JoAnna Lou
Print|Email|Text Size: ||
Collaborate for a Cure
New study aims to use doggy DNA to understand cancer.

The Translational Genomics Research Institute and the Van Andel Research Institute, in partnership with the National Cancer Institute, the University of Pennsylvania, and Michigan State University, have created the Canine Hereditary Cancer Consortium to better understand cancer in dogs and humans. 

The research features an unprecedented collaboration of veterinarians, scientists, research institutes, government entities, and corporations to accelerate the development of a cure.

By using the DNA in canine saliva, blood, and tumor samples, the scientists hope to better understand the genetic causes of cancer that will lead to treatment for both humans and canines. Having access to canine samples will allow researchers to study diseases, like sarcomas, where the scarcity of human samples makes it difficult to study.

The Canine Hereditary Cancer Consortium will be funded by a 2-year, $4.3 million federal stimulus grant and an additional $1 million provided by PetSmart and Hill’s Pet Nutrition. The research is also endorsed by the American Kennel Club and the Morris Animal Foundation

In addition to cancer, TGen and VARI eventually will study neurological and behavioral disorders as well as hearing loss and other debilitative conditions.

In a world where one of three dogs, one of two men, and two of three women will be affected by cancer, it’s important to pool our resources to finally beat this horrible disease.

JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Image: Flickr, mccun934

More From The Bark

More in JoAnna Lou:
Lost Pup Recognizes Her Family on Television
Hero Dog Ends Up Homeless
A Special Day for an Incredible Pup
Service Dogs for Farmers with Disabilities
Dogs and Kids Bond Over Shared Experiences
Rescue Dog Sniffs Out Incriminating Thumb Drives
Emergency Shelter for Pets
Adopting her Canine Rescuer
Helping the Homeless and their Pets
Grassroots Social Media Effort Reunites Pets