"Once someone has had the good fortune to share a true love affair with a 
Golden Retriever, one's life and one's outlook is never  quite the same."
 
~ Betty White ~


RESULTS OF OVC'S WINTER 2014 FUNDING COMPETITION   THE SMILING BLUE SKIES CANCER FUND

INVESTIGATING THE FEASIBILITY OF IMMUNOTHERAPY IN TREATING DOGS WITH MELANOMA

DR. BYRAM BRIDLE -- PATHOBIOLOGY

Pet Trust is supporting research that aims to fight cancer in dogs by directing their own immune system to attack cancer cells without the toxic side effects of standard treatments.  This project is focused on melanoma, skin cancer derived from the pigment producing-cells that give colour to skin, hair and eyes.  In dogs, oral malignant melanoma is the most prevalent, aggressive and deadly form of the disease, particularly because of its tendency to spread from the mouth to areas that are very difficult to treat, such as the brain.  Dr. Bridle’s strategy focuses on proteins expressed by the tumour cells (in this case, melanoma-associated antigens or MMAs) and using vaccines containing the proteins to provoke the body’s cancer-killing immune response.  This project will use canine melanoma specimens from the OVC’s  Companion Animal Tumour Bank — which is also supported by Pet Trust.  The specimens will be analyzed for expression of a variety of MAAs and the data will be used to guide construction of vaccines to target the most commonly expressed MAAs in canine melanomas.

 

EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTS OF AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUG  ON DOGS UNDERGOING MAST CELL TUMOUR SURGERY

DR. ALEX VALVERDE -- CLINICAL STUDIES

OVC researchers are investigating whether a common antihistamine used to treat allergies and other conditions is also helpful when given to dogs undergoing mast cell tumour (MCT) surgery.  One of the most common types of malignant skin cancer in dogs and cats, MCT release histamine, a compound produced by most cells in response to injury and in allergic and inflammatory reactions.  The release of histamine causes the blood vessels to widen and lowers blood pressure (hypotension).  This natural defence mechanism may put dogs at risk during surgery.  Some clinicians prescribe the use of a histamine blocker called diphenhydramine — the active ingredient in the over-the-counter medication Benadryl — before surgery to minimize the chances of cardiovascular problems.  However, the benefits of using diphenhydramine in this way have not been scientifically proven, and until a recent study by this OVC research team, the complex interactions between the drug and the canine body — and the data needed to safely and effectively administer the drug — were not fully understood.  This follow-up study will determine whether diphenhydramine has a beneficial effect in preventing hypotension in dogs undergoing MCT surgery.  It will also measure and compare histamine concentrations in the blood of MCT patients with that of healthy dogs.

 

ASSESSMENT OF DIAGNOSTIC AND PROGNOSTIC UTILITY OF microRNA  IN THE BLOOD OF DOGS WITH LYMPHOMA

DR. DARREN WOOD -- PATHOBIOLOGY

Donations to Pet Trust are helping OVC researchers working to develop a simple, non-invasive blood test that may predict how canine lymphoma patients will respond to therapy.  One of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in dogs, it resembles non-Hodgkins lymphoma in people and most dogs with lymphoma will go into remission following chemotherapy.  However, there are no good tools available to predict which dogs will respond well, and which will suffer a relapse. In human cancer patients, changes in protein molecules called microRNAs (miRNAs) present in a variety of tissues, including blood, have been shown to correlate with presence of cancer.  Recent preliminary evidence has shown a similar correlation in dogs with lymphoma.  This project aims to determine whether blood and preserved tissue samples from canine lymphoma patients are suitable for miRNA detection and how the presence or absence of miRNAs correlates with treatment outcomes.

 

OVERCOMING CANCER CELLS' RESISTANCE TO CHEMOTHERAPY IN CANINE OSTEOSARCOMA

DR. GEOFF WOOD -- PATHOBIOLOGY

OVC research supported by Pet Trust is investigating ways to counteract the effects of a protein associated with the ability of cancer cells to resist chemotherapy in dogs with osteosarcoma.  An aggressive and very painful bone cancer in both dogs and people, osteosarcoma mainly affects the limbs and carries a grave prognosis.  Even with aggressive treatment that typically includes amputation followed by chemotherapy, most patients die within a year due to the spread of cancer to the lungs and other organs.  However, about 10 per cent of patients survive significantly longer after treatment, even though their tumours appear to be no different from those of short-lived patients.  In a previous study, OVC researchers found that a gene called PRKAR1a, which is normally made by canine bone tumours, is not produced by tumours from long-surviving dogs. In human bone cancer, the lack of this gene is associated with better chemotherapy response as well. PRKAR1a plays a role in autophagy, a state in which cells “self-consume” some components and recycle them to survive when they are under extreme stress.  In cancer, this process has been linked to the ability of malignant cells to survive chemotherapy, then start growing again once treatment is over.  This project will use bone cancer cell lines grown in the laboratory to test the ability of drugs to inhibit autophagy and enhance the cancer-killing ability of chemotherapy.  The goal is to discover the best therapy combinations for future clinical trials in dogs with bone cancer.

 


AKC Canine Health Foundation and Golden Retriever Foundation

Cancer Research Collaborative Project

Funded In Part by the Golden Retriever Foundation GRADUATE Challenge

The abstracts presented below explain two grants which have been funded through the CHF-GRF Cancer Collaborative. The decision to recommend funding of two grants has to do with the complementary nature of these grants, the rigor of the science and the exceptional collaborative teams that will be conducting the work.

Grant 1918 covers the emerging importance of epigenetics, which is the study of the heritable changes in gene expression caused by alterations in DNA methylation rather than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic regulation explains how two identical genotypes can give rise to different phenotypes in response to the same environmental stimulus.

Grant 1889 covers the ongoing search for heritable risk alleles from a well-established, highly productive team of investigators. Separately these grants will have impact; together the synergy of this research will substantially hasten our understanding of cancer pathogenesis and get us much closer to preventing disease from occurring.

1918-G: Discovery of novel protein, blood, and epigenetic biomarkers of lymphoma risk, classification, and prognosis in Golden Retrievers

Investigators/Institutions: Dr. Jeffery N. Bryan, DVM, MS, PhD, of University of Missouri, Columbia; Dr. Anne Avery DVM, PhD, Colorado State University; Dr. Heather Wilson-Robles, DVM, Texas A&M University
Grant Period: June 1, 2013 – May 31, 2016

Lymphoma strikes 1 in 8 Golden Retrievers, making them one of the most commonly affected breeds. Dr. Jeffrey Bryan, in collaboration with Dr. Anne Avery (Colorado State University) and Dr. Heather Wilson-Robles (Texas A&M University), will improve diagnostic, classification, and prognostic ability using state of the art technology to characterize the B cell lymphomas of Golden Retrievers. Through joint CHF/GRF funding, these investigators will identify aberrant epigenetic (DNA methylation) changes in lymphoma cells to develop biomarkers of each class of lymphoma, and in turn, identify new therapy targets for affected Golden Retrievers. More significantly, because DNA methylation changes occur so early in the process of cancer formation, these investigators hypothesize that they could serve as biomarkers of risk, allowing medicine or diet to prevent lymphoma in Golden Retrievers before it develops. Finally, they propose to fully phenotype cancer stem cells in lymphoma by surface markers and DNA methylation changes for the purpose of targeting those cells which feed cancer metastasis. Individually each project advances a current frontier of research. By performing them in parallel, the discoveries made in each project can be combined, correlated, and translated into biomarkers of risk, diagnosis, and prognosis to advance the prevention and management of lymphoma in Golden Retrievers. Based on data from other species these investigators expect epigenetic changes to occur across all breeds and anticipate this study will open the door for a deeper understanding of cancer in all dogs.

1889-G: Developing Markers to Diagnose and Guide Cancer Treatment in Golden Retrievers Based on Newly Discovered Heritable and Acquired Mutations
Investigators/Institutions: Dr. Jaime F Modiano, VMD, PhD, of University of Minnesota; Dr. Matthew Breen, PhD, North Carolina State University; Dr. Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, PhD, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
Grant Period: June 1, 2013 – May 31, 2016

Lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma are major health problems in Golden Retrievers, causing both suffering and premature death. After years of collaboration, Dr. Jaime Modiano (University of Minnesota), Dr. Matthew Breen (North Carolina State University) and Dr. Kerstin Lindblad-Toh (Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard) have made several ground breaking discoveries: 1) they have identified several regions of the genome that contain genetic heritable risk factors for lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma, and 2) they have identified somatic mutations in tumors that occur recurrently in both cancers, some of which are linked to duration of remission when treated with standard of care. These results indicate that a few heritable genetic risk factors account for as much as 50% of the risk for these cancers. These investigators now believe their findings offer the potential to develop strategies for risk assessment in individual dogs, as well as the potential to manage risk across the population as a whole. Further, these inherited risk factors and tumor mutations point to pathways that have been implicated in the pathogenesis of lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma, and thus should inform the development of targeted therapies. Through joint CHF-GRF funding, these investigators will identify precise mutations for the heritable genetic risk factors and will validate markers (mutations) that can be used to determine risk at the heritable loci in a large independent population of Golden Retrievers from the USA and from Europe. Their ultimate goal is to develop robust risk prediction tools, and hopefully, an accompanying DNA test. As has been the case with most genetic-based studies, data are expected to be transferable across all breeds, enabling the future search for cancer risk factors in all dogs to be rapid and focused.

army of women


TELOMERASE CANCER VACCINE STUDY FOR DOGS AND CATS WITH EXTERNAL NON-RESECTABLE CANCERS

The Department of Oncology at the Veterinary Specialty Center of the Hudson Valley is looking for canine and feline patients with external non-resectable cancers to participate in a clinical trial with our Telomerase Cancer Vaccine.

An external, superficial tumor would be biopsied here at VSCHV pre vaccine immunotherapy and also at the completion of the vaccine series (5 treatments-- 2 weeks apart) also administered here.

We are evaluating the T cell infiltration into the tumor and telomerase antibody response. Patient will receive vaccine at N/C but additional fees for administration apply and will be discussed and clearly presented to any interested client.

For more information, please call 845-632-3200.


Golden Retriever Lifetime Study

Morris Animal Foundation's Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is a groundbreaking effort to learn how to prevent cancer and other diseases. It is the largest and longest observational study ever undertaken to improve the health of dogs. The study will enroll up to 3,000 Golden Retrievers and will last 10 to 14 years.

A Golden Opportunity to Improve the Health of Golden Retrievers

Why Should Your Dog Participate?

  • Cancer is the #1 cause of death in dogs over the age of 2, and more than half of all Golden Retrievers die of the disease.

  • It will identify the genetic, nutritional and environmental risk factors for cancer and other diseases affecting Golden Retrievers.

  • This study is expected to provide valuable information into prevention strategies, early diagnosis and new treatments for cancer and other canine diseases.

  • The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study will help to improve the health of future generations of Golden Retrievers and will help create a healthier tomorrow for all dogs.

Who Can Participate?

  • Highly committed Golden Retriever owners living in the continental United States.

  • Owners who are over the age of 18.

  • Dogs that are healthy and under 2 years of age at the time of enrollment.

  • Dogs that have a three-generation pedigree.

What Is Expected of You?

  • Agree to participate for the life of your dog

  • Select a veterinarian who agrees to participate with you

  • Complete online questionnaires regarding your dog's food type and feeding habits, environmental exposures, behavior/temperament, disease events, etc.

  • Visit your dog's veterinarian for annual exams and sample collection (blood, urine, feces, hair, and toenail clippings)

  • When applicable, allow collection of tumor samples for evaluation

  • Be willing to consider a necropsy (post mortem examination) when your dog's life ends


    Note: You are responsible for all costs associated with the annual exam, sample collection and laboratory test results. Morris Animal Foundation will reimburse you for up to $75 of these costs per year after verification that the exam and sample collection has been completed.

    If you choose, you may also donate this compensation directly back to Morris Animal Foundation to support the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.

    To determine if your dog is eligible for participation in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, you must first register for the Canine Lifetime Health Project. After you sign up for the Canine Lifetime Health Project, you will be notified by email if your dog qualifies for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study or any studies managed through this project.


Special Update from the GRF and the Morris Animal Foundation

The Golden Retriever Foundation and GRCA are excited to announce that the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is underway! This is an unprecedented longitudinal study of factors that may influence the development of cancer and other diseases in Goldens. It is the innovation of the Morris Animal
Foundation, and will succeed only with full support from the Golden community.

If you own a Golden of known pedigree who is 2 years or younger, and you are willing to commit to participation with your dog for its entire lifespan, you are encouraged to register for this important study. Please take a few minutes to check out the details at:

(https://www.caninelifetimehealth.org/#About/GoldenRetrieverLifetimeStudy)

At last notice, there were already over 200 eligible Goldens already registered for the Canine Lifetime Health Project, out of which the participants for the GRLS will be selected. Once you register, watch your email for more information and the next steps.

50 Goldens will be used in the initial beta phase of the project, which launched just last week. All other Goldens who are eligible, and registered with CLHP, will be invited to enroll in a few weeks. Be patient while the "kinks" are worked out of the system. Morris Animal Foundation is committed to their goal of 3000 Goldens participating in the study.

An important aspect of the study is that a wide range of pedigrees and geographical regions is needed. Spread the word to your friends with Goldens, especially those who may not be members of GRCA or acquainted with the GRF, and encourage them to register. Field dogs, conformation dogs, agility dogs, obedience and rally dogs, pet dogs -- we all need to play to win this game!

To recap:
1. Register for the Canine Lifetime Health Project at the website noted above.
2. Wait to hear from Morris Animal Foundation that your dog is invited to enroll in GRLS.
3. Commit to the project and help our breed live longer, healthier lives in the future.

Look for an article on page 32 of the March/April 2012 GRNews on GRLS -- and register today!



Mason Golden Retriever Study -- Goldens needed who are 6 to 8 years of age!

http://www.vet.upenn.edu

The Mason lab at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine is investigating the possibility that a gammaherpesvirus can infect dogs and may contribute to lymphoma. The virus is thought to be highly similar to Epstein-Barr Virus that infects the majority of humans.

In most humans, infection is asymptomatic (no clinical signs), but in a very small subset of people, the virus is associated with lymphomas. Mason’s lab has shown that some dogs (like people) can be infected with an EBV-like virus and that this appears to be associated with lymphoma in some cases (Evidence of an oncogenic gammaherpesvirus in domestic dogs. Huang et al. Virology. 2012 Mar 7).

Using a relatively simple blood test, Mason’s lab can determine whether dogs have been exposed to an EBV-like virus. They now aim to screen approximately 500 healthy Golden Retriever dogs between 6 and 8 years of age to determine whether they are infected with the virus.

Participating dogs will be evaluated every 6 months for 2 years to determine whether the presence of increasing amounts of virus and antibodies to the virus predicts which dogs many go on to develop lymphoma.

The study aims to provide very important information about a possible environmental cause of cancer and may lead to future anti-viral therapies for cancer. This study is supported by the National Institutes of Health.

We invite All Owners of Golden Retrievers to Take Part in This Study

All owners of healthy Golden Retrievers are invited to participate in an unprecedented study to investigate the possibility that a particular virus (a gammaherpesvirus) can infect Golden Retriever dogs and that this infection contributes to the development of lymphoma in some dogs.

Eligibility

If you have a healthy Golden Retriever dog that has not been previously diagnosed with cancer, and is between 6 and 8 years of age you may be eligible to participate in this study. Complete information regarding the study and study eligibility can be found on the consent form (download below).

Samples Required for the Study

The study involves taking a blood sample from your dog once every six months for two years.

If your dog develops lymphoma while on the study, a biopsy of the malignant lymph node tissue will be taken and used to confirm the diagnosis and determine whether this virus is involved in the tumor.

Blood samples and lymph node biopsies can be taken at your local veterinarian and sent to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.
About Costs: Please note that we do not have funds to cover any costs associated with visits to your veterinarian or costs associated with lymph node biopsies or blood samples. Funds are available to pay for shipping of samples to UPenn from your local veterinarian and for all laboratory tests that look for the virus in the blood and in any tumor tissue.


Study Participant Information for Golden Retriever Dogs

If you would like to participate in the study, please download:

Take these to your veterinarian. Please complete the consent form and ask your veterinarian to complete the examination form.
Both forms should be submitted to UPenn with your samples.


All samples should be sent overnight to the following address:

Attention: Dr. Nicola Mason
Room 335, Hill Pavilion
University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
380 South University Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19107


Contact Information
Golden Retriever owners may also contact Rhonda Hovan (GRCA Health Committee member) by telephone at 330-668-0044 or 330-338-4236 (cell) or by e-mail at RhondaHovan@aol.com.

Related Resources

If you would like to contribute to canine cancer research in the Mason laboratory, please send your check made payable to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and note that it should be designated to the Mason Cancer Research Fund. Please mail to:


Office of Development
School of Veterinary Medicine
3800 Spruce Street, Suite 172E
Philadelphia, PA 19104


McMaster University Researchers in Hamilton, Ontario, Discover Drug that Kills Cancer Stem Cells!

The Spectator Newspaper, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada


Reporter: Joanna Frketich

McMaster researchers have discovered a drug commonly used for Parkinson's Disease and schizophrenia kills cancer stem cells without the toxic side-effects of other treatments.

Patients taking thioridazine for Parkinson's and schizophrenia have 10 times less instance of cancer after being on the drug for a few years.

"We're connecting dots that we weren't connecting before," said Dr. Mick Bhatia, principal investigator of the study and scientific director of McMaster's Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute.

"We're excited we have something interesting, but we're always nervous because we want to make sure it helps people. The impact of this will be determined if we can put some patients in remission and certainly that's my romantic goal."

He expects a small number of Hamilton leukemia patients with no other treatment options will have access to the drug through a clinical trial within a year. He's also hoping to set up a second trial at another Ontario cancer centre.

"It's not everyday you find a drug you can move into the clinic," said Bhatia. "The only thing we can hope for is that what we've seen in the laboratory, we're hoping will work in a patient."

If it works, it could dramatically change cancer treatment. Thioridazine on its own reduced leukemia stem cells by 50 per cent in 24 hours in mice injected with primary human samples, found the study published in the science journal CELL.

"That was quite surprising," said Bhatia. "We have certainly not seen any drug we've tested have that kind of potency."


Improving Ability to Predict Cancer Spread

Morris Animal Foundation–Funded Clinical Trial

D09CA-031, North Carolina State University, Dr. Marlene L. Hauck

Samples Requested: Canine soft-tissue sarcomas (including fibrosarcomas, hemangiopericytomas, peripheral nerve sheath tumors, liposarcomas, leiomyosarcomas, rhabdomyosarcomas and undifferentiated sarcomas)

Study Outline: Soft-tissue sarcomas are the most common type of solid tumors in dogs. They are locally invasive tumors with a high local recurrence rate. The metastasis rate varies from 5 to 40 percent depending on the tumor type and grade. The laboratory of Dr. Marlene Hauck is evaluating the genetic changes that are seen in soft-tissue sarcomas that metastasize versus those that do not. The goal is to identify a gene or protein expression "signature" that will more accurately predict which dogs will go on to develop metastasis in order to improve the outcome for dogs with soft-tissue sarcomas.

Sample Submission: Researchers are interested in receiving biopsy samples of dogs with soft-tissue sarcoma. It is recommended that the referring or primary veterinarian submit the sample. Researchers welcome any questions referring veterinarians or owners may have.

Sample Collection and Shipping: For each sample submission, the following is required:

Representative non-necrotic pieces of the tumor (preferably at least 1 cm3 or equivalent) collected as aseptically as possible in each of the following:

1. RNA stabilization solution (which researchers will provide)

It is very important that samples are placed in this solution immediately after biopsy.

2. Formalin

Basic patient information, clinical history and associated pathology reports relating to this tumor

Please contact the Hauck Lab at North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine in advance of sample collection, so that we may provide detailed collection instructions and arrange shipment of RNA stabilization solution and tumor samples.

Contact Details for Dr. Marlene Hauck's Lab:

Julie Fisher, Research Specialist
Room 326, CVM Research Building
Department of Clinical Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine
North Carolina State University
4700 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27606
Phone: 919.513.8276 Fax: 919.513.7301
E-mail: julie_fisher@ncsu.edu


SEARCHABLE CLINICAL TRIALS DATABASE FOR CANCER IN PET ANIMALS


https://cvmsecure.missouri.edu/vcs/ClinicalTrials/publicAccess/


Welcome to the Veterinary Cancer Trials website. This site is sponsored by the Veterinary Cooperative Oncology Group (VCOG), a group of board-certified veterinary oncologists and associated specialists assembled to promote high quality veterinary oncology collaborative investigations through the establishment of common goals and endpoints for the purpose of benefitting both animals and people affected by cancer. VCOG represents the collective knowledge of the specialty of veterinary oncology.

This site was designed for use by everyone who participates in the treatment of pet animals with cancer, including pet owners, general practice veterinarians, and oncologists and other specialty veterinarians. Information is provided to inform both private practice and academic veterinarians, and to promote accrual for the timely completion of clinical trials while providing state-of-the-art treatment options for pets with cancer.

To use this site, you may simply click the box for searching for trials based on specific criteria (type of cancer, geographic location of clinical trial, or species of animal), or you can browse all trials. Each trial description provides basic information needed to determine whether a pet is eligible for a trial, what a trial entails, and an appropriate contact person if there is a trial of interest. Information is updated at least monthly.

If you are a designated contact for an institution that initiates clinical trials, you can log in as instructed. This will allow you to enter, edit, or remove only trials from your institution. If you are a member of the Veterinary Cancer Society, you will be able to log in using your VCS website login information. This will allow you to view information that is not displayed for the general public such as details of trial design. You will not be able to modify any trial data for any institution.

Thank you for visiting this site. Our goal is to promote cutting edge therapy of pets with cancer and facilitate timely completion of clinical trials so that promising new therapies can enter clinical practice sooner.

For questions related to this site, please contact vct@vetcancertrials.org


page4

page4-2

Researchers at the University of Guelph have started their large Hemangiosarcoma Validation Study, measuring a marker for Hemangiosarcoma. This is such exciting news, and 52 Golden Retrievers from the Greater Toronto Area, are participating in this study. All the dogs enrolled in the study are 7 years of age or older. Males and females, intact and neutered/spayed, are involved in this study. Each dog is receiving a CBC, a biochemical profile, urinalysis, and an abdominal ultrasound, performed by a board certified internal medicine specialist. All testing is taking place at the Mississauga-Oakville Veterinary Emergency Hospital. There is no charge for the testing, and a full report of the blood work and ultrasound findings are being sent to each of the participants' regular veterinarians.

For further information, please contact:

Gordon M. Kirby DVM, MSc, PhD
Associate Dean, Research & Innovation
Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences
Ontario Veterinary College
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
N1G 2W1

Telephone: 519-824-4120; Extension 54948 or 54796


Chinese herbal drug tested
Vet Med offers clinical trial for dogs with cancer
Tuesday, Sep. 28, 2010

PULLMAN - WSU's College of Veterinary Medicine is offering a financial incentive to pet owners whose dogs participate in a clinical trial regarding B cell lymphoma, a type of blood cell cancer.

