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Yale J Biol Med. 1978 Jul-Aug;51(4):469-76.

Feline preleukemia: an animal model of human disease.


In man, hematologic abnormalities precede the development of acute myeloblastic leukemia in about one-third of individuals. This preleukemic state may represent a stage of adult leukemia wherein small numbers of leukemic cells are present and the normal marrow stem cell compartment has not been seriously compromised. A syndrome resembling human preleukemia occurs in cats infected with feline leukemia virus (FeLV). This disorder is characterized by anemia, leukopenia or thrombocytopenia occurring weeks or months prior to the development of feline acute leukemia. The natural occurrence of this syndrome in this domestic animal population makes it a potential model of human preleukemia. Initial poor results of therapy of human preleukemia presently prohibit one from carrying out controlled trials with chemotherapeutic agents in such a group of patients. Preliminary trials with chemo- and/or immunotherapy may be more easily attempted with FeLV infected preleukemic cats.

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