Grant #01577

Dr. Elaine Ostrander, PhD
Canine Health Foundation | National Human Genome Research Institute
Jan 2012 -$3,000
Aug 2015 - $5,000
Jan 2013 - $5,000

Cancer is a major cause of death in older dogs and treatment is often ineffective. We wish to identify the causes of cancer in order to learn how to more effectively predict, prevent, and treat the disease. Genetic (heritable) factors are important in development of Transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the AKC Canine Health Foundation | 2012 OAK Grants with Project Abstracts bladder. The Scottish and West Highland White terriers and the Shetland sheepdog are at high risk for TCC, and a subset of dogs of each breed are born with errors in critical genes that predispose them to the disease. We wish to develop ways to identify dogs with genetic risk factors for TCC. Dogs at risk could then either enter cancer prevention trials, undergo screening tests to detect cancer at its earliest state, and in the future, possibly receive â€oegeneticâ€_ therapy. In the first years of this grant, we found two regions of the genome where error-prone genes lie. We were able to determine how the gene errors were unique for each of the three breeds. We narrowed the first region to a few hundred bases in an interval that has only two genes. We are requesting continued funding to allow us to find the mutation as well as fine map the remaining critical gene. Methods developed in this effort will translate to other cancers and thus have the potential to help dogs of many breeds.