Artemisinin is a drug derived from the plant Artemisia annua. It has been traditionally used by Chinese herbalists in the treatment of skin diseases and malaria. In addition to its well-known antimalarial properties, the drug has recently aroused interest as an anticancer drug.

In the laboratory, the drug causes cancer cell death and changes that could sensitize cancers making them more susceptible to common chemotherapy drugs. WSU’s clinical trial will examine this effect in dogs with cancer.

In order to determine the efficacy of compounds used to treat cancer in humans or animals, physicians and veterinarians who specialize in cancer often conduct clinical trials. Trials offer people or animal owners in this case some form of compensation for volunteering their dog that has cancer.

For this study, WSU is limiting care expenses an owner pays to $300, if their dog meets a special set of criteria for enrollment.

The study is funded by the Washington State Life Sciences Discovery Fund. Costs associated with the collection of samples, re-evaluating disease burden, bloodwork for chemotherapy, chemotherapy drug, and administration are covered, when performed at the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Lymphoma is the most common form of blood cell cancer in dogs and one of the most common forms overall. It strikes any age and breed of dog, although certain breeds are more susceptible. For dogs with B cell multicentric lymphoma, most will die on average within a year of diagnosis with aggressive treatment.

Standard chemotherapy for B cell lymphoma is well tolerated and provides an excellent quality of life during treatment. Now WSU veterinary cancer specialists want to further improve the well-established chemotherapy’s impact.

For more complete details and to learn more about this clinical trial see:

http://vetmed.wsu.edu/researchVCS/Artemisinin.aspx

or contact Pam Thompson at 509-335-0711 or pat@vetmed.wsu.edu.

By Charlie Powell, College of Veterinary Medicine

Telephone: 519-824-4120; Extension 54948 or 54796




K9 Hemangiosarcoma Clinical Trial

The Department of Oncology at VSCHV and the Department of Radiation Oncology at the AMC are collaborating for a clinical study to evaluate a new protocol for K9 Hemangiosarcoma (HSA).  As we all know, this disease is a challenge to treat with limited long term survival despite chemotherapeutic intervention.  Newer theories are based on immunotherapy and exploiting angiogenesis inhibition.

This study seeks to compare the use of  2Gy Total Body Irradiation (TBI), a non-lethal dose, which does not require supportive care, in order to decrease T regulatory cells thereby promoting an improved immune response with either an autogenous vaccine (from same patient) or an allogeneic vaccine (from another HSA).  2 abstracts support the use of TBI as an adjunct to immunotherapy:

1) Blood volume 102 (part 1) Issue 11, Start page 76a (abstract # 256) ; November 16, 2003

Breaking tolerance in stable mixed chimeric dogs with low-dose TBI and donor or recipient lymphocyte infusion

*Taranova,A.G.; Georges,G.E.; Yunusov,M.; Storb,R.F.; Nash,R.A . Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center ; University of Washington

2) Cell Mol Immunol . 2010 Mar;7(2):157-62. Epub 2010 Feb 8. Enhancement of antitumor immunity by low-dose total body irradiation is associated with selectively decreasing the proportion and number of T regulatory cells.
*Liu R, Xiong S , Zhang L , Chu Y .  Department of Immunology, Shanghai Medical College,Institute for Immunobiology, Key Laboratory of Molecular Medicine of Ministryof Education, Fudan University, Shanghai.

Abstract:

Low-dose total body irradiation (LTBI) is used in the treatment of some cancers mainly for immune enhancement rather than cell killing. However, the mechanism underlying LTBI remains unknown. In this study, by analyzing the immune patterns of lymphocytes, we found that the percentage and absolute number of CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells are markedly decreased in naive mice following treatment with LTBI. On the contrary, the CD4(+)CD44(+)/CD8(+)CD44(+) effect or-memory T cells are greatly increased. Importantly, naive mice treated with dendritic cell-gp 100 tumor vaccines under LTBI induced an enhancement of antigen-specific proliferation and cytotoxicity as well as interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) secretion against F10 melanoma tumor challenge, compared to treatment with either the tumor vaccine or LTBI alone. Consequently, the treatment resulted in a reduced tumor burden and prolonged mouse survival. Our data demonstrate that LTBI's enhancement of antitumor immunity was mainly associated with selectively decreasing the proportion and number of T regulatory cells,implying the potential application of the combination of LTBI and a tumor vaccine in antitumor therapy.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

You can refer your patient to VSCHV for surgical resection where applicable and creation of autogenous vax.  Please do not hesitate to call if you have a case to discuss.

OR

Your veterinarian can sample the tissue as long as it is harvested with sterile technique, placed in sterile saline and saved in a standard refrigerator.  0.5cm of tumor is needed.  A biopsy report will also be required.  Again, please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions.

Following tissue confirmation and staging, each of these patients will receive: 

2Gy Total Body Irradiation at AMC followed with autogenous vax

What if I have a biopsy that supports HSA but do not have a sample for the vax?
Patients with a biopsy report but no tissue for vaccine will be eligible for allogeneic vax after 2Gy TBI.  We are looking to recruit patients to enroll in this study, and ask for your assistance.  Eligible candidates are dogs at least 1 year of age.  There must be a diagnosis of Hemangiosarcoma via histopathology (spleen, liver, subcutaneous or other).  Cutaneous HSA will not be included in this study.  There is no cost for vaccines.  Costs to be incurred by the client will include tissue harvesting, labwork, radiology, total body irradiation, medical shipping and exams. A medical plan is provided to the owners at the initial consult to clearly define fees.

We hope that this invitation to participate in an exciting new clinical study will provide a benefit to your practice and patients.  We look forward to hearing from you regarding potential candidates.  Please use the referral form on our website at www.vschv.com or if you have any questions, please contact:

Joseph A. Impellizeri, DVM, DACVIM (O)  in the Department of Oncology at VSCHV at (845) 632-3200 or info@vschv.com

John Farrelly, DVM, MS, DACVIM (O), DACVR (RO), Director of Radiation Oncology at AMC at (212) 329-8794

The Veterinary Specialty Center of the Hudson Valley (VSCHV) is located at:
1285 RT 9
Wappingers Falls, NY. 12590
www.vschv.com
24/7/365 days a year

The Animal Medical Center (AMC) is located at:
510 East 62nd Street
New York, NY 10065
www.amcnyc.org

To refer a patient or for directions, please visit us on our website at www.vschv.com or call 1.845.632.3200

This message was sent from Veterinary Specialty Center of the Hudson Valley to cminnier@epix.net. It was sent from: Veterinary Specialty Center of the Hudson Valley, 1285 Rt 9, Wappingers Falls, NY 12590.


Canine patients with B cell lymphoma

Patient Disease

Canine patients with B cell lymphoma

Study Name

Development of Artemisinin Compounds for Cancer Treatment.

Purpose of the Study

Lymphoma is the most common form of hematopoietic cancer in dogs and one of the most common forms overall. It can strike any age and breed of dog, although certain breeds have a greater frequency of the disease. Multicentric lymphoma is characterized by non-painful enlargement of lymph nodes. Despite improvements in chemotherapy, most dogs will die from this disease, with an average survival of approximately one year after diagnosis. Standard chemotherapy for B cell, multicentric lymphoma is doxorubicin-based treatment. The majority of dogs tolerate chemotherapy well with good to excellent quality of life during treatment.
Artemisinin is a drug derived from the plant Artemisia annua, traditionally used by Chinese herbalists in the treatment of illnesses such as skin diseases and malaria. Besides its well-known anti-malarial properties, the drug has recently aroused interest as an anti-cancer drug. In vitro studies show that the drug causes cancer cell death and molecular changes that could sensitize cancers to common chemotherapy drugs.
This clinical trial will evaluate the ability of artemisinin to sensitize B-cell lymphoma to doxorubicin chemotherapy in dogs, compared to a placebo.
This will be done by evaluating extent of disease thoroughly (staging), including a biopsy of a lymph node. The dog will then receive artemisinin or a placebo for three days prior to a second biopsy being collected. After this, dogs will receive either artemisinin or placebo and standard doxorubicin chemotherapy every three weeks for three cycles. Following chemotherapy, dogs will continue the assigned capsules and be monitored carefully for duration of response. Dogs must receive the biopsies and chemotherapy treatments at the WSU-VTH. Artemisinin or placebo will be assigned randomly, and neither owner nor clinician will know which the dog is receiving.

Patient Entry Criteria

Certain criteria will determine if your dog qualifies for this study. Dogs with B cell, multicentric lymphoma may be eligible for this study. They may not have received previous treatment for their lymphoma, including prednisone. Dogs with spread of the lymphoma beyond the lymph nodes to other locations in the body (liver and spleen) who are asymptomatic may be eligible (Stage III and IV dogs). Patients must be otherwise in good health and have no cardiac, renal, or hepatic insufficiency. Owners must consent to a postmortem examination (autopsy) at the time their dog dies or is euthanized if still on protocol.

Owner Responsibilities

The owner is financially responsible for costs associated with the diagnosis and staging of the disease (such as blood tests, chest X-rays, flow cytometry, abdominal ultrasound, bone marrow cytology, etc.) to determine the dog’s eligibility for enrollment in this study. If a dog is accepted into the study, these costs will be limited to $300. The owner is expected to make and keep all appointments according to the study protocol, which will include initial examination and biopsies over a four-day period, and three chemotherapy treatments on an every three week schedule. Rechecks will be performed monthly thereafter. The owner will also be expected to keep a drug log to record administration. Doxorubicin as a single-agent therapy will be administered as part of this protocol. This is a standard and effective treatment that is likely to result in a complete remission for most dogs.

Financial Incentives

This study is funded by the Washington State Life Sciences Discovery Fund for specific care in the study. Costs associated with the collection of samples, re-evaluating disease burden, bloodwork for chemotherapy, chemotherapy drug, and administration are covered, when performed at the WSU-VTH. Laboratory costs outside of the VTH are not covered by the study.

Contact Information

Please contact Pam Thompson at 509-335-0711 or pat@vetmed.wsu.edu  if you are interested in learning more about this clinical trial.


Dogs with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer)


Patient Disease

Canine patients with osteosarcoma

Study Name

Effects of Anti-Angiogenic Chemotherapy on Circulating Endothelial Cells in Dogs with Osteosarcoma

Purpose of the Study

Chemotherapy typically is administered at maximally tolerated (high) doses at regular intervals, such as once every 3 weeks. Although the chemotherapy drug kills rapidly growing cancer cells, some normal cells (such as those in the bone marrow and intestines) also are affected and a recovery period is needed for these tissues to renew themselves. Unfortunately, this gap in treatment can allow the cancer cells time to grow as well. Anti-angiogenic chemotherapy or low-dose chemotherapy is defined as the frequent administration of low doses of chemotherapy with no prolonged breaks in treatment. One of the main effects of anti-angiogenic chemotherapy is to decrease the growth of new blood vessels that supply the tumor (known as “angiogenesis”), thereby decreasing the growth and spread of the cancer cells. This type of chemotherapy has been demonstrated to reduce the number of circulating endothelial cells in people with different types of cancer and therefore circulating endothelial cells may be a potential biomarker linked to the success of anti-cancer therapies. One of the chemotherapy drugs being used currently at Washington State University in canine anti-angiogenic chemotherapy protocols is lomustine, which has the advantage of being administered by mouth at home. The goal of this study is to determine whether anti-angiogenic lomustine decreases the number of circulating endothelial cells and tumor angiogenesis in dogs with osteosarcoma.

Patient Entry Criteria

Certain criteria determine patient eligibility. Patients must be in good health prior to starting this study. Owners are responsible for the cost of blood work, urinalysis, chest X-rays and any other tests recommended by your pet’s oncologist prior to entry into the trial. Dogs with cytologically or histopathologically confirmed osteosarcoma may be eligible for this study. Patients must not have received surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy for at least 2 weeks prior to study entry. Dogs with catheters for blood collection will be excluded from this study.

Owner Responsibilities

Owners are responsible for the initial diagnostic testing, including physical examination, blood work, urinalysis, chest X-rays and any other tests recommended by your pet’s oncologist. Additionally, the cost of the lomustine is the responsibility of the owner. The owner is expected to make and keep all appointments according to the study protocol, which will include initial examination and staging tests, and recheck appointments prior to initiation of low-dose lomustine, and again four weeks later. The study is completed after this four week recheck.

Financial Incentives

The study will pay for a complete blood count and chemistry panel prior to starting low-dose lomustine, as well as for the recheck evaluation, complete blood count and chemistry panel on week 4 of the study. All other costs relating to your pet’s care including the cost of diagnosing and staging prior to entering the study (approximately $500-$800), will be the responsibility of the owner. Any complications associated with treatment will also be the responsibility of the owner.

Contact Information / Prinicipal Investigator

Please contact Dr. Christie Anderson at (509) 335-0711 or via email at canderson@vetmed.wsu.edu if you are interested in learning more about this clinical trial.


AKC Canine Health Foundation News Alert

Samples Needed for Canine Melanoma Research! [Tuesday, August 3, 2010]

The Canine Hereditary Cancer Consortium (CHCC) needs your help! They are studying canine melanoma and are requesting blood samples from any purebred dog to further their research to identify the underlying genetic lesions and biochemical pathways that contribute to this disease.

Melanoma is a form of cancer in which the pigment-producing cells of the skin, melanocytes, multiply in an uncontrolled manner. Canine melanoma can be malignant or benign; malignant cancer is capable of spreading from the original tumor to lymph nodes and distant organs. Once melanoma is established in an organ, additional tumors grow and often ultimately cause the death of the animal. Canine melanoma is frequently malignant when it occurs in the mouth, toes or behind the eyes. Oral melanoma, for example, is a particularly aggressive subtype of the disease, with a 5-year survival rate of 10 - 25%.

The CHCC will provide sample collection kits and pay for shipping. Requested  samples include whole blood (5 mls in an EDTA "purple top" tube) and/or fresh tumor samples. Dogs in remission are eligible to participate in this study, as are dogs who have already had tumors removed.

For further information, collection kits and shipping information, please contactDr. Roe Froman at the Van Andel Research Institute (office: 616.234.5569 cell: 616.914.0934).

The Canine Hereditary Cancer Consortium (CHCC), headed by Drs. Jeff Trent (TGen), Nick Duesbery (Van Andel Research Institute), and Paul Meltzer (National Cancer Institute/NIH), is an unprecedented alliance of scientists, veterinarians and physicians. The melanoma research will be supported by the recent approval of a 2-year, $4.3 million federal stimulus grant to the CHCC, which includes TGen and the Van Andel Research Institute in partnership with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the University of Pennsylvania, Michigan State University, dog breeders and veterinarians.

The AKC Canine Health Foundation, founded in 1995, is the largest nonprofit worldwide to fund health research exclusively for canines. Our goal is to help dogs live longer, healthier lives. The AKC Canine Health Foundation is the leader in non-invasive genetic health research, stem cell research, and biotherapeutics benefiting both canines and humans.  Through the generous financial support of the American Kennel Club, Nestlé Purina PetCare Co., and Pfizer Animal Health, as well as thousands of clubs and individuals, we’re proud to announce we have allocated nearly $24 million to canine health research at veterinary schools and research institutions worldwide.


Golden Retriever Foundation Partners with Morris Animal Foundation to Help Dogs Live Longer Healthier Lives

June 2, 2010/Denver/Overland Park, Kan.— The Golden Retriever Foundation and Morris Animal Foundation  have teamed up to announce a new major canine cancer study titled Discovery and Characterization of Heritable and Somatic Cancer Mutations in Golden Retrievers, or the MADGiC Project (Making Advanced Discoveries in Golden Cancers).  This is a three-year, $1 million project slated to start in the summer of 2010. This jointly funded project is part of Morris Animal Foundation’s Canine Cancer Campaign, a worldwide effort to prevent, treat and, ultimately, cure this disease in dogs. Learn more at CureCanineCancer.org <http://curecaninecancer.org/>.

The study will be led by premier canine cancer researchers Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD, at the University of Minnesota; Matthew Breen, PhD, at North Carolina State University; and Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, PhD, at the Broad Institute of MIT and Uppsala University, Sweden.  They will work together to investigate mutations that are involved in risk and progression of the two most common cancers affecting Golden Retrievers, hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma.  This research will be of interest to all dog owners because these cancers affect every breed and cause the deaths of tens of thousands of dogs each year.

It is expected that this research may directly benefit humans too, because the genes involved in cancer are sometimes the same in dogs as in people, although these mutations can be more difficult to discover in people. Therefore, identifying these genes may also advance scientists’ understanding of common human cancers such as lymphoma.

In addition, researchers will seek to identify genes that predispose some dogs to cancer so that breeders may someday be able to reduce cancer risk through breeding selection.  DNA tests may also be used for diagnosis and possibly to guide treatment choices in the future.  The scientists will also investigate mutations that occur in the tumors themselves and will profile the susceptibility of specific tumor types to various chemotherapy compounds, which may lead to improved therapy options.

Owners of Golden Retrievers diagnosed with lymphoma or hemangiosarcoma can support this research by donating a small tumor and/or blood sample; blood samples from healthy Goldens over 12 years of age are also needed.  More information about sample donation can be found at www.breenlab.orgwww.modianolab.org,www.dogdna.orgor contact Rhonda Hovan at rhondahovan@aol.comor 330-668-0044.

About The Golden Retriever Foundation http://www.goldenretrieverfoundation.org/

About Morris Animal Foundation http://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/


Read about the Animal Cancer Care and Research (ACCR) programme's successes in Synergy.

Synergy is designed to provide you with information about the research and treatment efforts of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine's Animal Cancer Care and Research (ACCR) programme and how these efforts may be of service to you and the animals you care about. The ACCR programme is part of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and Masonic Cancer Centre. Its mission is to advance knowledge in cancer biology that can be translated and implemented into treatment that will reduce the incidence of cancer and improve the outcomes for animals and humans with cancer.

http://www.cvm.umn.edu/accr/newsletters/home.html

The Animal Cancer Care and Research (ACCR) programme brings together researchers from different disciplines across human and veterinary medicine, who strive to learn more about the area of cancer where humans and animals interface. Their discoveries lead to better ways to treat and prevent cancers in both humans and animals. Research for the ACCR programme is conducted primarily through three university laboratories: The Modiano Lab, the Kassie Lab, the O'Brien Lab, and the St. Hill Lab.

The mission of the Animal Cancer Care and Research (ACCR) programme is to advance knowledge in cancer biology that can be translated and implemented into delivery of care that will reduce the incidence of cancer and improve the outcomes for animal and human cancer patients.


army of women june 2103 

The AKC Canine Health Foundation is pleased to announce funding for two grants that are expected to improve therapies to treat canine lymphomas. Lymphoma is the most commonly seen cancer in dogs. Typically, animal treatment protocols are not based on scientific research; rather, information from human studies are extrapolated to veterinary medicine. Veterinarians often determine what protocol to use based on their past experiences and the experiences of their colleagues. The two studies listed below look to generate scientific evidence on how the drugs of current standards of care actually affect lymphoma cells, thereby providing evidence-based recommendations for canine lymphoma treatments.

Grant 1226-A: Evalution of Multidrug Resistance Genes in Primary Canine Lymphoma Cells Exposed to Enrofoxacin and Prednisolone was recently approved for $7,190 to Dr. Annette N. Smith at Auburn University in Alabama. This research seeks to evaluate the expression of the drug resistance gene, MDR1, in lymphoma cells in response to exposure to treatment with an antibiotic or corticosteroid. Over- expression of this gene has been associated with a poor prognosis and a decreased survival time due to the lack of response to treatment. If these two treatments (the antiobiotic and cortisosteroid) do in fact trigger the expression of MDR1, the management (treatment) of clinical patients with lymphoma should change.

Grant 1344-A: Comparison of Percentage of T Regulatory Cells in Dogs with Spontaneoudsly Occurring Lymphoma Following Oral Versus Intravenous Cyclophosphamide was approved for $12,852 to Dr. Kimberly A. Selting at the University of Missouri, Columbia. A subset of immune cells called T regulatory cells (Tregs) determines what cells belong in your body. Tregs can prevent other immune cells from affecting cancer in the body, and are therefore thought to be detrimental to the body's ability to fight off cancer. This study will characterize the population of Tregs in dogs with lymphoma before they are treated, and then after they receive cyclophosphamide. Researchers will also compare injected to oral cyclophosphamide. No study has ever appropriately compared these two ways to give cyclophosphamide to decide which is better. By considering the effects on Tregs, the side effects and the efficacy, researchers will be able to recommend the best way to use this drug.

The AKC Canine Health Foundation has funded 27 grants valued at more than $1.7 million dealing with more effective treatments and the genetics of lymphoma. Through this research there may one day be a way to prevent or cure this cancer that affects the entire canine community.

To donate to canine health research or to learn more visit www.akcchf.org


 FDA NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release: June 3, 2009

FDA: First Drug to Treat Cancer in Dogs Approved
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced the approvalof Palladia (toceranib phosphate), the first drug developedspecifically for the treatment of cancer in dogs.

Palladia is approved to treat canine cutaneous (skin-based) mastcell tumors, a type of cancer responsible for about 1 out of 5 casesof canine skin tumors. The drug is approved to treat the tumors withor without regional lymph node involvement.

All cancer drugs now used in veterinary medicine originally weredeveloped for use in humans and are not approved for use in animals.Cancer treatments used in animals are used in an “extra-label”manner as allowed by the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Actof 1994.

"This cancer drug approval for dogs is an important step forward forveterinary medicine," said Bernadette Dunham, D.V.M., Ph.D.,director of FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. "Prior to thisapproval, veterinarians had to rely on human oncology drugs, withoutknowledge of how safe or effective they would be for dogs. Today'sapproval offers dog owners, in consultation with their veterinarian,an option for treatment of their dog's cancer."

While canine mast cell tumors often appear small and insignificant,they can be a very serious form of cancer in dogs. Some mast celltumors are easily removed without the development of any furtherproblems, while others can lead to life threatening disease.

Palladia is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor and works in two ways: bykilling tumor cells and by cutting off the blood supply to thetumor. In a clinical trial, Palladia showed a statisticallysignificant difference in tumor shrinkage when compared with aninactive substance (placebo).

The most common side effects associated with Palladia are diarrhea,decrease or loss of appetite, lameness, weight loss, and blood inthe stool.

Palladia is manufactured by Pfizer Animal Health Inc., New York City.

********************

For more information, check out:

http://vetmedicine.about.com/b/2009/06/03/palladia-new-anti-cancer-drug-for-dogs.htm

Freedom of Information Summary -- Original New Animal Drug Application

Palladia -- toceranib phosphate tablets for dogs -- approved May 22,2009

For the treatment of Patnaik grade II or III, recurrent, cutaneousmast cell tumors with or without regional node involvement in dogs-- Sponsored by Pharmacia & Upjohn Company, a Division of Pfizer, Inc.

