Canine cancer consortium
Two organisations have joined together to further research into canine cancer. They hope their collaboration will also provide insights into connective tissue cancers in humans.
The Canine Hereditary Cancer Consortium will be managed by the Translational Genomics Research Institute and Van Andel Research Institute, both private groups based in the USA. Initially they will focus on sarcomas, a type of cancer which arises out of connective tissues, which are relatively common in dogs, rarer in people. But the data collected from dogs will be particularly useful as a foundation from which to begin human sarcoma studies.
Researchers will, with the consent of owners, collect and analyse samples of canine saliva, blood and tumour tissues. There are plans to expand the research to other forms of cancer including osteosarcoma, oral melanoma, malignant histiocytosis, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. They also wish to extend the study to include 20 different breeds of dog starting with golden retrievers, German shepherds, and clumber spaniels.
The partnership should provide new canine cancer diagnostic methods with the potential for new therapies. If successful, the research may continue to investigate other conditions such as hearing loss, neurological and behavioural disorders in dogs that also relate to human patients.