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Animal Attraction: Finding Answers To Canine Cancer

by Stacy Fox

khou.com

Posted on May 29, 2013 at 5:46 AM

The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) and the Golden Retriever Foundation (GRF) embark on a new journey of finding answers to canine cancer by announcing the joint funding of nearly $1.5 million in canine cancer research. The Foundations have worked together to select two outstanding canine cancer research projects that will potentially make real progress in the fight against canine cancer. The research results are expected to significantly improve the understanding and diagnosis of canine cancer so that dogs live longer, healthier lives.
 
“These grants are an exciting step forward in the field of cancer research for dogs,” said Dr. Shila Nordone, CHF’s Chief Scientific Officer. While the research grants will primarily focus on Golden Retrievers, both projects emphasize a better understanding of the mechanism of how cancer begins and spreads, resulting in research that will be applicable across all breeds of dogs. Nordone added that, “These results will have a One Health application, impacting human medicine as well.”
 
The research will be conducted through a collaborative team effort of top scientists, bringing unique synergy of talent and resources together for a greater outcome. Throughout all fields of science, collaborative grants are now believed to be critical to drive scientific discovery from the bench to the bedside faster and more cost effectively. According to Dr. Chand Khanna, DVM, PhD, of the Pediatric Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute, “Given the imperative to deliver scientific advances to patients, there is an increasing need for the development of collaborative research efforts that include a diversity of perspectives from basic and clinical research.” The grants chosen for funding meet this new research paradigm. In addition, a portion of the funded research will be done in cooperation with the animal health industry with the hope of driving diagnostic tests and novel therapeutic products to market faster and more efficiently.
 
The two funded teams will commence their work later in 2013 with anticipated completion dates in 2016. Dr. Jaime Modiano of the University of Minnesota, Dr. Matthew Breen of North Carolina State University and Dr. Kerstin Lindblad-Toh of The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard will focus their efforts on the establishment of genetic risk alleles, defining the gene expression profile and the role of cellular activation in lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma.

Dr. Jeffrey Bryan of the University of Missouri, Dr. Anne Avery of Colorado State University and Dr. Heather Wilson-Robles of Texas A&M University will focus on discovery of novel protein, blood and epigenetic biomarkers to enhance diagnosis and treatment of cancer in dogs. To read summaries of the grants, visit: http://www.akcchf.org/research/funded-research/collaborative-cancer-awards.html.
 
The process, from the initial partnership between CHF and the GRF to the selection of these research teams was a three year undertaking. Submitted applications were required to include at least three component projects and were reviewed by the foremost experts in the field of veterinary oncology. The partnership between CHF and the GRF is an exciting avenue in canine cancer research. “Working with the GRF on this critical funding program has been a productive and enjoyable effort from start to finish,” said Nordone. Nancy Talbott, president of the Golden Retriever Foundation added, “We are excited to see the results from this funded research and we are confident the results will help move canine cancer research forward in a meaningful way.”

Dog lovers are encouraged to support these grants. Donations to CHF can be made at http://support.caninehealthfoundation.org/cancer and dog clubs or organizations that wish to sponsor these grants should contact chfgrants@akcchf.org. Donations to the GRF can be made at http://goldenretrieverfoundation.org/Donatetoday.php. Donations to these grants will make a substantial impact on canine cancer research, helping all dogs live longer, healthier lives.

SOURCE and LINK:
AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF)
http://www.akcchf.org
 

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