********************

http://vetmedicine.about.com/b/2009/06/03/palladia-new-anti-cancer-drug-for-dogs.htm

Janet's Veterinary Medicine Blog'  Janet Tobiassen, DVM

********************

http://www.palladia-pi.com/Palladia_PI.pdf

Palladia Client Information Sheet

********************

 



http://grca.org/pdf/health/healthsurvey.pdf

Deciding Whether and When to Neuter a Golden Retriever

Faera

Rhonda Hovan

A focus on the serious issues of pet overpopulation and unwanted puppies has led to the common practice of neutering dogs prior to sexual maturity, often near the age of six months. While this clearly helps reduce unplanned breedings and thereby may serve the public interest, research is increasingly showing that it may not be in the best health interests of an individual dog with a responsible owner. Breeds of dogs vary considerably with regard to their rate of maturity and risk for specific diseases, and the interaction of these factors with natural hormones should properly be taken into consideration when deciding whether and when to neuter a dog. However, appropriately tailoring neutering recommendations to a breed requires awareness of the ways in which neutering and the age of neutering affect specific breeds, and it may be impossible for veterinarians to know this in detail for every breed.

Therefore, below is a review of health consequences to consider when deciding whether and/or when to neuter a Golden Retriever. The term “Golden” will be used when the data are specific to Goldens, and most of this data come from a large breed health survey scientifically conducted and analyzed by a veterinary epidemiologist () The term “dogs” will be used when the data are applicable to many breeds, and supporting references are provided. In some cases the findings have been substantiated across many breeds, but relative risk is also defined specifically for Goldens. The term “neuter” refers to either sex.

Please note that there are both health benefits and detriments associated with neutering and various neutering ages, so decisions will need to balance these complex factors. It is relevant to consider what diseases are more and less common in the breed, and also what diseases have greater or lesser consequences to the dog, so that information is also provided. For example, it is important with reference to cancer risk to know that 18% of all Goldens die from hemangiosarcoma but that testicular cancer is rare (less than ½ of 1%), so that appropriate weight can be given to the effect that neutering has on each of those cancers.

Health Consequences Associated with Neutering and the Age of Neutering

  • Neutered dogs have a higher incidence of hypothyroidism than do intact dogs. Male Goldens neutered prior to one year of age have an 80% increased risk of hypothyroidism and female Goldens neutered prior to one year of age have a 60% increased risk of hypothyroidism, as compared to those neutered after one year of age or not neutered. Hypothyroidism is a common but treatable disease in the breed.

  • Neutered dogs have a greater incidence of hip dysplasia and torn cruciate ligaments than intact dogs, and there is some evidence to suggest that this risk is most pronounced in dogs neutered prior to sexual maturity. Hip dysplasia is common in Goldens, and torn cruciate ligaments are less common but not rare. Both of these diseases can be treated surgically, but treatment is costly and success is variable depending on many factors.

  • There is some evidence that the incidence of cardiac hemangiosarcoma is greatly increased (2-5 times) in neutered dogs, and that the risk of splenic hemangiosarcoma may also be increased in neutered dogs. Hemangiosarcoma is the most common cancer in the breed, causing the death of approximately 1 in 5 Goldens. Most of these tumors occur in the spleen, with fewer but still a substantial number in the heart. This is a rapidly progressing and incurable cancer.

  • Several studies indicate that the incidence of osteosarcoma (bone cancer) is significantly higher in neutered dogs than in intact dogs, but there is some evidence that this increase is not as great when neutering occurs after sexual maturity. This cancer affects about 5% of Goldens, and is not curable.

  • Dogs neutered prior to sexual maturity grow taller than their natural genetic potential, and their bone structure is altered toward a more narrow, lanky appearance. Taller Goldens have shorter life spans than shorter Goldens. Among male Goldens, the shortest males live 2.2 years longer than the tallest males; and among female Goldens, the shortest females live 1.1 years longer than the tallest females. It is unlikely that neutering a Golden prior to sexual maturity will alter the dog’s potential height from extremely short to extremely tall, but it will make a noticeable difference in height and thus potentially in life span.

  • Neutered females have a greatly increased risk of urinary incontinence as compared to those not neutered, but there is some evidence that this increased risk is less significant for dogs neutered after sexual maturity. Urinary incontinence is neither common nor rare in Goldens, and can often (but not always) be treated successfully.

  • Females neutered prior to their first heat cycle have less than ½ of 1% chance of developing mammary cancer (breast cancer). In females neutered after the first cycle but before the second, this risk increases to 4%. And if a female is not neutered until after her second heat cycle, this risk increases to about 13%. If detected early through regular mammary exams, most but not all mammary cancers can be treated successfully with surgery and sometimes additional therapies.

  • Males with one or more testicles located in the abdomen (cryptorchidism) are at high risk for testicular cancer and should be neutered prior to 15 months of age, which eliminates this risk. It is not necessary to neuter these dogs prior to sexually maturity to avoid testicular cancer. Testicular cancer is rare (less than ½ of 1%) in dogs with both testicles normally descended into the scrotum.

  • Females that remain intact are exposed to a significant risk for pyometra (a life threatening uterine infection) that rises with every heat cycle, particularly after the age of five years. Pyometra is a common and rapidly progressing disease in Goldens that must be diagnosed promptly to be successfully treated.

  • Males that remain intact frequently develop an enlarged prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia) as they age, particularly over the age of seven years. This is not a serious disease, and while it can sometimes be managed medically, neutering affected dogs is curative. This is not to be confused with prostate cancer which is uncommon in the breed, although more common in neutered males than intact males.

Taking all of the above factors into consideration, there is good evidence to support that it is in the best overall health interests of the dog to neuter female Goldens after sexual maturity, at approximately one year of age. This typically allows a female to have one heat cycle but not two, which keeps the risk of mammary cancer low while still providing her with some important health benefits gained by maturing with natural hormones. Of course, the female must be kept on leash or securely fenced away from males for the full three weeks of her heat cycle to avoid unwanted pregnancy, so this should not be undertaken unless the owner is able to be certain that there is no possibility of an accidental breeding.

There are no clear significant health benefits to neutering a normal male, so this decision should be based on factors other than the health of the dog, such as preventing unwanted breedings, reducing the risk of male-to-male dominance/aggression, and reducing roaming behavior and urine marking. If a male is going to be neutered, there is good evidence to support that it is in the overall best health interests of the dog to neuter male Goldens after sexual maturity, at approximately one year of age. Neutering a male after two years of age has less impact on behavior, so if behavioral considerations are important to the owner, neutering should be done prior to the age of two.

References

Arnold S. Urinary incontinence in castrated bitches. Part I. Significance, clinical aspects and etiopathogenesis. Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd 1997;139:271-276.

Berry SJ, Strandberg JD, Saunders WJ, et al. Development of canine benign prostatic hyperplasia with age. Pros 1986;9:363-373.

Bryan JN, Keeler MR, Henry CJ, et al. A population study of neutering status as a risk factor for canine prostate cancer. Pros 2007;67:1174-1181.

Cooley DM, Beranek BC, Schlittler DL, et al. Endogenous gonadal hormone exposure and bone sarcoma risk. Canc Epidemiol Biomark Prev 2002;11:1434-1440.

Duerr FM, Duncan CG, Savicky RS, et al. Risk factors for excessive tibial plateau angle in large-breed dogs with cranial cruciate ligament disease. J Amer Vet Med Assoc 2007;231:1688-1691.

Egenvall A, Hagman R, Bonnett BN, et al. Breed risk of pyometra in insured dogs in Sweden. J Vet Intern Med 2001;15:530-538.

Hart BL, Eckstein RA. The role of gonadal hormones in the occurrence of objectionable behaviours in dogs and cats. Appl Anim Behav Sci 1997;52:331-344.

Howe LM, Slater MR, Boothe HW, et al. Long-term outcome of gonadectomy performed at an early age or traditional age in dogs. J Amer Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:217-221.

Kustritz MV. Determining the optimal age for gonadectomy of dogs and cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2007 Dec 1;231(11):1665-75.

Nielsen JC, Eckstein RA, Hart BL. Effects of castration on problem behaviors in male dogs with reference to age and duration of behavior. J Amer Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:180-182.

Niskanen M, Thrusfield MV. Associations between age, parity, hormonal therapy and breed, and pyometra in Finnish dogs. Vet Rec 1998;143:493-498.

Panciera DL. Hypothyroidism in dogs: 66 cases (1987-1992). J Amer Vet Med Assoc 1994;204:761-767.

Prymak C, McKee LJ, Goldschmidt MH, et al. Epidemiologic, clinical, pathologic, and prognostic characteristics of splenic hemangiosarcoma and splenic hematoma in dogs: 217 cases (1985). J Amer Vet Med Assoc 1988;193:706-712.

Ru G, Terracini B, Glickman LT, et al. Related risk factors for canine osteosarcoma. Vet J 1998;156:31-39.

Salmeri KR, Bloomberg MS, Scruggs SL, et al. Gonadectomy in immature dogs: effects on skeletal, physical and behavioral development. J Amer Vet Med Assoc 1991;198:1193-1203.

Slauterbeck JR, Pankratz K, Xu KT, et al. Canine ovariohysterectomy and orchiectomy increases the prevalence of ACL injury. Clin Orthop 2004;429:301-305.

Sorenmo K. Canine mammary gland tumors. Vet Clin NA 2003;33:573-596.

Spain CV, Scarlett JM, Houpt KA. Long-term risks and benefits of early-age gonadectomy in dogs. J Amer Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:380-387.

Teske E, Naan EC, VanKijk EM, et al. Canine prostate carcinoma: epidemiological evidence of an increased risk in castrated dogs. Mol Cell Endo 2002;197:251-255.

van Hagen MA, Ducro BJ, van den Broek J, Knol BW. Incidence, risk factors, and heritability estimates of hind limb lameness cause by hip dysplasia in a birth cohort of boxers. Am J Vet Res. 2005 Feb;66(2):307-12.

Verstegen J, Onclin K. Etiopathogeny, classification and prognosis of mammary tumors in the canine and feline species. Proceedings, Society for Theriogenology, 2003:230-238.

Ware WA, Hopper DL. Cardiac tumors in dogs: 1982-1995. J Vet Intern Med 1999;13:95-103.

PO Box 1110 • Bath, OH • 44210
Phone: 330-668-0044 • Cell: 330-338-4236
rhondahovan@aol.com

 


Dr. Rona Sherebrin, DVM, CVA

Secord Animal Hospital
3271 Yonge St.
Toronto, ON
M4N 2L8
416-486-1700

Cell 416-274-3366
www.myTCMvet.com

Follow me on Twitter! Username: TCMVET

Screenshot of article

full article posted on TheStar.com at ( http://www.thestar.com/article/666233 )


University of Minnesota

Office of the Dean
College of Veterinary Medicine

Dear colleague:

Exciting discoveries are occurring every day at the College of Veterinary Medicine, and I would like to tell you about one of the most far-reaching that has resulted from our research. In fact, you may have already heard about it.

In August 2008, Batman, a pointy-eared German shepherd mixed-breed dog with a fatal form of brain cancer, underwent a breakthrough, life-saving procedure developed by University of Minnesota surgeons and scientists at the College of Veterinary Medicine and School of Medicine. Without this novel procedure, chances are Batman would not have lived past Halloween. Today, he is still a tail-wagging companion, full of energy and with no sign of tumor recurrence.

What is even more amazing, though, is that this treatment is now available on a clinical-trial basis to other dogs with brain cancer. If the results of these clinical trials are as promising as we suspect, the revolutionary new treatment protocol may one day be used to treat other types of cancer in dogs. It could even be tested in human trials in the near future, with the ultimate goal of curing brain cancers in people like Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Most of the credit for this new treatment procedure goes to G. Elizabeth Pluhar, D.V.M., Ph.D., and John Ohlfest, Ph.D. Their revolutionary three-pronged approach to treatment consists of surgically removing the tumor; treating the surgical site with a form of gene therapy to attract immune cells that will recognize and destroy remaining tumor cells; and administering an anti-cancer vaccine made from the dog’s own cancer cells to prevent the tumor from recurring.

To date, five dogs have received the treatment with promising results, and we are now formally opening the clinical trials to other dogs with primary brain tumors. Treatment will occur through the canine brain tumor clinical trials program. The trial team currently has funding to treat up to 50 dogs, but that number could soon exceed 100 if additional grants and charitable donations come through.

With this in mind, I am asking your help in referring canine patients that you think could benefit from this program. Please see the enclosed brochure with information about the program and a link to our Web site, where you or any referring veterinarian can submit a request to enroll a dog in this study. Please share it with pet owners whose dogs may benefit from this effort while helping our study.

Treatment is expensive; the cost of therapy for one dog can reach $20,000. The canine brain tumor clinical trials program, however, will cover the vast majority of treatment costs while a dog remains in a trial. Owners are responsible only for the costs of diagnostic tests, and even these can be waived under specific circumstances.

The far-reaching implications of this promising new treatment are almost difficult to fathom; not only could these treatments lead to a cure for brain and other systemic cancers in dogs, but because dogs and humans share many physiological traits, dogs could also be the missing link in the cure for brain cancer in humans.

Learn more about the trials and apply for the program online at www.cvm.umn.edu. To schedule a brain scan, call 612-625-8755 or 612-626-8387 for an appointment with Dr. Pluhar or the Small Animal Surgery or Neurology Service. To donate to the research effort, click here and select new gift, then designate the gift is for the CVM canine brain tumor clinical trials effort. Or you can contact Sharon Staton, director of advancement, at 612-624-1247, or e-mail her atstato001@umn.edu.

Sincerely,


Trevor Ames, D.V.M., M.S.
Diplomate ACVIM
Dean


Northern Colorado Business Report

December 19, 2008

CANCER DIAGNOSTIC TOOL MOVES TOWARD MARKET

FORT COLLINS - Colorado State University and NeoTREX, the private enterprise arm of the university's cancer Supercluster, have inked a license agreement with the Veterinary Diagnostic Institute of Irvine, Calif., covering a cancer detection test for dogs.

Under the agreement, the technology co-invented by faculty members at CSU's renowned Animal Cancer Center and scientists at the California lab will be commercialized and marketed by the diagnostic institute.

The simple blood test measures levels of a special enzyme that suggests a dog might have hemangiosarcoma, a cancer that occurs mostly in large-breed dogs over the age of 8. The cancer can result in internal hemorrhage leading to death. Ultrasound is the only other diagnostic tool used for the detection of the cancer.

Nearly half of the 75 million pet dogs older than 10 in the United States will die from cancer. The Veterinary Diagnostic Institute will market the hemangiosarcoma test along with another that detects lymphoma in dogs.

NeoTREX translates CSU research discoveries into products that aid in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The agency is a division of the nonprofit CSU Ventures Inc.

The university's cancer Supercluster is a multi-disciplinary group of faculty members from across various campus departments who are engaged in cancer research.

Golden Retriever Familial Subaortic Stenosis Study

Dr. Joshua Stern and the Cardiac Genetics Laboratory of Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine are conducting a research study to identify the genetic mutation responsible for Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis (SAS) in Golden Retrievers. Advancements in technology have enabled us to become increasingly successful in identifying mutations responsible for breed specific heart disease and to develop DNA tests to help breeders reduce the incidence of disease.

This study requires DNA samples from 30 Golden Retrievers with a diagnosis of Subvalvular aortic stenosis (diagnosed by Doppler echocardiogram) and an additional 30 Goldens without Subvalvular aortic stenosis (as cleared by a cardiologist). Participants can be assured that their privacy will be protected and confidentiality maintained..

Your participation is greatly appreciated and questions are welcome!.

Please complete the form on page 2 and return along with the sample and required cardiologist report and pedigree to:

VCGL – WSU
Post Office Box 605
Pullman, WA 99163-0605

Sample collection

1. Please draw 2-3 ml of blood into an EDTA tube (lilac top). Most veterinary hospitals have these readily available, and many veterinarians are willing to waive their professional fee when obtaining samples for research purposes.
2. Please label tube well with dog’s call name and family last name.
3. Although this is not required for participation in the current study, ideally we would like to also bank DNA from Goldens affected with SAS in the CHIC DNA Repository for use in future research studies. If you are willing to do this, please download and complete both the Application form and the Health Survey from http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/dnabank.html and include both forms with sample. There is no fee for doing this.

The blood does not need to be mailed with ice packs or be shipped overnight. However, please try to send the sample within a few days by standard mail. Until the blood can be mailed, please keep it refrigerated (i.e., if the blood was drawn late Saturday and cannot be mailed until Monday, please refrigerate between Saturday and Monday).

Questions? Email: jsterndvm@gmail.com Phone: 614.390.1516

Right click on the link, and select 'Save As' to download the PDF document.

Golden Retriever Familial Subaortic Stenosis Study

Thank you very much for submitting a sample, we greatly appreciate it!


FDA NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: June 3, 2009

FDA: First Drug to Treat Cancer in Dogs Approved
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced the approval of Palladia (toceranib phosphate), the first drug developed specifically for the treatment of cancer in dogs.

Palladia is approved to treat canine cutaneous (skin-based) mast cell tumors, a type of cancer responsible for about 1 out of 5 cases of canine skin tumors. The drug is approved to treat the tumors with or without regional lymph node involvement.

All cancer drugs now used in veterinary medicine originally were developed for use in humans and are not approved for use in animals. Cancer treatments used in animals are used in an “extra-label” manner as allowed by the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act of 1994.

"This cancer drug approval for dogs is an important step forward for veterinary medicine," said Bernadette Dunham, D.V.M., Ph.D., director of FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. "Prior to this approval, veterinarians had to rely on human oncology drugs, without knowledge of how safe or effective they would be for dogs. Today's approval offers dog owners, in consultation with their veterinarian, an option for treatment of their dog's cancer."

While canine mast cell tumors often appear small and insignificant, they can be a very serious form of cancer in dogs. Some mast cell tumors are easily removed without the development of any further problems, while others can lead to life threatening disease.

Palladia is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor and works in two ways: by killing tumor cells and by cutting off the blood supply to the tumor. In a clinical trial, Palladia showed a statistically significant difference in tumor shrinkage when compared with an inactive substance (placebo).

The most common side effects associated with Palladia are diarrhea, decrease or loss of appetite, lameness, weight loss, and blood in the stool.

Palladia is manufactured by Pfizer Animal Health Inc., New York City.

For more information:

Palladia approval summary


U OF M COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE INTRODUCES COLLABORATIVE CANCER PROGRAM

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (February 27, 2009) – The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, in conjunction with the University’s Masonic Cancer Center, is has established a new Animal Cancer Care and Research (ACCR) program.

This collaboration is unique in the United States because it incorporates the ACCR program into the Masonic Cancer Center, one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States.
“We believe it will become the premier model for animal cancer care and research,” says Dr. Trevor Ames, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Within five years Ames says he expects the University of Minnesota to be recognized as the best institution in the country for conducting research in comparative oncology and providing care for companion animals with cancer.
“ACCR scientists have already made significant discoveries,” says Ames. “One particularly noteworthy finding is that many cancers in the dog are caused by the same genetic abnormalities found in humans.”

The mission of the ACCR program is ambitious: To advance knowledge in cancer biology that can be translated and implemented into treatment that will reduce the incidence of cancer and improve the outcome for animal and human cancer patients.

“The ACCR program is a key part of our Comparative Medicine Signature Program at the University,” says Dr. Robert Washabau, who chairs the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences. “Cancer claims the lives of animals as well as humans, and research into the causes and treatments of cancer is often applicable across species.”
The ACCR program draws its expertise primarily from scientists in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Masonic Cancer Center, but ACCR scientists also work closely with the Medical School, School of Pharmacy, and School of Public Health.

“Great synergies can be achieved when veterinarians, physicians, and scientists with complementary expertise join forces to tackle the types of cancer shared by dogs and humans,” says Dr. Jaime Modiano, director of the ACCR program. “ACCR researchers are currently working to define breed- and disease-specific ‘Achilles’ heels’ in dogs. These findings could then be translated into more effective and less toxic cancer treatments. The implications could reach far beyond dogs and veterinary medicine.”

Modiano’s laboratory is one of three research labs involved in the program. Modiano holds the Alvin S. and June Perlman Endowed Chair in Animal Oncology and is a member of the Masonic Cancer Center’s Genetic Mechanisms of Cancer and Immunology research programs.

ACCR scientists work on research in genetics, cancer prevention, stem cells, metastasis, and cell signaling. Many of these basic research findings are readily translated into cancer care including diagnostics, treatments, and quality of life.

“We can learn more about cancer by working together,” says Douglas Yee, M.D., director, Masonic Cancer Center. “This program will advance our understanding of cancer in both animals and people.”

For more information on the Animal Cancer Care and Research program please see the attached newsletter, Synergy, or to download a PDF of the ACCR newsletter, Synergy, go to www.cvm.umn.edu/accr.


Using naturally occurring tumours in dogs and cats to study telomerase and cancer stem cell biology.

Pang LY, Argyle DJ.

Hospital for Small Animals, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush, Midlothian EH25 9RG, Scotland, UK.

The recently described cancer stem cell theory opens up many new challenges and opportunities to identify targets for therapeutic intervention. However, the majority of cancer related therapeutic studies rely upon rodent models of human cancer that rarely translate into clinical success in human patients. Naturally occurring cancers in dogs, cats and humans share biological features, including molecular targets, telomerase biology and tumour genetics. Studying cancer stem cell biology and telomere/telomerase dynamics in the cancer bearing pet population may offer the opportunity to develop a greater understanding of cancer biology in the natural setting and evaluate the development of novel therapies targeted at these systems.

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Apr;1792(4):380-91. Epub 2009 Feb 28.


Translation of new cancer treatments from pet dogs to humans.

Paoloni M, Khanna C.

Comparative Oncology Program, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, 37 Convent Drive, Room 2144, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.

Naturally occurring cancers in pet dogs and humans share many features, including histological appearance, tumour genetics, molecular targets, biological behaviour and response to conventional therapies. Studying dogs with cancer is likely to provide a valuable perspective that is distinct from that generated by the study of human or rodent cancers alone. The value of this opportunity has been increasingly recognized in the field of cancer research for the identification of cancer-associated genes, the study of environmental risk factors, understanding tumour biology and progression, and, perhaps most importantly, the evaluation and development of novel cancer therapeutics.

Nat Rev Cancer. 2008 Feb;8(2):147-56


Oncology of companion animals as a model for humans. an overview of tumor histotypes.

Porrello A, Cardelli P, Spugnini EP.

Molecular Oncogenesis Laboratory, Regina Elena Cancer Institute, Rome, Italy.

The need for more appropriate animal models in cancer research has led, over the past 20 years, to consider pets with spontaneously occurring neoplasms as a valuable and still under used resource. The role of companion animals in the struggle to eradicate cancer can be multiple: they may act as environmental sentinels, help in gaining insights on tumor biology and finally may be enrolled in therapeutic trials which might act as a bridge to the clinic applications. This paper will focus on the most valuable spontaneous neoplasms in companion animals and will analyze the potentials of each histotype as a model for basic research and for new therapeutic strategies. It is conceivable that in the next years comparative oncology will play a paramount role in translational medicine allowing a rapid flow of data from laboratories to clinical application in humans.

J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Mar;25(1):97-105


Using the canine genome to cure cancer and other diseases.

Olson PN.

