Great Dane Research


Below are recent updates directly from the researchers on various projects the GDCA is supporting financially in an effort to help improve the health in the breed. To learn more about each piece of research, please visit other links at the GDCA's Health & Welfare page or visit the website for the Canine Health Foundation.

2-18-11: Report to Grant Sponsor from Investigator on Grant #00947A: Heritable and Sporadic Genetic Lesions in Canine Osteosarcoma, Principal Investigator: Dr. Matthew Breen, PhD.

Osteosarcoma (OSA), bone cancer, is the most common primary malignant bone tumor, occurring spontaneously in both humans and dogs. In humans, around 900-1000 cases of OSA are diagnosed per year while in dogs more than 8000 cases are reported per year making the disease incidence in dogs nine times the incidence in humans. Previous research focusing on human and dog OSA has discovered that these tumors contain a high degree of genetic abnormality. Several studies on human OSA have indicated that some genetic abnormalities in humans are correlated with a poor prognosis. Currently, only a little is known about how genes influence the risk and progression of bone cancer in dogs. In order to assess the degree of genetic abnormalities in dogs, we are looking genome wide for genomic changes associated with canine OSA. In this study we evaluated the genomic status of 123 cases of canine osteosarcoma at 1Mb resolution and identified recurrent genetic abnormalities. In addition, using larger sample numbers of four breeds (Greyhounds, Rottweilers, Great Pyrenees and Golden Retrievers) we have identified several genomic abnormalities that appear to be associated more frequently with one breed. Using a higher resolution form of analysis (27kb), and combining our data for canine osteosarcoma with new data we generated from human samples, we have narrowed the search for key genes of comparative value and have begun to evaluate the role of these genes in both dogs and people.

2-17-11: Report to Grant Sponsor from Investigator on Grant# 00613: The Prognostic Significance of Chromosome Aneuploidy in Canine Lymphoma, Principal Investigator: Dr. Matthew Breen, PhD.

During the first two years of this project, we showed that pooling DNA from overlapping BAC clones results in a more robust fluorescent signal in interphase analysis than using a single BAC clone and provides a higher signal to noise ratio. We generated the DNA used for the probes being used for this project en masse. Cells were isolated from 200 of our 315 archival patient samples and prepared for multicolor FISH analysis. Cytogenetic analysis of 160 archival cases was completed. Data for the copy number status of each of the four loci being tested in this project was assessed and statistical evaluation indicated that one of the four loci may be associated with disease free interval in canine lymphoma patients treated with single agent doxorubicin. We now have entered into a NCE to allow us to continue with rigorous data analysis and to investigate the biology underpinning some of the discoveries at no cost to CHF.

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