone; lymphoma.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid
  • Animals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dog Diseases / blood*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / analysis*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Lactic Acid / blood*
  • Lymphoma / blood
  • Lymphoma / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Massachusetts
  • Prospective Studies
  • Schools, Veterinary


  • IGF1 protein, human
  • Insulin
  • Lactic Acid
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid