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I donate samples
for Saluki studies?


Your tax-deductible donations, made payable to SHR Inc, should be sent to

MaryDee Sist DVM
1629 Meech Road
Williamston, MI 48895


Genes, Dogs and Cancer:
5th International Canine
Cancer Conference

Hosted by the AKC Canine Health Foundation
February 13-15, 2009, Orlando, Florida

I felt privileged to be one of 100 scientists, veterinarians and breed club representatives attending this outstanding conference in which leading researchers and new investigators gave presentations discussing their cancer genomics research. The scientific program addressed canine cancer from three perspectives:

1. Prevention through research of disease susceptibility and pathogenesis

2. Identification through enhancements in diagnosis and prognosis

3. Treatment through novel therapeutic approaches.

There were also 25 poster presentations detailing cutting edge studies.

Session 1
Dr. Heidi Parker introduced Dr. Elaine Ostrander, who was one of the founders of the canine genome project and is head of the Comparative Genomics Section of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health. She leads a team of researchers interested in the genetic causes of cancer susceptibility in both man and dogs. She discussed projects in her laboratory to find mutations that increase cancer susceptibility in the dog.

Many of the presentations were very detailed, with an emphasis on genetics and molecular biology in which the researcher discussed their proprietary methodology in a variety of genome wide analysis currently being used in cancer mapping. Some presentations included:

- Mapping Genetic Risk Factors for Osteosarcoma and Hemangiosarcoma. Dr. Kerstin Lindblad-Toh discussed studies that have narrowed the genetic search for susceptibility to cancers, inflammatory and neurological disease through a two-stage mapping approach. Since both OSA and HSA show strong breed predilections, her studies, funded by the CHF and supported by SHR, Inc. and SCOA, have identified candidate loci in some breeds and they are exploring coding mutations that are mostly regulatory in nature.

- DNA Copy Number Variation in Normal Dogs.

- Heritable and Breed Specific Genetic Abnormalities in Canine Osteosarcoma. (Supported by SHR, Inc.) Dr. Young is developing a canine OSA dataset, using primary tumors obtained from high-risk breeds (Rottweilers, Greyhounds and Golden Retrievers), as a means to determine the presence of breed-associated and/or tumor-specific genome-wide DNA copy number changes.

- An Oligonucleotide Microarray for Genome-Wide MicorRNA Profiling of Canine Tissues.

- miRNA Profiles of Canine Lymphoma.

- Canine Gliomas are driven by Tumor Stem Cells, which share significant similarities to their Human Counterparts.

Session 2
Dr. Mathew Breen introduced Dr. Simon Gregory from the Department of Medicine at Duke University. He described the development of new genomic technologies, and illustrated how ongoing research to identify specific genetic markers and gene expression signatures offer exciting opportunities to move towards new diagnostic and prognostic resources for canine cancers. Other presentations included:

- Molecular Markers of Metastatic Progression and Chemotherapeutic Resistance in Canine Osteosarcoma.

- Microarray-Based CGH Analysis Provides Insights into Genomic Conservation between Human and Canine Intracranial Tumors.

- Effects of PTEN Attenuation on p21 Levels and Invasiveness in Canine Melanoma Cells.

- Gene Expression Profiling Uncovers a Role for Genetic Background in Susceptibility and Progression of Sporadic Canine Hemangiosarcoma. Dr. Jaime Modiano discussed how naturally occurring hemangiosarcomas of Golden Retrievers clustered separately from those of non-Golden Retrievers, with contributions from transcription factors, survival factors, and from pro-inflammatory and angiogenic genes. These heritable factors influence gene expression and this profile may reflect a cause or effect on, for example, vascular endothelial growth factors.

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