New Research into Spontaneously Occurring Cancer in Dogs Helping to Inform Human Disease

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AKC Canine Health Foundation Contributing Funding to Research Linked to Discovering New Treatment Options

AKC Canine Health Foundation Logo

AKC Canine Health Foundation Logo

The AKC Canine Health Foundation, a nonprofit celebrating 20 years of preventing, treating, and curing diseases in all dogs, is pleased to announce findings from a CHF research grant is impacting both canine and human health.

A paper published September 16, 2015 in Genome Research by Elvers et al details results of a collaboration between eight U.S. and international institutions of veterinary and human medicine and biomedical research into spontaneously occurring cancer in dogs which can be used in developing new treatments.

“Naturally occurring cancers in dogs, who so closely share our homes and lives, prove to be invaluable targets for study that will advance our understanding of cancer in both species,” said Dr. Diane Brown, Chief Scientific Officer for the AKC Canine Health Foundation, adding, “The findings from these studies will ultimately lead to novel approaches to combating this devastating disease.”

There is a growing body of evidence to substantiate the genetic and prognostic similarities between human and canine cancer. With funds provided by the Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and others, the researchers successfully defined molecular subtypes of lymphoma, a commonly diagnosed cancer in dogs, from three specific dog breeds in comparison to the same human cancer.

According to senior author Dr. Jessica Alfoldi of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, “Working with the tumor DNA of golden retrievers, cocker spaniels and boxers, we have identified genes with known involvement in human lymphoma and other cancers as well as novel genes that could help in the discovery of much-needed new treatment options for cancer.”

While lymphoma is among the most common cancer in all dogs, the inherent genetic similarities between dogs of the same breed facilitate the study and identification of specific disease-causing mutations and cellular mechanisms. Such findings can then be applied to research into human cancer, thus helping to determine predisposing genetic markers for human disease at the same time. The investigators, working with samples from pet dogs, have capitalized on this scientific fact.

The AKC Canine Health Foundation bridges the gap between veterinary research and dog lovers by raising funds to support over $1 million per year in new canine health research grants regardless of breed. This research has led to numerous breakthroughs in disease prevention and treatment in the areas of behavior, epilepsy, cancer, cardiology, musculoskeletal injuries and disease, and bloat, among others. Currently, over 100 active research projects are being supported by Foundation funding.

In 2015, the Foundation announced it had received the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities, for the third straight year.

Donations to support the Foundation’s canine health research can be made by calling 1-888-682-9696 or visiting the AKC Canine Health Foundation website http://www.akcchf.org/donate.

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About the AKC Canine Health Foundation
The Raleigh, NC-based AKC Canine Health Foundation is in its 20th year of leveraging the power of science and research to improve the lives of dogs and their people. The Foundation is dedicated to preventing, treating, and curing diseases impacting all dogs while providing unbiased, professional information and resources for a new breed of dog owner. Take action because you care; find out more online at http://www.akcchf.org.

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Sharla Seidel
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