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'2 dogs 2,000 miles' trek promotes dog DNA for cancer research
Date:6/7/2010

vate grants from businesses involved in pet care $500,000 from PetSmart, and $500,000 from Hill's Pet Nutrition.

Dr. Jeffrey Trent, President and Research Director for TGen and VARI and also the CHCC's Principal Investigator, said that it is difficult to study rare cancers in people, because there is insufficient data. But by studying similar types of cancers more prevalent in dogs, researchers should be better able to help those human patients who currently have little hope.

The study is focused on sarcomas, those cancers that originate in the connective tissues such as bone, cartilage and fat.

Although rare in humans, these tumors are relatively common in certain breeds of dogs, such as Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds and Clumber Spaniels. After as many as 150 years of breeding, there are few genetic variations in these dogs, making it easier to identify the few genetic differences that can affect cancer susceptibility and response to anti-cancer drugs.

The overall project is both diverse and complex, including studies of:

  • Hemangiosarcoma in Clumber Spaniels by Dr. Nick Duesbury at VARI.
  • Lymphoma in several breeds of dogs by Dr. Nicola Mason at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Malignant histiocytic sarcoma in Bernese mountain dogs by Dr. Vilma Yusbasiyan-Gurkan at Michigan State University.
  • Melanoma in Schnauzers by Dr. Trent at TGen.
  • Osteosarcoma in Rottweillers and Greyhounds by Dr. Paul Meltzer and Dr. Chand Khanna at the National Cancer Institute, the nation's premier cancer research center, whose involvement Trent called key to the success of the program.


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Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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