Canine Health Foundation Grants #01336 A & B
Cancer is a major cause of death in older dogs. The treatment of advanced cancer is often ineffective. There is interest in discovering the causes of cancer in order to learn how to prevent cancer, or at least to detect cancer earlier when treatment may be more effective. Genetic (heritable) factors are important in cancer development. Objective: The researchers wish to determine ways to identify dogs with genetic risk factors for cancer. These dogs could then: enter cancer prevention trials, undergo screening tests in order to detect the cancer earlier when it might be more treatable, and in the future to possibly receive "genetic" therapy. This team of researchers has recently identified "loci" (regions of the DNA) that are strongly associated with increased risk for urinary bladder cancer (transitional cell carcinoma, TCC) in Scottish Terriers, West Highland White Terriers and Shetland Sheepdogs. Now, they will identify which gene(s) are involved within these loci and the causative mutation(s) in the gene(s). This is the crucial next step in being able to identify dogs at risk for TCC. Methods being developed will also facilitate work in other cancers, and thus the potential to help dogs in many breeds.