Many of you know that I work for a private cancer research institute.
Recently we were awarded a very nice grant and some generous funding from the National Cancer Institute, Van Andel Research Institute, and private donations in order to start a very ambitious canine cancer research project.
Here is some information regarding the project for anyone who is interested. I'm really trying to get the word out there in case anyone here would like to participate or knows other owners who may be interested.
Many tumors considered rare in humans are relatively common in certain breeds of dogs. This indicates that there is an underlying hereditary or genetic component to this disease. Our objective is to identify that hereditary or genetic component. To do this, we have formed a consortium of leading scientists, physicians, and veterinarians at multiple institutions across the United States. We will analyze collected DNA and RNA samples from certain pedigreed dogs and cancer affected dogs for genetic patterns that are associated with this disease. These patterns may form the basis of genetic tests that can tell us whether a particular dog is a carrier of a defective gene that will cause a cancer. Also, these studies will provide important clues about cancers in people.
The first five cancers we are focusing on are lymphoma (lymphosarcoma), osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma (and splenic masses), oral melanoma, and malignant histiocystosis.
If you have a dog affected by cancer and would be interested in participating in the study by donating blood and/or tumor samples from your dog, please feel free to contact me.
Our website is still in the beginning stages, but it can be accessed here: http://www.vai.org/helpingdogs