Morris Animal Foundation, 45 Inverness Drive East, Englewood, CO 80112, USA. polson@morrisanimalfoundation.org

A high-quality draft genome sequence of the domestic dog (Canis familiaris), together with a dense map of single nucleotide polymorphisms, has been reported. Such new tools offer scientists amazing opportunities to define genetic, nutritional, environmental, and other risk factors for various canine diseases. Because many of the diseases that affect man's best friend also affect us, understanding a dog's disease may lead to new preventions and therapies for diseases that affect both dogs and people. Since a dog's life span is shorter than that for a human, monitoring potential risk factors in a well-controlled population of dogs is possible. Such a population should be one where dogs live in close relationship with their owners. Although longitudinal studies have been previously conducted on animals housed in laboratory environments, the natural environment offers a chance to study dogs in environments shared by their owners. If dogs are carefully monitored, and select exposures defined, considerable information could be collected in a dog's lifetime--the next 10-20 years. Such information could hold the clues for important discoveries, including causes and cures for cancer.

Theriogenology. 2007 Aug;68(3):378-81. Epub 2007 May 10.


http:armyofwomen.org/

army update


Love/Avon Army of Women is a charitable services fund of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, 1 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.  Your support will enable them to recruit one million women to sign up on to the Love/Avon Army of Women and participate in simple but vital breast cancer research.  The Army of Women will expand breast cancer prevention research in new directions ~ moving us beyond a cure, to understanding what causes breast cancer and how to stop it one and for all.

To My Friends & Family,

As we near the beginning of a new year, I would like to share my wish for our future, and ask that you join me in helping to make it happen.  It is rare for me to send a mass emailing, but this is a message that I believe should reach as many people as possible, so please forgive my use of blind copies (and you have my permission and request to forward).

While many of you know of my impassioned fight against canine cancer, I never forget that cancer is also the second leading cause of death in humans.  Although it has been over thirty years since President Nixon declared "war on cancer," 1 in 4 of us will still die from cancer.  So as important as the advances since that time have been, there is still much more to do.  And that's where you come in -- and no, I am not asking for money.

One of the factors that frequently limits scientists' ability to study cancer is difficulty in recruiting people to participate.  To address this need, a wonderful collaboration between the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and the Avon Foundation has embarked on a project called the Army of Women, with the goal of recruiting one million women to participate in cancer research.  The primary goal of this project is to move beyond searching for cures to focus on prevention.  While this project is aimed specifically at breast cancer, the information learned will undoubtedly move the whole field of cancer prevention forward. 

The Army of Women project asks women to sign up by providing some very basic information such as email, phone number, address, and age, but they do not ask for any specific participation commitments.  Once a person is signed up, they will receive periodic emails informing them of studies that are recruiting participants.  These studies may be as simple as questionnaires about dietary and exercise habits, or may include other kinds of medical history and lifestyle considerations.  Some studies may go further and request blood samples or other personal participation.  But there is NEVER any pressure to participate, so please don't be hesitant to sign up -- you will not be asked to do anything you don't want to do.  You will decide what you want to do or don't want to do, and can respond or not as you wish.

The Army of Women needs volunteers with all backgrounds -- those who have never had any cancer and those who have; those who have a family history and those who do not; those with no risk factors and those with known risk factors; all ages and all ethnic groups.  In a word, they need everyone.  If we want them to help us, we have to help them.  And although the men in our life cannot sign up, it is very likely that they will benefit from these research projects too because factors involved in cancer prevention can often be generalized.  (And that means that maybe our dogs will benefit too.)

So...thank you for letting me share my wish with you, and for considering this request.  If you would like to learn more, or to sign up, please go to 
http://www.armyofwomen.org/   I would also be happy to talk with anyone personally about this.

Best,
Rhonda Hovan

 
=Army of Women
Be part of this study without 
even leaving the house!

Dear,

Have you been diagnosed with breast cancer? Whether you were recently diagnosed, are in active treatment, or are a long-term survivor, you can participate in this online study from the comfort of your own home! 

With increased breast cancer survival rates, it is more important than ever to look at quality of life and how women are coping during diagnosis, treatment, and remission. If you have had breast cancer and want a way to help researchers find the answers to these very important questions, consider taking this online survey! If this study isn't a right fit for you, you know what to do...PASS IT ON!

What’s the study about?

The purpose of this study is to assess how having had breast cancer affects different aspects of a woman’s life.

What’s involved?

If you join the study, you will be asked to answer a series of questions in an ONLINE survey. You will access the survey online from your own computer. If you choose the "yes, sign me up" option, you will be taken to a page that asks a few short screening questions. If after you answer the questions you are found to be a match,you will be provided a link to the online survey. You will also be sent an e-mail that contains the link to the on-line survey so that you may access it at a later time. You will only need to take the survey once. In order to ensure receipt of the email, please remember to add info@armyofwomen.org to your contact or safe-sender list.

The questions asked in the survey are related to medical history, physical well-being, social well-being, and emotional well-being. The site is secure and your participation is anonymous. The survey is in English and will take approximately 45 minutes to complete.

Who can participate?

You can join the Online Study on Breast Cancer and Well-Being if you match ALL of these categories:

• You are a woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her life

• Your breast cancer has not metastasized (i.e., has not spread beyond your breasts and lymph nodes to any other organ in your body)

• Aside from treatment for breast cancer, you have never received chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or radiation therapy to treat A DIFFERENT CANCER

Who is conducting the study?

Catherine Bielajew, PhD and Isabelle Ares, PhD Candidate, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Where?

Anywhere in the world where there is internet access

 

An Important Message From the GRCA Health & Genetics Committee

The next issue of the "Golden Retriever News" will present an update provided by the University of Minnesota on research supported in part by the Golden Retriever Foundation through its partnership with the AKC Canine Health Foundation. Many GRCA members donated blood and tumor samples in support of this project, and we hope that knowing their dog contributed to knowledge that will improve the future for both humans and dogs will help these owners to find meaning in their loss.

The results of this project were so impressive that it caught the attention of the National Institutes of Health, which has now contributed over one million dollars to a subsequent project that will build upon these findings. Therefore, we renew our call to owners to participate in this research by considering sample donation. While we continue to also recruit samples for other studies and other kinds of cancer (including blood from any affected dog, even after beginning chemotherapy), this particular project requires blood and tumor samples from Goldens with lymphoma. Tumor samples must be collected prior to beginning chemotherapy, and must be prepared for shipment in a special transport media which is overnighted to your veterinarian. Therefore, it is critical that owners contact us without delay when they even suspect their dog may have lymphoma – it is not necessary for the diagnosis to have been confirmed.

If you feel enlarged lymph nodes (for example, “lumps” on the throat under the back of the jaw that seemed to appear very rapidly), please contact us even prior to your vet appointment if there is time to do so. Or if your veterinarian has diagnosed lymphoma based on a fine needle aspirate in the office, please contact us immediately without waiting for a pathology report or oncology consultation.

Please use any of the following contacts:
Tessa Breen (sample coordinator for Dr Matthew Breen)
Tessa_Breen@ncsu.edu
919-513-1466

The Modiano Lab
lab@modianolab.org
612-626-6890

Rhonda Hovan (GRCA Research Facilitator)
rhondahovan@aol.com
330-668-0044 hm or 330-338-4236 cell

Thank you again for your past support, and in advance for your future support. As you will read in the GRNews, by working together, we are making a difference!

Cross-posting is permitted and encouraged.


Centre for Companion Animal Health

UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Special Report: Understanding Canine Cancer

Written by Rhonda Hovan

Rhonda Hovan has been a breeder and owner-handler of Golden Retrievers for more than thirty years. As a freelance writer, she has won both the Veterinary Information Network Health Education Award and the Eukanuba Canine Health Award. Rhonda is the Research Facilitator for the Golden Retriever Club of America and founded the Starlight Fund at the AKC Canine Health Foundation to support Golden Retriever health research. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the National Canine Cancer Foundation, and is an emeritus Director of the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Rhonda can be reached at RhondaHovan@aol.com .

http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/CCAH/documents/newsletter_2008_fall.pdf


Dog Disease Research at Broad Institute

Broad Institute Studies
http://www.broad.mit.edu/mammals/dog/donate.html

Mast Cell Tumors (MCT) Update

MCTs are cancerous proliferations of mast cells. Although they can and will spread throughout the body, the danger from MCTs comes from the secondary damage caused by the release of chemicals the tumors produce. These chemicals can cause systemic problems that include gastric ulcers, internal bleeding, and a range of allergic manifestations. We have compared the genomes of 88 Golden retrievers with MCT and 103 healthy Golden retrievers and are very excited to have identified several regions of the genome that appear to be inherited risk factors for mast cell tumors in Golden retrievers. We are now validating these results in more dogs and looking to identify the exact gene and mutation that will allow the development of genetic tests and better treatments.

Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) Update

Hemangiosarcomas are rapidly growing and highly invasive, blood-fed tumors. Blood vessels grow from the tumor and often cause death through excessive blood loss due to rupturing of the tumor. After comparing the genomes of ~100 healthy dogs with ~100 dogs with HSA we were able to identify several areas of the genome that were possible associated to inherited HSA risk factors. Currently, five genes found to be associated with the disease are being searched for mutations. Once the mutations have been identified and their presence in different breeds assessed, this will allow for rapid development of genetic tests for carriers of HSA.

We are also working with the European LUPA project, a collaboration between 22 institutions in 11 countries, to map more than 20 traits including cancers, inflammatory diseases, cardio-vascular disease, neurological disease and other monogenic traits. For more information please see http://www.eurolupa.org/.

More information about some of our projects is available at our website (www.dogdna.org). If you have specific questions, please contact us at
dog-info@broad.mit.edu. Thank you again for all of your help.

Best regards,

The Canine Genetics Group at the Broad Institute


SMILING BLUE SKIES ® IS FUNDING THE VERY FIRST
COMPANION ANIMAL CANCER REGISTRY IN NORTH AMERICA

Researchers at OVC are establishing a population-based companion animal cancer registry. The registry project will begin as a pilot project focusing on all cancers within the dog and cat population in the city of Guelph (but will be expanded over time!). Cancer registries are an integral part of human cancer research. However, for companion animals, such registries do not exist in North America. Population-based cancer registries enable epidemiologists to study the occurrence of cancer in the population and to make statements when, where and why the occurrence of cancer is more or less likely in the population. This is a huge step forward and we could not do this without your continued support.


ROUSE MEMORIAL FELLOWSHIP TO FUN COMPARATIVE CANCER RESEARCH

The Ontario Veterinary College, in conjunction with the Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation at the University of Guelph, is pleased to announce the call for applications for the Arthur Rousse Memorial Senior Fellowship in Veterinary and Comparative Cancer Studies. This endowed fellowship provides $60,000 per year salary support for up to 3 years, to a highly qualified individual interested in pursuing aspects of veterinary and comparative cancer at the postdoctoral level.

The 2008 competition is particularly directed towards individuals with research training who wish to gain further experience in comparative cancer research at a veterinary institution. In conjunction with the Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation, including the Animal Cancer Centre in the Teaching Hospital of the Ontario Veterinary College, the incumbent will partake in research to examine aspects of companion animal cancer such as diagnostic procedures, therapeutic approaches, and cancer pathobiology.

Qualified individuals who hold the DVM/DMV/VMD/ and have completed a PhD/DVSc and/or an oncology or related residency (e.g., anatomic or clinical pathology, pharmacology, surgery, internal medicine, oncology, radiation oncology), with a strong interest in veterinary research are encouraged to apply. Interested individuals should provide a detailed statement of research interests and career goals, Curriculum Vitae highlighting the details of clinical training and research accomplishments, and the names and contact information of three referees.
Applications should be sent to:

Office of the Dean, Ontario Veterinary College
Attention Dr. R. Jacobs
University of Guelph
Guelph ON Canada N1G 2W1

Application Deadline: March 28, 2008, with an expected start date of September 2008


From the GRCA Health & Genetics Committee

One of the research studies that GRCA and the Golden Retriever Foundation support is in urgent need of blood samples from any registered Golden Retriever that has (at any time in its life) been definitely diagnosed with a mast cell tumor. The diagnosis must have been confirmed with a pathology report, and the dog must not have had any other malignancy. Confidentiality will be maintained. Owners can contact Dr. Cheryl London at London.20@osu.edu (preferred) or via phone 614-292-9554.

Please feel free to contact the GRCA Research Facilitator, Rhonda Hovan, with any questions at London.20@osu.edu or 330-668-0044.

Notice from the GRCA Health & Genetics Committee

The Vector Borne Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine is recruiting cases for a funded research project, which is investigating the potential role of selected flea- and tick-borne bacteria as co-factors in the development of lymphoma in Golden Retrievers. This two-year study is being funded exclusively by the Golden Retriever Foundation and the Canine Health Foundation.

The 1998 Golden Retriever Health Survey showed a statistically significant decrease in lymphoma among Golden Retrievers that had been treated with flea and tick prevention products. This research project will examine one mechanism by which these data might be explained - that infection with Bartonella, Ehrlichia, and/or Anaplasma species bacteria may predispose susceptible dogs to develop lymphoma.

The purpose of this study is to search for evidence of Bartonella, Ehrlichia, and/or Anaplasma infection in Golden Retriever dogs with lymphoma, as compared to age- and sex-matched Golden Retrievers from the same geographic region. Obtaining identical samples from healthy control dogs will be critical to the scientific evaluation of data obtained from Golden Retrievers with lymphoma.

Click here to continue reading this article, and download required documents


To All Golden Owners: Cancer Sample Donation Chart

Please download the PDF document containing:

Contact Information for Participation in Golden  Retriever Cancer Research

Click here to open or download


URGENT Blood samples are needed from registered  Golden Retrievers diagnosed with a mast cell tumor.


To All Golden Owners:

There has been some discussion and confusion in recent days regarding recruitment of Goldens with hemangiosarcoma (and other cancers) to donate blood and tissue samples for use in research, because owners understandably want to be certain that these samples go to studies that will benefit the breed. GRCA and the Golden Retriever Foundation (GRF) have developed procedures to help ensure that the scientific studies they support are held to the highest research standards, and have the greatest likelihood of producing results that will benefit dogs. These procedures begin with two levels of scientific review at the Canine Health Foundation, followed by review and recommendations from the GRCA Health & Genetics Committee (H&G), and final review and funding decisions by the GRF. Once a project is funded and underway, it is required to submit regular progress and financial reports, which are reviewed by the Science Officer at CHF, and by the H&G. These procedures have contributed to the excellent track record of GRCA and GRF supported research producing results that meet standards for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals; and indeed, some of this research is already benefiting Goldens at the clinical level.

GRCA and GRF have recruitment notices for many of these studies posted on their web sites, and every issue of the GRNews includes contact information for the Research Facilitator for assistance and referral to studies for which individual dogs may qualify. However, perhaps by the very nature of worried owners of affected dogs who may be looking for the latest and newest hope, it appears that these notices may get overlooked in favor of "new bulletins" that can be rapidly circulated on the Internet. This is understandable, but sometimes can lead to confusion and perhaps inadvertent misdirection of valuable blood, tissue, or DNA samples. In the most recent example, it is our understanding that the research mentioned is actually the same research for which GRCA and GRF notices have been recruiting for some time, and already had collection procedures in place. Adding an intermediary third party to the process has the potential to separate owners from the scientists doing the research, and to inadvertently introduce errors or omissions in the information transfer.

We encourage owners to participate in research whenever possible, and we suggest that the most efficient sample collection process is the one supported by GRCA and GRF, in which the samples go directly to the scientists involved in the research. At the present time, all blood (and sometimes tumor samples) from Goldens with any form of cancer can be sent to one researcher, Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD, who by agreement then distributes the DNA to several different studies as needed. These studies include, but are not limited to, those headed by Dr Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, Dr Matthew Breen, Dr Elaine Ostrander, and Dr Stuart Helfand. Information regarding sample submission can be obtained from Dr Modiano's website http://www.modianolab.org/ index.shtml or by contacting the Research Facilitator at rhondahovan@aol.com.

In addition, blood samples only (not tissue) from both normal Goldens and those with cancer, may be sent to Dr Lindblad-Toh, with further information available at http://www.broad.mit.edu/mammals/dog/pdfs/ dog_project_info.pdf A complete listing of research recruitment needs for studies funded through the Canine Health Foundation is available online at http://www.akcchf.org/research/participation.cfm

We hope that this will serve to clarify some of the questions we have received in recent days, and we also intend to work on additional procedures which will make it easier for owners to assist research that benefits the breed. With the numerous research studies currently ongoing, and many more in the planning stages, there are excellent choices for owners who wish to donate samples - and best of all, that means there is a whole lot of hope to go around!

Sincerely,
The Golden Retrieveer Club of America Board of Directors
The Golden Retriever Club of America Health & Genetics Committee
The Golden Retriever Foundation


The 4th Genes Dogs and Cancer Conference, was held on September 14th to the 17th, 2006 at the Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro, in Chicago Illinois.

Conference Coordinators
Timothy Fan, Kevin Hahn, Chand Khanna, Jaime F. Modiano, and Elaine Ostrander

Sponsored by Jeffrey Pepper, the French Bulldog Club of America, Morris Animal Foundation,
the National Beagle Club, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, the Soft Coated Wheaten
Terrier Club of America Endowment Fund and the Starlight Fund

This conference brought together researchers, veterinarians and breeders from around the
world to discuss advances in canine cancer research. Join us to hear presentations on the
following four topics:

Host and Microenvironment: Genetics and Host Interactions
Cancer Pathogenesis and Progression: Metastasis, Angiogenesis and Cytogenetics
Discovery and Delivery: Cancer Care, Diagnostics, Imaging, Therapy and Monitoring
Program Updates: Clinical Trials, Consortia, Regulatory Agencies

Keynote speaker Dr. Janet Rowley and Distinguished Speakers Drs. Elaine Ostrander, Tom
Rosol and Chand Khanna presented their research on topics such as the molecular origins of
cancer, inherited cancers, metastasis and comparative oncology translation and biology.


DOGS ARE KEY TO REVOLUTIONARY CANCER STUDY

CANINE CANCER PATIENTS HELP ADVANCE RESEARCH ON PROMISING VACCINE

JOHN BERMAN
Dec. 3, 2007—


Kyra looks like any other energetic Rhodesian Ridgeback dog, but she's also a cancer survivor -- and a reason for hope.

Two years ago, the 10-year-old canine's owner, Eileen Eisenhower, noticed an eerily familiar lump on Kyra's leg. Eileen is a nurse who treats human cancer patients.

"I said, 'Oh, Kyra, you have lymphoma," Eisenhower recalled lamenting. "I just knew it."

But Eisenhower converted her pain into promise, enrolling Kyra in a revolutionary vaccine study at the University of Pennsylvania, which had an unlikely collaboration between canine veterinarians and human oncologists.

Four million dogs are diagnosed with cancer every year -- cancers very similar to the human versions.

"Down to the microscope, they look very similar and they behave similarly," Dr. Robert Vonderheide at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania said.

And this translates into the most promising aspect of this study: "They also respond to treatment very similarly," Vonderheide points out.

One of the greatest advantages to studying dogs is they age faster -- literally, in "dog years," so scientists can get the results of their studies more quickly.

"It's like a compressed biological life span that we can study -- the cancer progression -- and also potentially the response to therapy," said Dr. Karin Sorenmo, associate professor of oncology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

In the study involving Kyra, doctors took genetic material from a cancerous tumor, implanted it in healthy infection-fighting b-cells outside the body to train them to attack the lymphoma, and then injected it back into Kyra.

Sorenmo was encouraged by the results. "I'm hoping that this is just the beginning of more trials that can benefit helping dogs, helping people."

Kyra is back to her hyperenergetic and healthy self. She and a number of the dogs in the study are now cancer-free. The researchers estimate they are within two years of testing the vaccine on humans.

Without the dogs, they would be more than a decade away.

"If we didn't have this information that we're learning from vaccinating people's pets, we would still be studying the vaccine in laboratory dishes without a real hope of going forward in the near future," Vondreheide said.

The researchers' optimism resonates on multiple levels for Eisenhower, as a grateful dog owner and dedicated cancer nurse.

"I hope that someday I can give this vaccine to people and to kids -- and to, you know, let people know how it started and where it came from," Eisenhower said.

She can tell them it came from man's best friend.

Copyright © 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

CONTACT INFORMATION


Dr. Robert Vonderheide, MD, D. Phil.
Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Cancer Biology Programme and the Gene Therapy and Vaccines Programme
University of Pensylvania School of Medicine
His office telephone number is 215-573-4265 and his email addres is rhv@mail.med.upenn.edu


Dr. Vonderheide graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering in 1985 and from Oxford University, England , as a Rhodes Scholar with a D.Phil. in immunology in 1989. After graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1993, he completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and subsequently a clinical fellowship in hematology-oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He joined the University of Pennsylvania in 2001 as assistant professor in medicine and an investigator at the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. He is funded by the NIH, the Beckman Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy.


Research Area: Infectious Disease

Breed: Golden Retriever

The Vector Borne Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine is recruiting cases for a funded research project, which is investigating the potential role of selected flea- and tick-borne bacteria as co-factors in the development of lymphoma in Golden Retrievers. The 1998 Golden Retriever Health Survey showed a statistically significant decrease in lymphoma among Golden Retrievers that had been treated with flea and tick prevention products. This research project will examine one mechanism by which these data might be explained - that infection with Bartonella, Ehrlichia, and/or Anaplasma species bacteria may predispose susceptible dogs to develop lymphoma.

The purpose of this study is to search for evidence of Bartonella, Ehrlichia, and/or Anaplasma infection in Golden Retriever dogs with lymphoma, as compared to age- and sex-matched Golden Retrievers from the same geographic region. Obtaining identical samples from healthy control dogs will be critical to the scientific evaluation of data
obtained from Golden Retrievers with lymphoma. Dr. Ed Breitschwerdt
is the principal investigator and Ashlee Duncan is the graduate
student responsible for the project. The entry criteria for a case
include: Golden Retrievers with a new diagnosis of lymphoma that have not received any antibiotics within 14 days prior to sample collection (or 30 days for azithromycin). Samples should be collected prior to induction of chemotherapeutic agents.

The minimum entry criteria for a control include: Golden Retrievers residing within 100 miles of the case dog and lacking clinical evidence of lymphadenopathy, making the possibility of undetected lymphoma unlikely. Additionally, these control dogs must not have received any antibiotics within 14 days prior to sample collection (or 30 days for azithromycin). For each case, two to three control dogs will be utilized. If possible, these healthy dogs should be similar in age (± 18 months) and sex as the case dog. Healthy dogs may be identified by the owner of the case dog, selected by the case's attending veterinarian, or recruited through the Golden
Retriever Club of America. Cases and controls recruited will
receive free serological and molecular testing for Bartonella, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma (a $360.00 value based on current serology/ PCR testing costs in our laboratory). Samples to be collected for this research include whole blood, serum, lymph node aspirate(s), and buccal swab(s).

Please contact us at 919-513-8279 or awduncan@ncsu.edu for further information.


 Research Area: Canine Cancer

Breeds: Akita, American Cocker Spaniel, Boxer, Bullmastiff, Chinese Shar-Pei, Chow Chow, English Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, Flat-Coated Retriever, German Shepherd, Giant Schnauzer, Golden Retriever, Greyhound, Labrador Retriever, Leonberger, Mastiff, Miniature Poodle, Miniature Schnauzer, Pointer, Pug, Rottweiler, Scottish Terrier, Standard Poodle, Standard Schnauzer, Toy Poodle

After completing the dog genome sequencing project, the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and collaborators are now working on identifying disease genes predisposing to cancer. Identification of such genes could lead to carrier testing, a better understanding of the disease and long term better treatments for the disease in both dogs and humans.

