Variety of genetic risk behind bone cancer in dogs

December 11, 2013

Bone cancer in dogs is affected by a variety of genetic risk factors. Researchers from Uppsala University, Sweden, and the Broad Institute show this in a new study published in Genome Biology.

Osteosarcoma, a type of , is a rare but very aggressive form of cancer that primarily affects teenagers. Among some large-sized dog breeds the disease is much more common, but otherwise osteosarcoma in humans and dogs is very similar. In the current study, the researchers compared the genome of sick and healthy dogs from three different breeds to find inherited for the disease.

"The key is that we find many different risk factors within each breed. We already knew that greyhounds, Rottweilers and Irish wolfhounds are at increased risk of developing bone cancer and our results explain much of the increased risk", said Emma Ivansson, scientist at SciLifeLab and Uppsala University.

The study demonstrated that each breed has its own risk genes, but these genes converge in common disease mechanisms. Some genes are known cancer genes in humans, while others are completely new discoveries. The researchers also studied one of the risk factors in more detail and found a new regulatory signal that leads to increased gene expression in bone cancer cells from humans.

"Our results show that the pathways involved in and growth are important for the disease. Because of the great similarities between bone cancer in dogs and humans, we believe that our findings may contribute to an increased understanding of how bone cancer develops in humans", said Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, professor at Uppsala University and Co-Director of the SciLifeLab and Director of Vertebrate Genome Biology at the Broad Institute.

The researchers are continuing to study the identified risk factors to understand more about how they affect tumor development and to see whether different risk factors respond to different types of treatment.

Explore further: Man's best friend recruited in the hunt for disease genes

Related Stories

Man's best friend recruited in the hunt for disease genes

October 16, 2008

For centuries man has had a uniquely close relationship with dogs – as a working animal, for security and, perhaps most importantly, for companionship. Now, dogs are taking on a new role – they are helping in the hunt ...

Researchers identifies gene associated with eczema in dogs

May 9, 2013

A novel gene associated with canine atopic dermatitis has been identified by a team of researchers led by professors Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, Uppsala university and Åke Hedhammar, SLU, Sweden. The gene encodes a protein called ...

Genetic studies of mammary tumours (breast cancer) in dogs

December 9, 2013

Mammary tumours (breast cancer) are the most common form of cancer in bitches. Kaja Sverdrup Borge's PhD project has led to the identification of genetic changes associated with these types of tumour. Her findings can help ...

Recommended for you

Male seahorse and human pregnancies remarkably alike

September 1, 2015

Their pregnancies are carried by the males but, when it comes to breeding, seahorses have more in common with humans than previously thought, new research from the University of Sydney reveals.

Parasitized bees are self-medicating in the wild, study finds

September 1, 2015

Bumblebees infected with a common intestinal parasite are drawn to flowers whose nectar and pollen have a medicinal effect, a Dartmouth-led study shows. The findings suggest that plant chemistry could help combat the decline ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.