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.