More information can be found at: www.broad.mit.edu/mammals/dog http://www.broad.mit.edu/mammals/dog.

For each of the below diseases researchers need blood samples from affected dogs as well as blood samples from healthy older (>6 yo) dogs.

Mammary tumors

PI: Kerstin Lindblad-Toh Broad and Elizabeth McNiel, U. Minnesota
Focus: English Springer Spaniel
Additional breeds included: German Shepherds, Cocker Spaniels and Boxers
Please contact: Dog-info@broad.mit.edu

Melanoma

PI: Kerstin Lindblad-Toh Broad and Phil Bergman, Animal Medical Center, NY Breeds included: ALL including Scottish Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Black Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Chow Chows, and Pugs
Please contact: Dog-info@broad.mit.edu

Lymphoma

PI: Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, Broad
Focus: Golden Retrievers, Boxers
Additional breeds included: Cocker Spaniel, Rottweiler, Akita, Flat- Coated Retriever
Please contact: Dog-info@broad.mit.edu

Mast cell tumors

Collaborators: Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, Broad and Cheryl London, UC Davis
Focus: Pugs and Chinese Shar-Pei
Additional breeds included: Pit Bull Terrier, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Cocker Spaniel, Boxer
Please contact: Dog-info@broad.mit.edu

 Researchers at the AMC Cancer Research Center and University of Colorado Health Science Center are looking for samples for the following projects:

Lymphoma

Researchers need samples from any dog that has an AKC registration number.

Eligible dogs will undergo standard of care treatment and provide blood samples as well. Availability of 2 or more unaffected relatives that are >6 years old is desirable. They also would encourage people who have dogs that are related to study subjects that are affected to participate.

Owners of all dogs will be asked to fill out a follow-up questionnaire.

Hemangiosarcoma

Researchers need blood samples from affected dogs for a study to map susceptibility genes. In some cases, samples may be applied to the development of a diagnostic test for hemangiosarcoma. Eligible dogs must have an AKC registration number. Owners of all dogs will be asked to fill out a follow-up questionnaire.

Visit www.modianolab.org http://www.modianolab.org for additional information on these programs.

Thank you for your attention.


INNOVATIVE SCREENING & TREATMENT PROGRAMME AVAILABLE FOR CANINE LYMPHOMA CANCER

Recently, I received a note from Graeme Radcliffe, one of the key "movers and shakers" behind PetScreen/Tri-Screen.

Graeme told me that they had been involved in research and development for the past two years, and the end result was a special announcement made at the Veterinary Cancer Society Annual Conference in November, 2011.

The Tri-Screen test is available in a diagnostic kit format and will tell a veterinarian/owner immediately, if a canine patient has lymphoma, or another medical issue that can be treated without invasive surgery. The Veterinary Caner Society delegates were very supportive of the presentation.

Graeme is hoping that when the Morris Animal Foundation begins their giant longitudinal study for Golden Retrievers, that they will be involved.

Graeme and I are keeping in close touch with each other, and has provided me with a PDF about the use of CART algorithms to combine serum acute phase protein levels as a diagnostic aid in canine lymphoma.

This information will be posted on the Smiling Blue Skies website, but if you would like a copy of the PDF, simply send me an email, and I will send it along to you.

You can also check out http://www.tri-screen.net/

In the mean time, here is the Press Release:

Albuquerque, NM … November 2011 --- A new diagnostic kit which takes the uncertainty out of lymphoma diagnosis, has been launched at the Veterinary Cancer Society’s annual conference this month.

Developed by PetScreen (www.pet-screen.com) in the UK, the announcement is a significant breakthrough in the diagnosis of canine lymphoma with the major benefit being that it is able to differentiate between patients with lymphadenopathy due to lymphoma and lymphadenopathy due to other ailments such as lymphoid hyperplasia.

The announcement also signals a partnership and commercial venture between PetScreen Ltd and Tridelta Development Ltd to jointly develop manufacture and market a unique range of veterinary cancer diagnostic kits under the banner of ‘Tri-Screen’ (www.tri-screen.net). PetScreen has established the first reference laboratory offering the Advanced Lymphoma Blood Test (ALBT) utilising the Tri-Screen Canine Lymphoma assay kit. The kit is available now to enable laboratories worldwide to offer veterinarians this advanced testing system.

For the past two years, PetScreen’s research team have been busy characterising and identifying the biomarkers used in their earlier lymphoma blood test. They found that two of the markers are Acute Phase Proteins (APP’s). Although APP’s have been investigated in veterinary medicine for some time PetScreen has developed a unique multi-marker approach which led to the development of patented and copyrighted analytical algorithms which combine the relative values of both Haptoglobin and C-Reactive Protein (CRP) in serum.

By enlisting the support of vets in the UK and USA the assay has been rigorously tested with 194 canine patients with lymphoma, benign lymphoid hyperplasia and other diseases with similar presentation to lymphoma as well as healthy dogs.

By testing the acute phase proteins using immunoassay, PetScreen achieved excellent levels of high performance, reproducibility and objectivity. The combination of the three diagnostic elements enables differentiation with a very high degree of sensitivity and specificity … ensuring an appropriate treatment regimen can begin at a critical early stage of disease identification and development.

In order to make this available to a global reference laboratory market, a partner with a unique understanding of APP diagnostic kit manufacture and marketing was required … it quickly became apparent that Tridelta’s reputation and experience with the international pharmaceutical industry in this niche sector qualified their preferred partner status. Each company briogs its own strengths to the Tri-Screen brand of diagnostic kits. For Tridelta it is an!important step into the companion animal marketplace; for PeuScreen, the opportunity to globalise and advance their veterinary diagnostics expertise in tiis important and rapidly emerging sector.

.

www.pet-screen.com:

 PetScreen: Detecting and Treating Cancer BioCity Pennyfoot Street Nottingham NG1 1GF United Kingdom


Professor Graeme Radcliffe
Chairman PetScreen Limited
BioCity Nottingham
Pennyfoot Street
Nottingham
NG1 1GF
UK
graeme.radcliffe@btconnect.com
www.pet-screen.com
tel: 08000 284 811 (Free - UK Only)
fax: 0115 912 4431
mobile: +44 (0)115 912 4430
+44 (0)115 912 4431
07785 238427


Auburn to Study Treatment for Lymphoma in Dogs

http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/dec06/061201i.asp

Auburn University has received $1.4 million from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health to study a new therapy for lymphoma in dogs.

Researchers plan to modify a nonreplicating virus, administer the virus to dogs with lymphoma, and administer a drug to the dogs. The virus will infect lymphoma cells and then encode a protein to convert the drug into a toxin to kill the cells.

Lymphoma is the third most common cancer in dogs. Average life expectancy for dogs undergoing chemotherapy is about one year.
Without any treatment, life expectancy is about two months from the time of diagnosis.

The grant from the National Cancer Institute covers two years of laboratory work and three years of clinical trials.

Dr. Bruce Smith, with the College of Veterinary Medicine's Scott- Ritchey Research Center, is leading the study. Auburn co- investigators include Drs. Curtis Bird, Mary Lynn Higginbotham, Annette Smith, and Elizabeth Whitley.


The Golden Retriever Club of America is pleased to announce that Golden Retrievers will be one of the pilot breeds currently eligible for participation in a new DNA database. The mapping of the canine genome is expected to have a significant impact on research activities regarding canine genetic disease, and thus there is growing interest among breed clubs and breeders to establish a DNA bank to facilitate research and future disease testing on individual dogs. In response to this evolving need, CHIC (Canine Health Information Center) and OFA have established a DNA bank and database designed to serve both breeders and researchers.

 
This DNA database will serve the canine research community by providing researchers with optimized family groups needed for specific research studies, and will facilitate more rapid progress in research by expediting the sample collection process. It will also allow breeders to take advantage of future DNA-based disease tests as they become available, with the ability to test both current breeding dogs, and important dogs of the past whose DNA is stored in the bank. Researchers funded by such organizations as the Canine Health Foundation and Morris Animal Foundation can apply to use this DNA for specific studies; and owners will have access to their dog's DNA for DNA-based disease testing.
 
DNA databases are most useful when the DNA is linked to both a health history (including but not limited to phenotypic health "clearances"), and to a pedigree. This provides researchers with the ability to select the samples that are of interest to particular studies, by searching the database for dogs that meet specific eligibility criteria. However, all individual dogs, pedigrees, and owners will be coded for anonymity, which can be waived only by the owner. Privacy will be carefully protected according to the instructions of the owner. The owner will also be provided with an individual access code which will permit him or her to update the health history over the lifetime of the dog, since many health conditions of interest may not have developed at the time the dog was entered into the database.
 
DNA can be collected through either a blood sample, or by using buccal (cheek) swabs. Blood samples provide an almost unlimited supply of DNA, while buccal swabs provide adequate DNA for a number of health studies and testing, although significantly less than blood samples.
 
Double the Benefit!
 
In addition to collecting blood samples at the National for future research to be stored in the DNA bank, a current study supported by the Golden Retriever Foundation and GRCA will also be collecting blood samples at the National Specialty. This important research is being conducted at the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is attempting to identify genes involved in osteosarcoma and other cancers in Goldens. In a cooperative effort to double the usefulness of each sample, dogs may contribute to both programs with only one blood sample, which will be shared (with the owner's permission) between the DNA bank and the Broad Institute's canine genomic research team.
 
As part of GRCA's participation as a pilot breed, CHIC/OFA will send a representative to the 2005 National Specialty to assist with enrolling as many Goldens as possible into the database. There will be volunteers on site to draw blood or assist with buccal swab collections, and computer capability to process the dog into the database. There will be no charge to enroll a dog in the DNA database at the National Specialty! In addition, for the first 12 months, there will be no charge to enroll dogs using buccal swabs providing the dog has a CHIC certificate (see http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/ )
 
Your participation in this important database will assist health research for decades to come, and we urge everyone to enroll as many dogs as possible in both of these programs. Please come to the collection center on the grounds of the National Specialty on Wednesday or Thursday, September 28 or 29, and show your support for a healthier future for Golden Retrievers. Owners not attending the National are also strongly encouraged to participate in the DNA bank, with enrollment information available on the GRCA website at www.grca.org (link coming soon) or by writing to edziuk@offa.org Costs are $10 using buccal swabs (free for CHIC dogs until Sept, 2006), and $25 using blood samples.
 
Please Spread the Word!

Patient Disease:  Canine Patients with Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Study Name:  Canine Soft Tissue Sarcoma Vaccine Study

Purpose of the Study:  The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness, and to establish the most appropriate dose of a vaccine intended to inhibit the growth of new blood vessels in tumours.  The vaccine is prepared using the DNA from human blood vessel growth factors.  Using this specially prepared vaccine, we hope to stimulate a canine patient's immune system to make antibodies against newly forming blood vessels in a tumour.

Patient Entry Criteria:  In general, these studies are available to qualifying patients living within 100 miles of the Animal Cancer Centre at Colorado State University.  The patient must have the disease of soft tissue sarcoma,  which has been confirmed by biopsy.  The soft tissue sarcoma must be  measurable and accessible to biopsy.  The disease may not have spread to any other area of the body.  In order to qualify for this study, treatment prior to presentation to the Animal Cancer Centre must have been very limited.  The patient is not to have received radiation therapy, any chemotherapy, or any holistic medical treatment for soft tissue sarcoma prior to entry into the study. The patient must not have received steroids or NSAIDs for four weeks before presentation.  No other medical conditions may be present that might limit the patient's life.  No additional medication may be given once the patient is enrolled in the study.  For more information regarding entry criteria, please contact the Consult Coordinator at 970-297-4195.

Owner Responsibilities:  After the initial diagnostic visit, the client is required to bring the patient
to regularly scheduled visits for treatment and evaluation for up to a year.  The client must allow a total of three biopsies to be taken (one pre-treatment and two during treatment) to assess the patient's response to the vaccine.  These biopsy procedures require the patient to be profoundly sedated or anesthetized.  No additional medication may be given once the patient is enrolled in the study.  Procedures or treatments unrelated to the study will be the owner's financial responsibility.

Financial Incentives:  The owner pays for the initial diagnostic work up, usually $300 to $400.  The study pays for all treatment procedures and for all evaluation  recheck visits for a period of one year. For more information regarding financial incentives, please contact the Consult Coordinator at
970-297-4195.

Patient Disease:  Canine Hemangiosarcoma of the Spleen

Study Name:  Hemangiosarcoma Metronomic Chemotherapy Study

Purpose of the Study:  The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of metronomic chemotherapy for the treatment of canine splenic hemangiosarcoma.  Metronomic chemotherapy is a method of delivering chemotherapeutic agents at lower doses, but administering the doses more often.  This study is designed as a randomized clinical trial.  There are two treatment groups.  One group receives doxorubicin (Adriamycin) chemotherapy every two weeks for five treatments.  The  other group receives metronomic chemotherapy using etoposide, cyclophosphamide, and piroxicam.

Patient Entry Criteria:  In general, these studies are available to qualifying patients living within 100 miles of the Animal Cancer Centre at Colorado State University.  The patient must have the disease of hemangiosarcoma of the spleen, which has been confirmed by biopsy and histopathology.  The spleen must be surgically removed and the disease may not have spread to any other area of the body.  In order to qualify for this study, the patient is not to have received radiation therapy, any chemotherapy, or any holistic medical treatment for splenic hemangiosarcoma prior to entry into the study.  The patient must not have received steroids, like prednisone, for three weeks prior to presentation.  No other medical conditions may be present that might prevent the patient from  completing the study.  No additional medication related to the disease may be given once the patient is enrolled in the study.  For more information regarding entry criteria, please contact the Consult  Coordinator at 970-297-4195.

Owner Responsibilities:  This study requires frequents visits to the Animal Cancer Centre.   The client must schedule and keep all appointments related to the study.  Should the owner decide to withdraw from the study, the owner assumes responsibility for all costs incurred.

Financial Incentives:  The owner pays for the initial diagnosis and surgical treatment of the disease.  Additionally, the owner is responsible for the cost of the staging tests used to determine if the patient meets the eligibility requirements of the study (usually about $600).  Once eligible, the study pays for all study-related examinations, tests, and chemotherapy treatments for up to one year.  For more information regarding financial incentives, please contact the Consult Coordinator at 970-297-4195.

 Patient Disease:  Canine Osteosarcoma of a Limb

Study Name:  Osteosarcoma and Meloxicam Study

Purpose of the Study:  The purpose of this study is to evaluate the benefits of the drug meloxicam in the postoperative pain management of canine patients with osteosarcoma.

Patient Entry Criteria:  In general, these studies are available to qualifying patients living within 100 miles of the Animal Cancer Centre at Colorado State University.  Eligible patients are dogs with histologically confirmed osteosarcoma of an extremity. The patient's treatment plan must include amputation of the effected limb followed by doxorubicin (Adriamycin) chemotherapy.  Diagnostic evaluation must indicate no spread of cancer in the patient.  Additionally, the patient must have no  pre-existing heart condition that would make doxorubicin an inappropriate choice for treatment. Patients may not have concurrent disease that might prevent them from completing the study.

Owner Responsibilities:  This study pays only the cost of meloxicam.  The client is responsible  for all costs related to the diagnosis and treatment of the patient's cancer, and for all costs related to complications that might arise as a  result of treatment of the patient's cancer.

Financial Incentives:  This study pays only the cost of meloxicam.  For more information regarding financial incentives, please contact the Consult Coordinator at 970-297-4195.

 
Patient Disease:  Canine Patients with Biopsy Confirmed Cancer

Study Name:  Silibinin for Canine Tumours

Purpose of the Study:  Silibinin is the active ingredient in the herbal compound milk thistle.  In
mouse and human tumour cells, silibinin has been shown to inhibit the growth of many types of tumours.  In this study we will determine the maximum dose of silibinin that can be safely given to tumour bearing dogs.  We will also investigate how effective this compound is in the canine patient.

Patient Entry Criteria:  In general, these studies are available to qualifying patients living within 100 miles of the Animal Cancer Centre at Colorado Sate University.  The patient will be screened by a variety of diagnostic tests as well as undergo a small biopsy procedure.  The owner is financially  responsible for tests to meet entry criteria.  The patient entry criteria
are as follows:

1.  Dogs with a histologically confirmed malignant tumour that is in a location that is easily biopsied.
2.  Conventional therapy must have been declined by the owner, or must have failed.
3.  Dogs must be free of other life threatening disease.
4.  Dogs may not have received chemotherapy within two weeks prior to study entry.
5.  Dogs may not have received radiation therapy within six weeks prior to study entry.
6.  Other medications are generally acceptable as long as they were begun before entry into the study.       
7.  Dogs must have relatively normal blood work

Owner Responsibilities:  Owners are responsible for delivering the study medication (a powder  that can be mixed in a small amount of food) three times daily.  Owners are required to make and keep all appointments.  Following the initial visit, the patient will be required to return after one week and
then again two weeks later.  The owner is financially responsible for the initial tests to see if the patient qualifies for the study, and any costs that follow the 3 week recheck.

Financial Incentives:  The study will pay for the blood tests and biopsy at the beginning of the study, and the one week and three week recheck appointments.  The drug costs will be covered during the three week study period.  After this time, if a patients disease is stable or improved, the drug will continue to be available at no cost; however, a small distribution fee will be assessed by the Pharmacy.

Patient Disease:  Canine Mast Cell Tumour Disease

Study Name:  Novel Drug Trial for Mast Cell Tumors

Purpose of the Study:  The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the effectiveness and  safety of a novel drug to control grade II and III mast cell tumours in the canine patient.

Patient Entry Criteria:  In general, these studies are available to qualifying patients living within 100 miles of the Animal Cancer Centre at Colorado State University.  The patient entry criteria are as follows:

1.  Canine patients with one or several mast cell tumours (grade II or III) that have returned after surgery or have been described as non-resectable.
2.  Dogs must be older than six months of age and weigh more than 7 pounds.
3.  If patients have received chemotherapy, steroids, or had surgery, the study will be delayed by 2 weeks.
4.  Dogs that have received radiation therapy must wait 6 weeks before beginning the study.
5.  The patient may not have spread of the disease to the lymph nodes or other site.
6.  Blood work must be relatively normal.
7.  Dogs must be free of other life threatening disease.

Owner Responsibilities:  The owner is responsible for the initial examination fee.  The owner must schedule and keep all appointments as dictated by the study.  The owner must administer the study medication on a daily basis, and must keep a treatment diary, for up to six months.

Financial Incentives:  The patient will be screened by a variety of diagnostic tests and may undergo a small biopsy procedure.  A portion of the cost of these tests will be paid for by the study.  Upon entry into the study, the study pays for subsequent screening visits and diagnostic tests as well as all of the treatment visits.

Patient Disease:  Canine patients with a Biopsy Confirmed Malignant Tumour

Study Name:  Canine PEG -TNF Study

Purpose of the Study:  PEG-TNF is a new formulation of a naturally occurring human hormone.  In this study we will determine the maximum dose of PEG -TNF that can be safely given to tumour bearing dogs.  We will also investigate how effective this compound is on tumours, that is, their size, the blood flow within tumours and on the tumour cells themselves.

Patient Entry Criteria:  In general, these studies are available to qualifying patients living within 100 miles of the Animal Cancer Centre at Colorado State University.  The patient will be screened by a variety of diagnostic tests and may undergo a small biopsy procedure.  The owner is financially
responsible for tests to meet entry criteria.  The patient entry criteria are as follows:

1.  Dogs with a histologically confirmed malignant tumour that is in a location that is easily biopsied.
2.  Dogs must be free of other life threatening disease.
3.  Dogs must have relatively normal blood work.
4.  Patients may not have received steroids or NSAIDs (aspirin-like  drugs) for 72 hours prior to entry.
5.  Dogs may not have received chemotherapy within two weeks prior to study entry.
6.  Dogs may not have received radiation therapy within 6 weeks prior to study entry.
7.  Candidates must weigh at least 25 pounds.
8.  Owners must agree to a postmortem examination (autopsy) at the time of the pet's death or euthanasia.

Owner Responsibilities:  Owners are financially responsible for the diagnostic tests that  determine if the patient qualifies for the study.  Owners are required to make and keep all appointments.  Following the initial visit, the patient will be required to return 4, 7, and 21 days after treatment. Owners must comply with the study protocol.  It will be necessary for the patient to submit to having blood samples drawn, the tumour biopsied, and hospitalization.  A Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) may be requested in certain cases.  The patient must be anesthetized for a MRI.

Financial Incentives:  Once the patient has satisfied the eligibility requirements for the
study, all costs associated with the study will be paid. Additionally, a $250.00 VTH credit will be applied toward any future treatments.

__________________________________________________________

Jaime F. Modiano, V.M.D., PH. D.
Scientist, Centre for Cancer Causation and Prevention
AMC Cancer Research Centre
Associate Professor, Department of Immunology
University of Colorado Health Sciences Centre
303-239-3408
modianoj@amc.org
Dr. Modiano's lab, is interested in understanding basic differences between normal cells and tumour cells.  Their ultimate goal is to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with cancer in humans and animals.? As they learn more about how cancer cells differ from normal cells, they can exploit these differences to improve diagnosis and treatment and devise better methods of prevention.   The purpose of their website, is to provide information for individuals seeking to learn more about cancer, to facilitate recruitment into ongoing studies, and to foster communication among scientists interested in Cancer Biology, Immunology, and Immunotherapy. Vistoris to their website, will find links to publications, study information and recruitment materials, methods and reagents, collaborators, and other useful sites that have cancer information.
Suggestions and feedback are welcome at info@modianolab.org

__________________________________________________________

Oral Antimitotic Agent for Dogs with Lymphoma
Animal Cancer Institute Studies

Since its inception the Animal Cancer Institute and its Network of veterinary oncologists have offered cutting edge treatment options. The Animal Cancer Institute Network is based in Washington, DC and extends across the United States with sites in California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington .

It is the goal of the Animal Cancer Institute to provide more effective and less toxic options for the treatment of cancer. Collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry allows these options to be provided, in many cases, at substantially reduced costs. For more information on the therapeutic diet clinical study for cats with lymphoma, and the Animal Cancer Institute, visit our website at:www.animalcancerinstitute.com.

The Animal Cancer Institute, LLC
Cutting edge options for cancer
C. Khanna DVM, PhD, DACVIM
T. Rusk DVM
 

For more information, contact
Jennifer Turner:

Phone: 202-363-7300
Fax: 202-363-7126
Email:jturner@animalcancerinstitute.com

   
You may register your clinic to receive electronic updates on trials available to your clients. Registration for eTrial Updates is available at our website,www.animalcancerinstitute.com.
 

Oral Antimitotic Agent for Dogs with Lymphoma

Eligibility Criteria Include:
  • measurable, cytologically diagnosed NH lymphoma (histology collected at study entry)
  • any clinical stage but must have nodal involvement- includes relapsed cases
  • favorable performance score
  • no concurrent chemotherapy (within 14 days of trial entry)
  • no concurrent radiation therapy (within 21 days of trial entry)
  • concurrent use of corticosteroids accepted providing treatment duration is greater than 21 days and/or no clinical improvement is noted. Measurable disease defined by examination, radiographs, ultra-sound, CT or MRI scan

Trial Design:
Diagnostic and staging tests may be performed at any veterinary hospital within 10 days of initiation of study:

  • Serum biochemistry
  • CBC
  • Urinalysis
  • Thoracic and abdominal radiographs

Patients will be treated at a participating Animal Cancer Institute Network clinic. Lymph node biopsies will be required at entry, Day 7, first objective response and at progression or relapse.

Trial Support/Funding Includes:

  • Laboratory, biopsy and professional fees (as required for the study) from time of enrollment through Day 56 (additional monthly exams beyond Day 56 will be owner?s financial responsibility)
  • Oral Antimitotic agent through Day 56 (beyond Day 56, additional monthly shipments of study drug supply will be billed to the clinic/investigator at a rate of $50 per shipment)

Dogs will receive the oral medication over a 4-week initial phase. Continued therapy will be available pending response to therapy. Long-term follow-up recheck examinations will be performed monthly.

__________________________________________________________

Antiangiogenic Therapy for Dogs with Measurable Soft Tissue Sarcomas

Animal Cancer Institute Studies

Since its inception the Animal Cancer Institute and its Network of veterinary oncologists have offered cutting edge treatment options. The Animal Cancer Institute Network is based in Washington, DC and extends across the United States with sites in California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington .

The Animal Cancer Institute, LLC
Cutting edge options for cancer
C. Khanna DVM, PhD, DACVIM
T. Rusk DVM
 

Study Monitor? Kate Cadorette
Phone: 202-363-7300 Fax: 202-363-7126
Email:kcadorette@animalcancerinstitute.com


 

Trial eligibility criteria include:

  • client owned pet dogs
  • measurable, histologically confirmed soft tissue sarcomas, not including hemangiosarcomas
  • tumors must be accessible for histopath collection and objective measurement using direct caliper measurement, ultrasound, radiographs or CT/MRI scan.
  • favorable clinical performance status at entry (expected to remain clinically stable for 30 days).
  • no previous exposure to antiangiogenic therapies
  • no chemotherapy within 14 days of trial entry
  • no radiation therapy administered within 21 days of trial entry
  • corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents ok to continue if patient has been receiving for >14 days at time of study entry

Trial Support/Funding Includes:

  • Antiangiogenic peptide provided at no charge
  • Biopsy (as required at trial initiation, date of first objective response and date of relapse)
  • MRI at study entry, and every 3 months through Day 180 for selected patients

All patients must be evaluated and treated through a participating Animal Cancer Institute Network site, monthly.

Diagnostic and staging tests may be performed at any veterinary hospital within 10 days of initiation (full serum chemistry, CBC, U/A and thoracic radiographs).

Dogs will receive a supply of medication for in-home, daily subcutaneous injection or will be treated at a representative clinic every 14 days with a depot injection. Continued therapy will be available pending response to therapy.

All examination, tumor imaging and other diagnostic costs are patient?s responsibility.

Cases which relapse or are refractory following >30 days on antiangiogenic therapy will be eligible to receive open label gemcitabine therapy. Gemcitabine will be provided at no charge - all other costs associated with drug examination and drug administration will be owner responsibility. Assessment of response will be made following the first cycle of therapy and consideration for a
2nd cycle will be made based on patient response.

__________________________________________________________

Participants Needed for Genetics Study of Canine Osteosarcoma

The Animal Cancer Institute in cooperation with the AMC Cancer Research Center is looking for assistance in a canine cancer research study. The project involves collection of histopathology samples on purebred dogs with osteosarcoma. The purpose of the analysis is to determine how genes impact the development of osteosarcoma in dogs.

 
Study eligibility criteria include:
  • Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, Scottish Deerhounds and Mastiffs with known pedigrees can participate in this study. Other breeds may be eligible upon approval by the Animal Cancer Institute.
  • Dogs must have a diagnosis of appendicular osteosarcoma (Grades I-II), with no evidence of metastatic disease.
  • There must be at least two unaffected first-degree relatives of the affected dog (parents, siblings, or offspring) that will consent to participation through the donation of 10-15 ml of EDTA-anticoagulated blood (samples from unaffected relatives are not required at the time of diagnosis or sample submission from the affected patient).
  • Informed owner consent form authorizing pre-treatment excisional biopsy (to be collected in a medium supplied by the AMC), and commitment for treatment with an acceptable protocol (e.g. amputation or limb-sparing surgery and systemic chemotherapy with Cisplatin, Carboplatin, Adriamycin, or a combination thereof).
Trial Support/Funding Includes:
  • $150 stipend toward cost of biopsy

  • Histopathology and shipping of samples (an approximate value of $130) will be performed at no charge by the AMC Cancer Research Center .

For more information please contact Jen Turner at the Animal Cancer Institute (202) 363-7300 or see our website at: www.animalcancerinstitute.com

__________________________________________________________

Patient Disease:  Canine Oral Malignant Melanoma

Study Name:  Melanoma Vaccine Study


Purpose of the Study:  The purpose of this study is to determine if stimulating a patient's immune system in a very specific way will prolong survival times in dogs with oral melanoma.  Also, to determine if this specific immune system stimulation will inhibit new blood vessel formation in the tumour environment.

Patient Entry Criteria:  In general, these studies are available to qualifying patients living within 100 miles of the Animal Cancer Centre at Colorado State University.  The patient must have the disease of oral melanoma which has been confirmed by biopsy.  The disease may have spread to area lymphnodes, but must not have spread to the lungs.  The
oral melanoma tumour masses must be accessible for therapeutic injection and surgical removal.  No other medical conditions may be present that might limit the patient's life.  The patient is not allowed to have received radiation therapy or any chemotherapy prior to presentation.  No additional medication may be given once the patient is enrolled into the study.  For more information regarding entry criteria, please contact the Consult Coordinator at 970-297-4195.

Owner Responsibilities:  The client must allow a biopsy to be performed prior to admission into the study to confirm the diagnosis of oral melanoma.  After the initial diagnostic  visit, the client is required to bring the patient to regularly scheduled visits for treatment and rechecks (on two occasions, visits will be four days apart) for up to a year after treatment.  At each visit of the treatment phase, the patient may receive sedatives or general anesthesia to facilitate therapy.  No additional medication may be given once the patient is enrolled into the study.

Financial Incentives:  The owner pays for the initial diagnostic work up.  The study pays for all  treatment visits and for any adverse events that may occur as a direct result of the treatment injections.  Additionally, the study will pay $750 toward the cost of surgical removal of the tumour.  It is required that the tumour be surgically removed during the course of therapy.  For more information regarding financial incentives, please contact the Consult Coordinator at
970-297-4195.

Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this study is to determine if stimulating a patient's immune system in a very specific way will prolong survival times in dogs with oral melanoma. Also, to determine if this specific immune system stimulation will inhibit new blood vessel formation in the tumour environment.

_______________________________________________________________

 

Patient Disease:  Canine Cancer Patients

Study Name:  Chemotherapy and Its Effect on Adaptive Immunity


Purpose of the Study:  The purpose of this study is to evaluate how the immune system is affected by chemotherapeutic agents.

Patient Entry Criteria:  In general, these studies are available to qualifying patients living within 100 miles of the Animal Cancer Centre at Colorado State University.  Eligible patients are canine cancer patients beginning specific chemotherapy protocols.  The patient must be prescribed to begin one of the following chemotherapy protocols:  Adriamycin alone;  Madison-Wisconsin  multi-drug protocol;  or specific  protocols  involving carboplatin, or cisplatin.  Patients  may  not  have
received chemotherapy or steroids within two weeks of starting this study. Additionally, patients may not have concurrent disease that might  prevent them from completing the study.

Owner Responsibilities:  This study pays only the cost of blood tests related to the study.  The client is responsible for all costs related to the treatment of the patient's cancer, and for all costs related to complications that might arise as a result of treatment of the patient's cancer.  All blood samples related to the study must be collected at the Animal Cancer Centre.

Financial Incentives:  This study pays the cost of blood tests related to the study.  For more  information regarding financial incentives, please contact the Consult Coordinator at 970-297-4195.


__________________________________________________________

 

Patient Disease:  Canine patients with soft tissue sarcoma.

Study Name:  Canine Soft Tissue Sarcoma Vaccine Study


Purpose of the study:  The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness, and to establish the most appropriate dose of a vaccine intended to inhibit the growth of new blood vessels in tumours. The vaccine is prepared using the DNA from human blood vessel growth factors. Using this specially prepared vaccine, we hope to stimulate a canine patient's immune system to make antibodies against newly forming blood vessels in a tumor.

Patient Entry Criteria:  In general, these studies are available to qualifying patients living within 100 miles of the Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University. The patient must have the disease of soft tissue sarcoma, which has been confirmed by biopsy. The soft tissue sarcoma must be measurable and accessible to biopsy. The disease may not have spread to any other area of the body. In order to qualify for this study, treatment prior to presentation to the Animal Cancer Centre must have been very limited. The patient is not to have received radiation therapy, any chemotherapy, or any holistic medical treatment for soft tissue sarcoma prior to entry into the study. The patient must not have received steroids (like prednisone) or NSAIDs (like carprofen) for four weeks before presentation. No other medical conditions may be present  that might limit the patient's life. And no additional medication may be given once the patient is enrolled into the study. For more information regarding entry criteria, please contact our Consult Coordinator at 970-297-4195.

Owner Responsibilities:  After the initial diagnostic visit, the client is required to bring the patient to  regularly scheduled visits for treatment and evaluation for up to a year. The client must allow a total of three biopsies to be taken (one pre-treatment and two during treatment) to assess the patientís response to the vaccine. These biopsy procedures require the patient to be profoundly sedated or anesthetized. No additional medication may be given once the patient is enrolled into the study. Procedures or treatments unrelated to the study will be the owner's financial responsibility.

Financial Incentives:  The owner pays for the initial diagnostic work up, usually $300 to $400. The  study pays for all treatment procedures and for all evaluation recheck visits for a period of one year. For more information regarding financial incentives, please contact our Consult Coordinator at 970-297-4195.


________________________________________________________

 

Patient Disease:  Canine patients with melanoma, hemangiosarcoma, or
osteosarcoma


Study Name:  Interferon Tau Study

Purpose of the study:  The purpose of this study is to collect tolerability (toxicity), immune response  and preliminary effectiveness information for the administration of Interferon Tau in canine cancer patients. The information generated by this study will then be used to design a larger study comparing standard-of-care therapy to standard-of-care therapy plus Interferon Tau.

Patient Entry Criteria:  In general, these studies are available to qualifying patients living within 100 miles of the Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University. Eligible patients are canine cancer patients with melanoma, hemangiosarcoma, or osteosarcoma. When the patient has exhausted all standard-of-care therapy options, or the client declines standard-of-care therapy, the client will be offered entry into this study. Dogs which stage positive for metastasis are considered eligible. Once entered into the trial, an owner may elect, at any time, to discontinue with the trial and seek other treatment.

Owner Responsibilities:  The client is responsible for all costs related to the diagnosis and treatment of the patientís cancer, and for all costs related to complications that might arise  as a result of treatment of the patientís cancer. All evaluations and blood samples related to the study must be collected at the Animal Cancer Center. All patients will be evaluated two weeks following the initiation of therapy and then at monthly intervals.

Financial Incentives:  This study pays only the cost of Interferon Tau. For more information regarding financial incentives, please contact our Consult Coordinator at 970-297-4195.

___________________________________________________________

 

Patient Disease:  Canine Hemangiosarcoma of the Spleen

Study Name:  Hemangiosarcoma Metronomic Chemotherapy Study


Purpose of the study:  The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of metronomic chemotherapy for the treatment of canine splenic hemangiosarcoma. Metronomic chemotherapy is a method of delivering chemotherapeutic agents at lower doses, but administering the doses more often. This study is designed as a randomized clinical trial. There are two treatment groups. One  group receives doxorubicin (Adriamycin®) chemotherapy every two weeks for five treatments. The other group receives metronomic chemotherapy using etoposide, cyclophosphamide, and piroxicam.

Patient Entry Criteria:  In general, these studies are available to qualifying patients living within 100 miles of the Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University. The patient must have the disease of hemangiosarcoma of the spleen, which has been confirmed by biopsy and histopathology. The spleen must be surgically removed and the disease may not have spread to any other area of the body. In order to qualify for this study, the patient is not to have received radiation therapy,
any chemotherapy, or any holistic medical treatment for splenic hemangiosarcoma prior to entry into the study. The patient must not have received steroids (like prednisone) for three weeks prior to presentation. No other medical conditions may be present that might prevent the patient from completing the study. And no additional medication related to the disease may be given once the patient is enrolled into the study. For more information regarding entry criteria, please contact our Consult Coordinator at 970-297-4195.

 Owner Responsibilities:
 This study requires frequents visits to the Animal Cancer Center. The client must schedule and keep all appointments related to the study. Should the owner decide to withdraw from the study, the owner assumes responsibility for all costs incurred.

Financial Incentives:  The owner pays for the initial diagnosis and surgical treatment of the disease. Additionally, the owner is responsible for the cost of the staging tests used to determine if the patient meets the eligibility requirements of the study (usually about $600). Once eligible, the study pays for all study-related examinations, tests, and chemotherapy treatments for up to one year. For more information regarding financial incentives, please contact our Consult Coordinator at 970-297-4195.

____________________________________________________________

 

Patient Disease:  Canine Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Study Name:  Soft Tissue Sarcoma Heat and Radiation Perfusion Study


Purpose of the study:  Localized hyperthermia (heat) combined with radiation has been shown to be an effective treatment to control soft tissue sarcoma. The purpose of this study is to discover the mechanism of how localized hyperthermia enhances the effects of radiation therapy.

Patient Entry Criteria:  In general, these studies are available to qualifying patients living within 100 miles of the Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University. The patient must have the disease of soft tissue sarcoma, which has been confirmed by biopsy and histopathology. No other medical conditions may be present that might prevent the patient from completing this six-week study. For more information regarding entry criteria, please contact our Consult Coordinator at 970-297-4195.

Owner Responsibilities:  This study requires six weeks of frequents visits to the Animal CancerCentre. The patient will receive daily treatments (M-F) for five weeks of the six-week protocol. The client must schedule and keep all appointments related to the study. Should the owner  decide to withdraw  from the study, the owner may be held  responsible for all costs
incurred.

Financial Incentives:  The owner pays an initial $250. The study pays all remaining costs associated with initial diagnostics, hyperthermia treatment, radiation therapy, and all costs associated with complications resulting from treatment. Costs associated with tumor recurrence, metastasis, routine health maintenance, or any treatment beyond hyperthermia and radiation intended for tumor control are the responsibility of the owner. For more information regarding financial incentives, please contact our Consult Coordinator at 970-297-4195.

                                                                           _______________________________________________________________

 

Patient Disease:  Canine Osteosarcoma of a Limb

Study Name:  Osteosarcoma and Meloxicam Study

Purpose of the study:  The purpose of this study is to evaluate the benefits of the drug meloxicam inthe postoperative pain management of canine patients with osteosarcoma.

Patient Entry Criteria:  In general, these studies are available to qualifying patients living within 100 miles of the Animal Cancer Centere at Colorado Sate University. Eligible patients are dogs with histologically confirmed osteosarcoma of an extremity. The patientís treatment plan must include amputation of the effected limb followed by doxorubicin (Adriamycin®) chemotherapy. Diagnostic evaluation must indicate no spread of cancer in the patient. Additionally, the patient must have no pre-existing heart condition that would make doxorubicin an inappropriate choice for treatment. Patients may not have concurrent disease that might prevent them from completing the study.

Owner Responsibilities:  This study pays only the cost of meloxicam. The client is responsible for all costs related to the diagnosis and treatment of the patientís cancer, and for all costs related to complications that might arise as a result of treatment of the patient's cancer.

Financial Incentives:  This study pays only the cost of meloxicam.

_______________________________________________________________

 

Participants Needed for Genetics Study of Canine Osteosarcoma


Animal Cancer Institute Trials
Since its inception the Animal Cancer Institute and its Network of veterinary oncologists have offered cutting edge treatment options to the metropolitan D.C. area. In the last six months the Animal Cancer Institute Network has expanded across the United States, with newly active treatment sites in New York, Florida, Texas, and California.

It is the goal of the Animal Cancer Institute to provide more effective and less toxic options for the treatment of cancer. Collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry allows these options to be provided, in many cases at no cost. For more information on the Animal Cancer Institute, visit our website at: www.animalcancerinstitute.com
The Animal Cancer Institute, LLC
Cutting edge options for cancer
C. Khanna DVM, PhD, DACVIM
T. Rusk DVM

For more information contact Jennifer Turner
Phone: 202-363-7300
Fax: 202-363-7126
Email: jturner@animalcancerinstitute.com   

You may register your clinic to receive electronic updates on trials available to your clients. Registration for eTrial Updates is available at our website, www.animalcancerinstitute.com.

The Animal Cancer Institute in cooperation with the AMC Cancer Research Center is looking for assistance in a canine cancer research study. The project involves collection of histopathology samples on purebred dogs with osteosarcoma. The purpose of the analysis is to determine how genes impact the development of osteosarcoma in dogs.

Study eligibility criteria include:
• Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, Scottish Deerhounds and Mastiffs with known pedigrees can participate in this study. Other breeds may be eligible upon approval by the Animal Cancer Institute.
• Dogs must have a diagnosis of appendicular osteosarcoma (Grades I-II), with no evidence of metastatic disease.
• There must be at least two unaffected first-degree relatives of the affected dog (parents, siblings, or offspring) that will consent to participation through the donation of 10-15 ml of EDTA-anticoagulated blood (samples from unaffected relatives are not required at the time of diagnosis or sample submission from the affected patient).
• Informed owner consent form authorizing pre-treatment excisional biopsy (to be collected in a medium supplied by the AMC), and commitment for treatment with an acceptable protocol (e.g. amputation or limb-sparing surgery and systemic chemotherapy with Cisplatin, Carboplatin, Adriamycin, or a combination thereof).
Trial Support/Funding Includes:
• $150 stipend toward cost of biopsy • Histopathology and shipping of samples (an approximate value of $130) will be performed at no charge by the AMC Cancer Research Center .

For more information please contact Jen Turner at the Animal Cancer Institute (202) 363-7300 or see our website at: www.animalcancerinstitute.com

________________________________________________________

 

 

Antiangiogenic Therapy for Dogs with Measurable Soft Tissue Sarcomas

Animal Cancer Institute Studies

Since its inception the Animal Cancer Institute and its Network of veterinary oncologists have offered cutting edge treatment options. The Animal Cancer Institute Network is based in Washington, DC and extends across the United States with sites in California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington .

It is the goal of the Animal Cancer Institute to provide more effective and less toxic options for the treatment of cancer. Collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry allows these options to be provided, in many cases, at substantially reduced costs. For more information on the therapeutic diet clinical study for cats with lymphoma, and the Animal Cancer Institute, visit our website at: www.animalcancerinstitute.com.

The Animal Cancer Institute, LLC
Cutting edge options for cancer
C. Khanna DVM, PhD, DACVIM
T. Rusk DVM


Study Monitor– Kate Cadorette
Phone: 202-363-7300 Fax: 202-363-7126
Email: kcadorette@animalcancerinstitute.com


You may register your clinic to receive electronic updates on trials available to your clients. Registration for eTrial Updates is available at our website, www.animalcancerinstitute.com.

 

Trial eligibility criteria include:
client owned pet dogs
• measurable, histologically confirmed soft tissue sarcomas, not including hemangiosarcomas
• tumors must be accessible for histopath collection and objective measurement using direct caliper measurement, ultrasound, radiographs or CT/MRI scan.
• favorable clinical performance status at entry (expected to remain clinically stable for 30 days).
• no previous exposure to antiangiogenic therapies
• no chemotherapy within 14 days of trial entry
• no radiation therapy administered within 21 days of trial entry
• corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents ok to continue if patient has been receiving for >14 days at time of study entry

Trial Support/Funding Includes:
Antiangiogenic peptide provided at no charge
• Biopsy (as required at trial initiation, date of first objective response and date of relapse)
• MRI at study entry, and every 3 months through Day 180 for selected patients

All patients must be evaluated and treated through a participating Animal Cancer Institute Network site, monthly.

Diagnostic and staging tests may be performed at any veterinary hospital within 10 days of initiation (full serum chemistry, CBC, U/A and thoracic radiographs).

Dogs will receive a supply of medication for in-home, daily subcutaneous injection or will be treated at a representative clinic every 14 days with a depot injection. Continued therapy will be available pending response to therapy.

All examination, tumor imaging and other diagnostic costs are patient’s responsibility.

Cases which relapse or are refractory following >30 days on antiangiogenic therapy will be eligible to receive open label gemcitabine therapy. Gemcitabine will be provided at no charge - all other costs associated with drug examination and drug administration will be owner responsibility. Assessment of response will be made following the first cycle of therapy and consideration for a
2nd cycle will be made based on patient response.

For more information please contact Kate Cadorette at the Animal Cancer Institute (202-363-7300) or see our website at www.animalcancerinstitiute.com.

________________________________________________________
 

 

Oral Antimitotic Agent for Dogs with Lymphoma
 

Animal Cancer Institute Studies

Since its inception the Animal Cancer Institute and its Network of veterinary oncologists have offered cutting edge treatment options. The Animal Cancer Institute Network is based in Washington, DC and extends across the United States with sites in California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington .

It is the goal of the Animal Cancer Institute to provide more effective and less toxic options for the treatment of cancer. Collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry allows these options to be provided, in many cases, at substantially reduced costs. For more information on the therapeutic diet clinical study for cats with lymphoma, and the Animal Cancer Institute, visit our website at: www.animalcancerinstitute.com.

The Animal Cancer Institute, LLC
Cutting edge options for cancer
C. Khanna DVM, PhD, DACVIM
T. Rusk DVM


For more information, contact
Jennifer Turner:

Phone: 202-363-7300
Fax: 202-363-7126
Email: jturner@animalcancerinstitute.com

You may register your clinic to receive electronic updates on trials available to your clients. Registration for eTrial Updates is available at our website, www.animalcancerinstitute.com.

Oral Antimitotic Agent for Dogs with Lymphoma


Eligibility Criteria Include:

• measurable, cytologically diagnosed NH lymphoma (histology collected at study entry)
• any clinical stage but must have nodal involvement- includes relapsed cases
• favorable performance score
• no concurrent chemotherapy (within 14 days of trial entry)
• no concurrent radiation therapy (within 21 days of trial entry)
• concurrent use of corticosteroids accepted providing treatment duration is greater than 21 days and/or no clinical improvement is noted. Measurable disease defined by examination, radiographs, ultra-sound, CT or MRI scan

Trial Design:
Diagnostic and staging tests may be performed at any veterinary hospital within 10 days of initiation of study:
• Serum biochemistry
• CBC
• Urinalysis
• Thoracic and abdominal radiographs

Patients will be treated at a participating Animal Cancer Institute Network clinic. Lymph node biopsies will be required at entry, Day 7, first objective response and at progression or relapse.

Trial Support/Funding Includes:
Laboratory, biopsy and professional fees (as required for the study) from time of enrollment through Day 56 (additional monthly exams beyond Day 56 will be owner’s financial responsibility)
• Oral Antimitotic agent through Day 56 (beyond Day 56, additional monthly shipments of study drug supply will be billed to the clinic/investigator at a rate of $50 per shipment)

Dogs will receive the oral medication over a 4-week initial phase. Continued therapy will be available pending response to therapy. Long-term follow-up recheck examinations will be performed monthly.

For more information please contact the Animal Cancer Institute (202-363-7300) or see our website at www.animalcancerinstitiute.com.
 


Hello everyone.

I have been asked to pass on this very important information.

Dr. Edmund Sullivan, who you may recall, is the wonderful vet from Bellingham Veterinary Critical Care, who did Comet's bone marrow transplant, is now working with a company called Leuchemix, that is developing a new drug to treat acute myeloid and acute lymphoblastic leukemia, two conditions that are often rapidly fatal.

In order to test the in vitro effectiveness of the drug being developed by Leuchemix, Dr. Sullivan and his team, need fresh whole blood or marrow samples from dogs with either of these conditions.

If in vitro effectiveness can be established, then a clinical trial will be set up for dogs with these conditions.

If anyone has questions about this in vitro study, they can contact Dr. Sullivan at the email address or phone numbers listed below.


Edmund Sullivan, DVM
Bellingham Veterinary
720 Virginia St
Bellingham WA 98225
360-734-0720
360-220-6083
bvcc720@yahoo.com


Thank you very much for your help. Together, we can make a difference, and take a bite out of canine cancer.

You are welcome to cross post this information, and updates will be posted on Blues' web site, at www.smilingblueskies.com, in Dr. Sullivan's special section.

You are also welcome to contact Dr. Sullivan directly.

We all remember the story of Comet.


Well, there have been nearly 100 dogs treated for lymphoma with a bone marrow transplant (Actually, the process is stem cell therapy, since there is no collection of actual bone marrow, but rather, the stem cells that reside in the marrow are removed.) during the last 10 years. Most of these patients were treated at North Carolina State University, and the remainder were treated in Bellingham, and two private practices located in Los Angeles and San Diego.

Of all these patients, approximately 40 percent have been long term survivors, that is, free of lymphoma for at least 2 years.

Comet and Annabelle, two of the very first transplant patients, lived out the remainder of their lives, free of lymphoma!

Some of the patients who relapsed following the bone marrow transplant, responded well to rescue therapy, and have been surviving up to 2 years.

Dr. Sullivan told me that there have also been significant improvements in the transplant process itself. Currently, they have an optimal treatment protocol. This protocol involves early planning for a transplant, best done during the first remission, which is usually 6 to 8 weeks following induction chemotherapy, as this allows for a better outcome and reduces the overall cost of lymphoma therapy in general, since the bone marrow transplant process is a definitive therapy that does not require long term chemotherapy.

Further, they identify a tumor marker prior to treatment, to confirm molecular remission, and the medications used to optimize the stem cell collection have also been improved. The machine used for the stem cell collection, called an apheresis machine, has been updated too.

Notably, the process is also significantly less expensive that it was 10 years ago. While it was about $40,000 ten years ago, today, the cost is $12,000 to $15,000 US, depending on the size of the dog.

In addition, over the last 8 months, a special service has been put into place, for the identification of related bone marrow donors for allogenic transplants.

Wednesday, April 6, 2005
What price a pet's life? $45,000 to treat Comet
 
Here is an Update on Comet's Progress, 21 Months Since His Original Diagnosis, 
and 15 Months Since his Bone Marrow Transplant

 
Comet has been doing very well and is currently off all medications related to his transplant.  He has no signs of graft versus host disease, is apparently free of lymphoma, and has sustained engraftment.  He runs five miles every day with his owner and other Golden Retriever companion, Ajax.  This month is 21 months since his original diagnosis and 15 months since his transplant.  
 
Dr. Westfall and Dr. Sullivan, continue working towards providing transplants for additional patients, and they have 8 patients with lymphoma being staged for both allogenic and autologous transplants.  Currently, the cost for an autologous transplant is expected to be around $12K US and an allogenic transplant between $18-20K depending upon the size of the dog, the number of matching studies, and the length of hospitalization.  The doctors hope that these costs will continue to decline as they learn more and streamline the process.  With an autologous transplant they expect to have long term disease free periods in 30% of these patients.  With allogenic transplants with matching DLA donors (sibling donors), they expect up to 60% long term disease free periods.  These numbers are estimates based upon the results of  autologous transplants done 25 years ago adjusted for improvements in chemo protocols and supportive care post transplant. 
 
It is important that staging for the transplants be started as soon after the initial diagnosis as possible since autologous transplants are best done in the first remission.  Also, the use of Neupogen and un-irradiated blood products before the transplant can interfere with mobilization and engraftment. 

"Comet is like many Golden Retrievers: gentle, devoted, enthusiastically greeting each day wih his wagging, plumed tail. He loves to swim, run in the woods and pack around his large toy hamburger.

But Comet is different. He's one of very few dogs worldwide to receive a stem-cell transplant for cancer treatment, rather than primarily for research. Cost of the therapy: $45,000.

Visit the following link, to read more about the miraculous story of Comet, the Golden Retriever, written by Warren King, Seattle Times Medical Reporter. (Permission has been granted by the Seattle Times, to post this link.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002232414_dogtransplant06m.html

Drs. Edmund Sullivan and Theresa Westfall,
Veterinarians at Bellingham Veterinary & Critical Care
Bellingham, Washington


Drs. Edmund Sullivan and Theresa Westfall, veterinarians at Bellingham Veterinary & Critical Care, located in Bellingham, Washington, have been extraordinary at "pushing the envelope", trying to get treatment for desperately sick animals. They have been working with the researchers at the Fred
Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, located in Seattle, Washington, a world renowned facility for cancer treatment. People come from all over the world, to be treated at FHCRC. You can visit the centre on line, at http://www.fhcrc.org/

Many of you may be familiar with the FHCRC, because of the work they have been doing to "develop the resources necessary to map and clone canine genes, in an effort to utilize dogs as a model system for genetics and cancer research. The Dog Genome Project is moving from the FHCRC to the National Human Genome Research Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, located in Bethesda, Maryland. The project will change its name to the NHGRI Dog Genome Project, and will be found on the web at http://research.nhgri.nih.gov/dog_genome/.

About a year ago, Drs. Sullivan and Westfall and the team at the FHCRC did a bone marrow transplant on a young Golden Retriever from San Juan Island named Comet, who was suffering from T-Cell lymphoma. This was not an experimental treatment, in the sense that most of the bone marrow transplant knowledge for humans, has been gained through work with dogs. However, this was one of the few times, at least in the United States, that a pet had been given a bone marrow transplant for lymphoma. Comet is alive and well, and accompanies his people on a 5 mile run every day. Comet's "one year anniversary" is coming up in a couple of weeks!

The following, is an excerpt from an email, that was just shared with a group of Golden Retriever fanciers and breeders:

"We are currently treating cases of high grade lymphoma (any subtype is fair game, T Cell, B Cell, lymphoblastic, etc.) and leukemia. These two groups are known to respond well to bone marrow transplants--there are literally thousands of people who have been treated. Comet is evidence that current knowledge is out there and potentially can be adapted to treat some of these common forms of cancer in dogs." (Thanks to Nancy Clifton)

If you have a dog with lymphoma, or know of one, they may be eligible for this treatment . This is a fantastic breakthrough. We have all done our homework, and we all know that there is much more homework to be done, but this opens the window of hope even further, for our beloved heart dogs.



Contact Information:

Edmund Sullivan, DVM
Theresa Westfall, DVM
Bellingham Veterinary & Critical Care
720 Virginia Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
360-734-0720
360-752-5555 fax
bvcc720@yahoo.com
http://www.skagitvalleyherald.com/articles/2004/04/12/news/news06.txt

You or your veterinarian can call Bellingham Veterinary and Critical Care, at
360-734-0720. They are located at 720 Virginia Street, Bellingham, WA, USA, 98225.

 

back to top


Index of Grants:


Index of Articles:

back to top


To All Friends of Dogs:

It's hard to believe that almost three years have gone by already since Thunder was diagnosed with lymphoma. I remember so many details of that moment: how my weight was shifted to my left leg, the color of my shoes, the feel of Thunder's broad head under my hand, his eyes. I remember his trusting eyes so well. Odd, though, I don't recall much of what was said, just the sound of a voice breaking the news that I'd already guessed. I got through that moment, but never away from it.

If you've had Goldens for very long, or dogs for very long, you know that moment, because you've been there. And if you haven't been there yet, you will be. Sixty to seventy percent of Goldens die of cancer; forty-five percent of all dogs die of cancer. In fact, some of you are hearing the news that your dog has cancer today, and some will hear the news tomorrow, or next week. Right now, that's almost a given if you own multiple dogs.

Am Ch Faera's Future Classic OS - Thunder

After Thunder was diagnosed, I searched for answers, the same as everyone else does. How do I help him? Why did this happen? How do I protect my other dogs? I have to admit that my first reaction was centered on MY dogs - I did not immediately see the bigger picture. But what I finally realized was that to help my own dogs, I needed to become part of the bigger picture. The only way to improve the future for my dogs, was to become part of the solution by participating in research to help all dogs.

And I discovered very quickly that helping other dogs, helping my breed, gave meaning to that moment. If I had to lose Thunder, what better legacy could he leave behind, than to be part of a more hopeful future?

I wrote a public letter then, hoping to help recruit others who wanted to do more than just grieve for their impending loss. And so many who read the plea responded. Their willingness to reach out in the midst of their sorrow, really made a difference in a lymphoma study that was in progress at that time. And I'm sure that every owner who participated would affirm that they are grateful they had that opportunity.

Thunder passed away about 2 years ago. The disease got him - but in one small way, he struck a blow against the disease too. That remains a source of comfort.

So here we are, nearly three years later, and I'm writing another letter. There is a new canine cancer study that needs our support and participation. This one is for Goldens, Rottweilers, and Mastiffs who have been diagnosed with lymphoma or osteosarcoma. Other breeds may be included with prior approval of the researchers. Owners and their vet will need to submit biopsy samples, a blood sample, a pedigree, signed consent forms, and agree to acceptable chemotherapy treatment. Blood samples will also be needed from 2 unaffected first degree relatives (parents, siblings, offspring).

Now here's the part that is sometimes a problem: the biopsy sample must be prepared in a very specific way, using a solution supplied by the researchers. Therefore, the researchers must be contacted at least a day or two PRIOR to the surgery. In addition, the dog must not have started treatment such as chemotherapy or prednisone before the biopsy.

We who love our dogs, the scientists trying to help us, and of course, the dogs themselves - need your help. We're all in this together, and together we can make a difference.

If you are faced with that numbing moment when you hear or suspect a diagnosis of lymphoma or osteosarcoma, and your dog fits the study requirements, please contact me. I know it takes courage to look beyond that moment, while you are in the midst of it. But I also know that these affected dogs who participate in research, leave behind a legacy that will be one of your greatest comforts.

If your dog does not meet the requirements for this study, and you would like to find one that is suitable, I will try to help. Even if you just have questions, I will try to help. Like I said, we're all in this together.

Sincerely,
Rhonda Hovan
rhondahovan@aol.com 
330-668-0044

back to top


Current Canine Health Foundation Studies In Cancer

In a recent issue of the "Golden Retriever News", Rhonda Hovan, breeder/exhibitor/judge called upon every Golden Retriever Club of America member, to make a personal financial commitment to support canine health research. Below, you will find an abstract of each of the grants being carried out by the Canine Health Foundation, that address an aspect of canine cancer. Each of these studies holds great promise, not only for Golden Retrievers, but for all pure breeds, but without sustained commitment from each of us, studies like these, and studies being carried out right here, at the University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College, will never achieve their full potential, of being able to provide our dogs, whether pure breed or mixed breed, with longer, healthier lives.

The Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund (Pet Trust: In Memory of Blues) is one way that you can help make a difference.  Every donation you make to the fund, and every piece of one-of-a-kind art work that you order, helps us move one step closer to the  day, we can truly laugh in the face of the cruel joke we call cancer.

back to top


Golden Retriever Club of American Foundation
Golden Retriever Research
A Legacy of Hope

With your generous financial support, the Golden Retriever Foundation funds a diverse range of health studies investigating diseases such as several types of cancers, swallowing disorders, cataracts, SAS, and other issues of importance to the breed. In order to succeed, several of these studies require the cooperation of owners and participation of affected dogs -- yet when one's dog is diagnosed with a serious disease, owners may have difficulty recalling details of research studies. Please check back here often, and if you are a subscriber to the "Golden Retriever News", you will find information about research being conducted, in every issue.

For some studies, it is important that the dogs NOT be started on any medications prior to enrollment, or that biopsy or surgical samples be prepared in a specific manner, so please make contact as soon as possible when a diagnosis is suspected. Remember also that dogs owned by people who are not Golden Retriever Club of America members, are also eligible for these studies, and please consider referring other Golden owners when possible. Our Blues, a Canadian Kennel Club registered Golden Retriever, was a participant in one of these very important studies.

We recognize that it takes great courage to look beyond one's own sorrow when a special dog is diagnosed with a devastating disease, and we applaud the owners who participate in these research studies. Sometimes in the midst of sadness, helping to work toward a better future allows our beloved dogs to leave a legacy of hope to the next generation.

For more information, questions, or assistance, regarding the Golden Retriever Foundation's research studies, please contact the Golden Retriever Club of America's Research Faciliatator, Rhonda Hovan. Her email address is rhondahovan@aol.com, and her telephone number is 330-668-0044. Together, we can make a difference.

http://www.goldenretrieverfoundation.org/

back to top


Vaccine studies for canine malignant melanoma:

Vaccine studies for canine malignant melanoma and canine lymphoma are under way at several institutions around the United States, including Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, the Animal Medical Centre, the University of Wisconsin, University of Pennsylvania and the National Jewish Medical and Research Centre, in collaboration with private veterinary oncologists in Denver, Colorado.

You can find additional information on canine cancer studies at: http://www.amcny.org

See the clinical trials on the links.

http://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/currentstudies/canine.asp

http://vmthpub.vetmed.wisc.edu/sa_services/med/oncology/Vaccines.htm

http://vmthpub.vetmed.wisc.edu/sa_services/med/oncology/Oral.htm

back to top


Toronto Star - Sep. 25, 2003. 06:24 AM

Royal treatment for a sick Rover
$5M animal hospital to treat cancer
Oakville facility to be state of the art

FRANK CALLEJA
STAFF REPORTER

A $5 million veterinary emergency hospital being built in Oakville will offer cancer treatment, orthopedic surgery and eventually a CAT scan and MRI in what is said to be the largest such medical treatment facility for pets in Canada.

Construction on the 21,000-square-foot building began yesterday on a site on Bristol Circle, near Winston Churchill Blvd. and the Queen Elizabeth Way, on the Oakville-Mississauga border.

"This will be the largest private facility of its kind in Canada and one of the few existing in the world," said Dr. Wolfgang Zenker, veterinarian for the High Park zoo and one of 20 veterinarians involved in the project.

He expects the hospital, due to open next spring, will treat up to 30,000 pets every year.

Zenker, a well-known veterinarian in Oakville for 33 years, said the hospital has been eight years in the planning and was inspired by a growing need for a facility that is able to offer leading-edge medical services for pets, including dogs, cats, birds, and more exotic creatures such as rabbits and reptiles.

"With provision for an MRI, a linear accelerator for cancer treatment, and a CAT scan, the hospital will serve as a referral centre for specialists during the day and an emergency treatment centre after hours," Zenker said.

Although there is no fee schedule available, rates for procedures will be competitive, he said.

"More than 50 per cent of Canadians own pets. We expect owners from across the country and the U.S. will bring their animals here because the specialized services are simply not available anywhere else in the community," he said.

"For example, one of the areas we will eventually develop will be for the treatment of cancer, and the hospital will eventually have a linear accelerator which is used in cancer diagnosis."

There will be six specialist examination rooms, four treatment rooms, and a hydrotherapy room with a variable-height water tank complete with a treadmill walker for exercising dogs after special operations.

Zenker said there will be on-site laboratory blood testing, three operating rooms, x-ray facilities, three wards and 15 kennel suites for post-surgery recovery. There will also be an emergency department with six examination rooms that will be open all day.

The hospital, known as the Mississauga-Oakville Emergency Veterinary Clinic, will be an around-the-clock operation, and have 12 specialists on duty during the day and three emergency veterinarians overnight.

"In all, there will be a staff complement of 70 to 80 and we'll add staff, specialists and equipment as the facility grows," said Zenker, who has operated Burloak Animal Clinic, on Lakeshore Rd. W. in Oakville, since 1970.

Zenker is a specialist in treating exotic animals, including large cats like tigers and lions.

As a youngster, he was known as the boy with the alligator.

He raised the alligator until it was about 2 metres long before selling it to a reptile museum in Parry Sound.

"We've come a long way in the treatment and understanding of animal care and this new facility will not only help with that care, but also enhance our ability to improve quality of life for pets," he said.

back to top




Cellular Genomics - A Cytogenetic Investigation of Canine Soft Tissue Sarcomas
Matthew Breen, PhD. North Carolina State University

Lay Abstract Excerpt: It has been established that non-random chromosome aberrations are characteristic of specific types of many different human cancers. In the dog the extent and identity of chromosome aberrations associated with specific cancers is still largely unknown. In certain breedsŠ soft tissue sarcomas account for up to 50% of all malignant tumors and thus represent a serious health and welfare issue for those breeds. This research proposes to make use of major recent advances in canine molecular cytogenetics to identify recurrent chromosome aberrations associated with canine soft tissue sarcomas, in particular those of histiocytic origin.

back to top




Characterization of Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Dysfunction in Malignant Histiocytosis
Cheryl London, DVM, PhD: University of California, Davis

Lay Abstract Excerpt: Malignant histiocytosis (MH), while rare in people, occurs frequently in certain breeds of dogs including Golden Retrievers. There is no effective therapy for this disease and nearly all patients die with 2-4 months of diagnosis. The research proposes to evaluate MH tumor specimens for mutations in genes that may contribute to the development of this devastating cancer.

back to top




Growth Signaling Pathways in the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Canine Cancer
Principal Investigator, Stuart Helfand, DVM, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin.
Co-Investigator and Contact Person, Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD, AMC Cancer Research Center

back to top




Transferring Receptor Expression by Canine Brain Tumors
Principal Investigator: Natasha Olby, PhD, North Carolina State University

back to top




The Molecular Cytogenics of Canine Lymphosarcoma: Correlating Chromosomal Changes with Clinical Disease
Principal Investigator, Matthew Breen, PhD, North Carolina State University

back to top




Heritable and Sporadic Genetic Lesions in Canine Lymphoma and Osteosarcoma
Principal Investigator: Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD, AMC Cancer Research Center

back to top




Identification and Characterization of Genetic Mutations in Canine Mast Cell Tumors
Principal Investigator: Cheryl London, DVM, PhD, University of California, Davis

back to top


K9CAREK9 Cancer Awareness, Research, and Education

http://www.k9care.org/

The mission of K9 Cancer, Awareness, Research & Education (K9CARE) is a simple one. We have joined together to raise funds for canine cancer research. It is our way of battling a disease that has touched so many. We also plan to provide information about canine cancer and to hopefully make others aware of the importance of this issue. An account has been set up with the Morris Animal Foundation, and for every $2500 deposited, we will be sponsoring a canine cancer research project.

back to top


Canine Cancer Research Information

http://www.goldstockfund.org/cancerresearch.html

Canine Cancer is the leading cause of death in Golden Retrievers. There are dedicated scientists conducting research across the country. Many of these studies need dogs to Goldstock Fundparticipate in the research. Many times that participation can be as simple as a blood sample. Others are looking for samples, detailed information and more, from dogs diagnosed with specific types of cancer. We at The Goldstock Fund, want to provide a central location of information on active Canine Cancer Research. Our first priority would be to focus on those studies that involve Golden Retrievers. We realize, however, that other studies being done could impact our breed further down the research line. We also would like to include those studies as time permits. Although some of these studies may have very specific criteria for participation, others will be looking for samples to be used for control groups (i.e. healthy Golden Retrievers). Many of the studies will not be restricted to Golden Retrievers, but will include various other breeds. If you hear of a research study, please mail to: info@goldstockfund.org as we want to include all studies seeking participants. We salute the researchers dedicated to finding cures and answers. We applaud the owners who refuse to let their dogs die in vain, and who have the courage to take the extra step to help these researchers be successful.

back to top


DNA Sought for Cancer Research

Denver's AMC Cancer Research Centre is conducting the study "Heritable and Sporadic Genetic Lesions in Canine Lymphoma and Osteosarcoma." Owners of Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, and Mastiffs diagnosed with lymphoma or osteosarcoma can assist in this vital research by submitting DNA samples (prerequisites must be met). For the full list of prerequisites and sample instructions, please contact Jaime Modiano, VMD, at 303-239-3408 or modianoj@amc.org. Information and updates will be posted on the AMC Cancer Research Centre web site at www.amc.org.

back to top


Some clinical trials offer free cancer treatment

http://www.heska.com/clinicaltrials/cancertrials.asp

Financial constraints can be daunting, when seeking the best treatment for your dog. Even with pet insurance, the costs for chemotherapy can soar to four figures. Clinical research trials, often performed at veterinary colleges, including Tufts, investigate new methods of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Depending on funding, some programmes don't charge owners for services. Trials focus on different types of cancer, according to the investigator's interests, funding source, and support offered. For example, the Heska Corporation, www.heska.com, manufacturer of animal health products in Fort Collins, Colorado, is enrolling dogs with soft tissue sarcoma or oral malignant melanoma, in clinical trials, to test a gene-based therapy that stimulates the immune system response to the tumour. Tufts is studying new treatments for lymphoma and mast cell tumours, as well as a continuing programme of autologous (dog's own) bone marrow transplant for lymphoma. Contact -- Kelly Reed at Tufts -- 508-839-5395, Ext. 84682. The Veterinary Cancer Society, based in Schaumburg, Illinois, 619-460-2002, lists clinical trials and oncology specialists nationwide at www.vetcancersociety.org. Clinical trials offer the opportunity to receive promising new therapies often in conjunction with traditional care regimens. There is often a financial incentive for owners who might otherwise not be able to afford treatment. Pet owners are given all the options and are supported in their decisions.

Cancer continues to be a major health problem in the United States with dogs and people sharing almost identical death rates from it. Cancer causes approximately one in four human deaths, said Kenneth M. Rassnick, D.V.M., Dip. ACVIM, professor of oncology at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Regardless of age, one in four dogs' deaths is due to cancer. Since cancer registries are not available in veterinary medicine, it is likely this number is even higher.

Resource: Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, "Your Dog", A Magazine for Caring Dog Owners, October 2002

back to top


Free Chemotherapy for Dogs with Lymphoma

Free chemotherapy for dogs with lymphoma!  Yes - FREE.  Beginning April 15th we begin a clinical trial for dogs with lymphoma.  We're only one of three clinics in the United States, participating in a trial to help dogs with lymphoma.  All costs for patient evaluation and treatment are at NO CHARGE to the pet owner!  Call or email us for additional  details.
For further information, please contact:
Kevin A. Hahn, DVM, PhD
Diplomate ACVIM (Oncology)
Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists
1111 West Loop South, Suite 150
Houston, TX 77027
Phone Number:  (713) 693-1166    
Fax Number:  (713)693-1167
http://www.gulfcoastvetspec.com   
mailto:drhahn@gulfcoastvetspec.com

Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists Chemotherapy Tidbits

http://www.gcvs.com/oncology/pwc/chemoinformation.htm

This link provides a summary of information obtained from the current veterinary literature and from the personal experiences of Dr. Kevin Hahn. It does NOT replace your regular veterinarian. However, you are welcome to consult with Dr. Kevin Hahn. Please call 713-693-1166.

This link provides information about the following:

  • Principles of Chemotherapy
  • When Should Chemotherapy Be Considered?
  • Tumour Growth and Response to Chemotherapy
  • Pharmacologic Principles of Chemotherapy (Dose Response Curve, Therapeutic Index, Drug Classes, Resistance to Chemotherapy, Chemotherapy Protocols, Combinations and Scheduling, Multi-Modal Therapy, Dose Determination,Administration)
  • Chemotherapy Safety Guidelines
  • Management of Chemotherapy Side Effects
  • Chemotherapy Dosages, Indications, and Adverse Reactions, including, Asparaginase/Elspar, Carboplatin/Paraplatin, CCNU/ Lomustine, Cisplatin/Platinol, Cyclophosphamide/Cytoxan, Doxorubicin/ Adriamycin, and Vincristine/Oncovin
  • Chemotherapy Dosage Conversion Chart

http://www.gcvs.com/oncology/pwc/chemoinformation.htm

 


Transferring Receptor Expression by Canine Brain Tumors
Principal Investigator: Natasha Olby, PhD, North Carolina State University

Abstract: Dogs that are not treated following diagnosis of a brain tumour survive an average of only two weeks. Treatment with either surgery and/or radiation can extend their survival to about ten months. Clearly there is a need for new approaches to treating brain tumours in dogs if survival is to be improved. In humans, malignant brain tumours are being treated successfully with toxins targeted specifically to a marker expressed by tumour cells: the transferrin receptor. In preliminary work, we have shown that untreated canine brain tumours also express this marker. The primary aim of this project is to establish whether brain tumours that have recurred following treatment with radiation or surgery still express the transferrin receptor. This information will allow us to determine whether transferrin receptor targeted toxins should be used as the primary form of treatment of brain tumours, or can be used to treat recurrent tumours following more conventional therapy. We hypothesize that brain tumours will express transferrin receptors at high levels after treatment and therefore that transferrin-linked therapy can be instituted in combination with more conventional therapy.

Final Report: Immunohistochemical staining for transferrin receptors has been completed on brain tumours from 80 dogs. Analysis indicates that transferrin receptors were expressed by all of the tumours. In addition, collaboration with another group led to investigation of the expression of insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IFG-1R), and it was determined that IFG-1R is also expressed very strongly in certain types of brain cancers. This study also determined that a third receptor (EGFR), is also expressed on many of the brain tumours. Each of the various receptors that are expressed in different types of brain cancers may lead to therapies targeted specifically to those cancers.

back to top



Grants



CHF Grant # X65:
Identification and Characterization of Genetic Mutations in Canine Mast Cell Tumours

Principal Investigator: Cheryl London, DVM, PhD;
University of California, Davis

The most common malignant tumour in dogs is the mast cell tumour (MCT, a form of skin cancer), occurring with an incidence of close to 20% in the canine population. MCTs range from relatively benign to extremely aggressive, leading to tumour spread and eventual death. Particular breeds of dog are at risk for the development of this tumour, indicating a role for genetic factors. We have previously identified mutations in the gene c-kit in 30-50% of dog MCTs. c-Kit plays a critical role in regulating the growth and function of normal mast cells, and as the mutations we discovered cause uncontrolled function of c-kit, it is likely they influence MCT development in dogs. This proposal will establish a prospective tumour registry of dog MCTs to be used for investigation of the true incidence of c-kit mutations within specific dog breeds. Moreover, the studied outlined in this grant will identify additional genetic mutations present in dog MCTs that can be used for the development of new targeted therapeutics. In summary, this work will provide a much more detailed understanding of dog MCTs, thereby building a framework for the development of new therapies and strategies for disease prevention.

Start date and duration: January, 2003, for two years

Recruitment is beginning for this study. Golden Retrievers affected with mast cell tumour(s) are eligible, and several tissue samples prepared in a specific way are required.

back to top


CHF Grant # 1626
Significance of Tumour Suppressor Genes in Canine Cancer
Principal Investigator:  Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD
AMC Cancer Research Centre

Lymphomas and leukemias (cancer of white blood cells), and melanomas (tumours of pigmented cells responsible for skin colouring) are among the most common cancers of dogs. These tumours can occur in any breed.
However, lymphoma and leukemia are especially common in Golden Retrievers and Boxers, and melanoma is seen more often in Irish and Gordon Setters, Standard and Miniature Schnauzers, Doberman Pinschers, and Scottish Terriers, suggesting that these diseases may have a hereditary component.
Like other tumours, lymphoma, leukemia, and melanoma arise from cells that grow in an uncontrolled fashion. Normally, tumour suppressor genes would constrain or eliminate these renegade cells, but mutation can disable these genes in cancer cells, contributing to the development and progression of cancer. This laboratory has characterized the mechanisms that control tumour suppressor gene function in canine cells. For these studies, the frequency of mutations of two important tumour suppressor genes in canine melanoma and lymphoma, will be examined.  This will enable them, to determine the relationship of tumour suppressor gene mutations with the prevalence of these cancers in high-risk breeds, as well as with prognosis and outcome. The results from the studies will provide tools that may predict the risk of a dog or its offspring to develop these devastating tumours.  This information could have an immediate, visible, and long-lasting impact on canine health, when used judiciously for breeding decisions. Additionally, it may be useful in the future, by paving the way towards the development of advanced molecular therapies for canine cancer.

back to top


CHF Grant # 2025
Growth Signaling Pathways in the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Canine Cancer
Principal Investigator: Stuart Helfand, DVM
School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin
Co-Investigator and Contact Person:  Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD
AMC Cancer Research Centre

Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is a common cancer in dogs that originates from cells lining the blood vessels. HSA can affect any dog, but is seen more often in German Shepherds, Skye Terriers, and Golden Retrievers.  This suggests that this disease has a heritable component. Tumours arise when cells respond inappropriately to growth factors, allowing them to divide continuously in an uncontrolled fashion.  Tumour suppressor genes contain or eliminate these rapidly dividing cells, but mutations in these genes can disable their ability to function correctly.  This laboratory is examining the idea that the loss of function of one of these tumour suppressor genes, PTEN, leads to the increased production of tumour growth factors. In their studies, they will examine the frequency of the mutations in the PTEN gene from dogs with HSA, and the relationship of these mutations to increased production of a specific tumour growth factor, VEGF. The results of their research could lead to tests for screening dogs for mutations in PTEN, and information could have an immediate and long-lasting impact on canine health when used judiciously for breeding decisions. They will also test the function within these cells, as a treatment for HSA.  Such work may lead the way for the further development of novel therapies for the treatment of canine hemangiosarcoma.

back to top


CHF Grant #2038: 
The Molecular Cytogenics of Canine Lymphosarcoma:
Correlating Chromosomal Changes with Clinical Disease

Principal Investigator:  Robert Dunstan, DVM, MS
Texas A & M University
Co-investigator:  Matthew Breen, PhD
Animal Health Trust, Great Britain

Cancer kills.  Twenty years ago, the diagnosis of lymphosarcoma (a tumour of the lymph glands) in humans was almost invariably fatal. However, with the development of improved means to sub-classify this neoplasm and the tailoring of therapies that are subtype-specific, more and more forms of lymphosarcoma are treatable.  One of the most important means of sub-classification of human tumours is based on the identification of chromosome abnormalities.  In the dog, lymphosarcoma comprises one in five malignancies;  however, the extent and identity of chromosome aberrations is still unknown.  This is largely because the chromosomes of dogs were extremely difficult to identify with confidence.  Recently, we have developed a set of canine chromosome-specific reagents that allow us to identify conclusively every dog chromosome.  We propose to use these reagents to identify the chromosome aberrations associated with dog lymphosarcoma and to investigate the correlation between these aberrations and the clinical disease.  Such an approach offers a means to potentially sub-divide this diverse disease in dogs, thereby offering new information of diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy.  Identification of specific chromosome aberrations will also help to investigate the correlation between the genetic etiologies in dogs with those in humans.

back to top


CHF Grant # 2254
Heritable and Sporadic Genetic Lesions in Canine Lymphoma and Osteosarcoma
Principal Investigator:  Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD
AMC Cancer Research Centre

Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph glands) and osteosarcoma (bone cancer) are two common cancers of dogs with remarkable breed predisposition. Lymphoma accounts for approximately 20% of all canine tumours, and greater than 80% of cancer originating from blood cells. Osteosarcoma is the most common bone tumour in dogs, accounting for 85% of skeletal cancers. All cancers have a genetic basis, and in effect, these conditions represent various diseases, each sharing one or a few genetic abnormalities that contributes to overall risk and treatment response.  However, a means does not exist to identify individual genes and larger regions within the genome that appear to be important in canine cancer. For this project, we propose to confirm the frequency and significance of these genetic anomalies in lymphoma and osteosarcoma of Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, Irish Setters, and Bernese Mountain Dogs. This work will begin to determine which of these anomalies may be heritable and which may be sporadic, and pave the way to apply this knowledge for clinical benefits by providing potential targets for treatment, and tools to determine individual risk to develop these types of cancer or produce cancer-prone progeny.

This study has enrolled 24 dogs affected with lymphoma (LSA) and 18 dogs affected with osteosarcoma (OSA), and their first degree relatives. DNA from these tumours has been examined using molecular cytogenetics (comparative genomic hybridization, or CGH.), exploring the loss or amplification of selected oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes (including p16, Rb, and PTEN). Preliminary data indicate that the Rb tumour suppressor pathway is inactivated in all cases of LSA, and is inactivated or compromised in all OSA cases. Collaborations resulting from this study are ongoing with several researchers, which permits maximum utilization resources. Intriguing data is being generated that may help owners and treating veterinarians make treatment decisions based on breed specific risks. Recruitment for this study is ongoing. Owners of Goldens with lymphoma or osteosarcoma are urged to participate. The owner will need to submit biopsy samples, a blood sample, a pedigree, a signed consent form, and agree to acceptable chemotherapy treatment. Blood samples will also be needed from 2 unaffected first degree relatives (parents, siblings, offspring). The biopsy sample must be prepared in a very specific way, using a solution supplied by the researchers in advance. Therefore, the researchers must be contacted at least a day or two PRIOR to the surgery. This minor delay will not adversely affect the outcome for the dog. In addition, the dog must not have started treatment such as chemotherapy or prednisone before the biopsy. This study has resulted in two manuscripts in preparation for peer reviewed publications.

back to top


CHF Grant # 1626
Significance of Tumour Suppressor Genes in Canine Cancer
Principal Investigator:  Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD
AMC Cancer Research Centre

Conclusions were that dogs with lymphoma and certain kinds of leukemia express a receptor that is of interest in new approaches to treatment of human hemolymphatic cancers. Therefore, research into developing new targeted therapies for treatment of human cancers may possibly be accomplished using dogs as a model of disease. This should benefit dogs through the addition of human research money and effort toward understanding canine lymphma and leukemia, and the potential development of similar targeted treatments for canine cancers.

back to top


CHF Grant # 2646
Characterization of Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Dysfunction in Malignant Histiocytosis
Principal Investigator: Cheryl London, DVM, PhD, University of California, Davis


Malignant histiocytosis (MH), while rare in people, occurs frequently in certain breeds of dogs including Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers, Flat-Coated Retrievers and Bernese Mountain Dogs. There is no effective therapy for this disease and nearly all patients die within 2 to 4 months of diagnosis. The purpose of this proposal is to evaluate MH tumour specimens for mutations in genes that may contribute to the development of this devastating cancer. The genes of interest are those that code for proteins known as growth factor receptors. These proteins are present on the surface of the cell and when stimulated by growth factors, signal into the cell promoting cell survival and growth. Dysregulation of growth factor receptors is a common mechanism through which normal cells undergo transformation into cancer cells. Significant research has been directed towards the development of inhibitors capable of blocking the function of dysregulated receptors. Recent success of this approach has been realized with the inhibitor
Gleevec in the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia in people. The purpose of this proposal is to identify growth factor receptors that are dysregulated in MH to provide the foundation for future clinical application of growth factor receptor inhibitors in the treatment of MH. The study commenced in October 2003, for a duration of 2 years. Dogs are actively being recruited, who have been diagnosed with malignant histiocytosis.

Rhonda Hovan, author of "Perspectives" articles for The Golden Retriever News
Golden Retriever Club of America/Golden Retriever Foundation Supported Canine Health Research
Golden Retriever News;  Vol. LV111, No. 6;  November - December 2001

back to top


OVC prof takes cancer research to new heights


OVC prof takes cancer research to new heights When Dr. Julius Liptak, a recently-appointed assistant professor in small  animal surgery in OVC's Department of Clinical Studies, made the move from Colorado to Guelph, the differences in  elevation between the two areas gave him some interesting food for thought. Now, with colleagues from Colorado State  University, he is embarking on the first study - in veterinary or human medicine - to investigate the links between rates of tumour growth and altitude. This study could lead to new insights about how cancer progresses in people and animals. Liptak explains that at higher altitudes, where there is less oxygen in the air, the body responds by forming more blood vessels in order to increase oxygen availability. Because of this, Liptak and his research partners wonder if tumour
growth may also be more aggressive at higher altitudes. This study, funded by OVC's Pet Trust Fund, will investigate the effects of altitude on tumour growth by comparing dogs afflicted with bone tumours in Ontario with those in the Colorado Rockies. The study will involve dogs that come to the OVC's Small Animal Clinic for treatment, as well dogs who receive treatment at the Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University. Both groups of dogs will be treated with the same chemotherapy drugs - the same medication used to treat cancer in humans.

The outcomes of treatment and the rate of spread of the disease will be compared. Liptak hopes that the study will benefit both dogs and humans, and he says this is often the case with cancer research. “Cancer's cancer,” he says. “The way it forms and spreads is the same in dogs and people.” In a unique new study that will benefit both humans an animals, Dr. Julius Liptak (at right with dog Eastwood) is investigating the effects of altitude on tumour growth.

Typically, he says, studying cancer in dogs and cats can shed light on human disease - in a fraction of the time it would take to study the same thing in humans. “The biological behaviour of certain cancers is the same in humans as it is in animals,” he says. “But, in dogs and cats, cancer spreads more quickly because oftheir shorter life span. This means that we can see a lot more quickly how successfu a treatment will be.” As well, Liptak says that veterinary medicine can gain from the expanse of knowledge and research about human cancer. In a second project funded by Pet Trust, he is investigating the effects of pre-operative chemotherapy - chemotherapy treatment before surgery to remove cancerous growths - in dogs with bone tumours. “In humans, there is a higher survival rate if chemotherapy is administered before surgery,” he says. “We'll see if this is a case where something that works for humans
can also work for animals.” One might think that working with dogs with cancer and their distressed
owners would be emotionally draining, but Liptak says it's just the opposite. “When owners come in, they know their dogs have cancer,” he says. “So every day you can give them after treatment is another day they might not otherwise have had.

It's very rewarding. The treatment of cancer is rarely a negative experience. Many patients will eventually succumb to the disease, but with the good quality of life provided by anticancer treatments, each day is precious.”

- Karen Gallant

back to top


 
 

 
 

ONGOING RECRUITMENT OF CANINE TUMORS

For further details on recruitment please contact CVM_K9Genomics@ncsu.edu

Recruitment information Canine Soft Tissue Sarcomas

Recruitment information Canine lymphoma and osteosarcoma

Recruitment information Canine leukemia

Research Focus:

Dr. Matthew Breen graduated with honours in Genetics from the University of Liverpool, U.K. in 1987. He completed his PhD, working on cytogenetics of the Equidae in 1990. Dr. Breen was employed as a Post Doctoral research scientist in Molecular Genetics at the U.K. Medical Research Council's Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he was responsible for developing improved fluorescence in situ hybridization techniques as part of the Human Genome Mapping Project. Dr. Breen then spent four years working for the Australian Thoroughbred industry, based at the University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia. In 1996 Dr. Breen returned to the U.K. where his laboratory developed molecular cytogenetics reagents, resources and techniques for application to canine and equine genome mapping, comparative cytogenetics and cancer cancer studies. In 1998 Dr. Breen was awarded membership of the Institute of Biology and the title of Chartered Biologist.In 2002 Dr. Breen relocated his laboratory to NCSU's College of Veterinary Medicine as part of their Genomics initiative. His research interests continue to focus on genomics, genome mapping and the comparative aspects of canine cancer.

 
CONTACT INFORMATION FOR DR. MATTHEW BREEN

 
Matthew Breen PhD CBiol MIBiol
Associate Professor of Genomics
Dept. of Molecular Biomedical Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine
North Carolina State University
CVM Research Building - Room 330 (lab), Room 348 (office)
4700 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh
North Carolina 27606
USA

 

back to top


GOLDEN RETRIEVER CLUB OF AMERICA LYMPHOMA STUDY

The Vector Borne Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine is recruiting cases for a funded research project, which is investigating the potential role of selected flea- and tick-borne bacteria as co-factors in the development of lymphoma in Golden Retrievers. This two-year study is being funded exclusively by the Golden Retriever Foundation and the Canine Health Foundation. The 1998 Golden Retriever Health Survey showed a statistically significant decrease in lymphoma among Golden Retrievers that had been treated with flea and tick prevention products. This research project will examine one mechanism by which these data might be explained - that infection with Bartonella, Ehrlichia, and/or Anaplasma species bacteria may predispose susceptible dogs to develop lymphoma. The purpose of this study is to search for evidence of Bartonella, Ehrlichia, and/or Anaplasma infection in Golden Retriever dogs with lymphoma, as compared to age- and sex-matched Golden Retrievers from the same geographic region. Obtaining identical samples from healthy control dogs will be critical to the scientific evaluation of data obtained from Golden Retrievers with lymphoma. Dr. Ed Breitschwerdt is the principal investigator and Ashlee Duncan is the graduate student responsible for the project.

The entry criteria for a case include: Golden Retrievers with a new diagnosis of lymphoma that have not received any antibiotics within 14 days prior to sample collection (or 30 days for azithromycin). Samples should be collected prior to induction of chemotherapeutic agents.

The minimum entry criteria for a control include: Golden Retrievers residing within 100 miles of the case dog and lacking clinical evidence of lymphadenopathy, making the possibility of undetected lymphoma unlikely. Additionally, these control dogs must not have received any antibiotics within 14 days prior to sample collection (or 30 days for azithromycin). For each case, two to three control dogs will be utilized. If possible, these healthy dogs should be similar in age (± 18 months) and sex as the case dog. Healthy dogs may be identified by the owner of the case dog, selected by the case's attending veterinarian, or recruited through the Golden Retriever Club of America. Cases and controls recruited will receive free serological and molecular testing for Bartonella, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma (a $360.00 value based on current serology/PCR testing costs in our laboratory). Samples to be collected for this research include whole blood, serum, lymph node aspirate(s), and buccal swab(s).

Please contact us at 919-513-8279 or awduncan@ncsu.edu for further information.
 

back to top


The Pet Fund
www.thepetfund.com
916-443-6007


The Pet Fund was founded in 2003 because there was at that time no national nonprofit in the USA dedicated to funding veterinary care for those who could not afford it. Animal shelter statistics across the country demonstrated a constant increase in the number of animals dropped off at shelters, many because of treatable medical conditions. Thanks to the generousity of the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers, The Pet Fund incorporated as a 501(c)3 and began raising funds to address this growing problem. The staff and board members of The Pet Fund work constantly to develop resources for pets and their families to fund critically needed veterinary care, thus keeping animals out of shelters and helping pet owners to become both financially independent and skilled at preventative care practices. Since medical costs for animals (as for people) are also on the rise, this is an ongoing funding challenge. As a registered 501(c)3, all donations to The Pet Fund are tax-deductible, and The Pet Fund strives to use the largest percentage of donations possible for animal veterinary care above their operating costs, which are minimal. Financial information is available upon request from any interested donors, and they welcome questions about their funding, application process, and development at info@thepetfund.com.

(Please remember to put “The Pet Fund” in the subject line of your e-mail.)

back to top


The National Childhood Cancer Foundation is leading the fight against childhood cancer by supporting cooperative research at over 230 medical institutions in the United States. Members of this team, the Children's Oncology Group, treat more than 90% of children with cancer in North America. Together they develop new treatments much more quickly and efficiently than if each worked alone. While almost no child survived cancer in the 1950s, now over 70% can be cured.
However, more children still die of cancer than from any other disease. The work of the National Childhood Cancer Foundation must continue, until every child has a chance for a cure.

National Childhood Cancer Foundation
P.O. Box 60012
Arcadia CA 91066-6012
1-800-458-6223
www.nccf.org

back to top

 
http://www.petcard.ca/


With Petcard everyone can afford the very best in pet care.  Petcard offers a variety of ways you can choose for your veterinary services.  You can choose to finance the full amount, or Petcard can finance a portion.  Your equal monthly payments can also be customized to suit your budget;  payment options range from 6 months to 5 years.

Petcard is offered across Canada for:

  • Veterinary Treatments
  • Veterinary Products
  • Pet Purchases
  • Pet Food
  • Veterinary Hospital Stays
  • Veterinary Dental Work
  • Pet Vaccinations
  • Pet Grooming
  • Pet Boarding

Applying for Petcard financing is quite simple.  
You complete a short application form and fax it to 1-888-689-9862.  
You can also call Petcard and they will take your application information over the phone.
Approval can be confirmed in as little as 20 minutes.
Call 1-888-689-9876 if you have any questions

  • No down payment
  • No collateral
  • High Approval
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Monthly payments

Remember . . .

  • Petcard covers any veterinary or related procedure or product.
  • There is no cost to you for applying for financing or to seek approval.
  • Petcard approval can be given almost immediately, even when you are right at your veterinary clinic.
  • Petcard will pay directly to your veterinary service provider.  You can have a portion of the veterinary services paid for, and the full amount.  It is up to you.
  • It is up to you, if you would like to pay a deposit to borrow.
  • If you go to a veterinarian who is not affiliated with Petcard, Petcard will contact your veterinarian, inform them of the services they provide, and then your veterinarian is given the option to register with Petcard.
  • Petcard will also pre-approve your financing BEFORE you have chosen a veterinary service provider.
  • Even if you do not have a credit history, you can have a co-signer whose credit history would achieve an approval, and would be willing to assume liability of the loan.


  © Suzi Beber 2001-2014. All rights reserved, except where indicated by credits.
Copyright includes all photographic images on this site, which may NOT be duplicated without permission.