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Major veterinary cancer study of Golden Retriever dogs unveiled by Morris Animal Foundation

As published on Jan 16, 2011 by DVM NEWSMAGAZINE

The Morris Animal Foundation will launch a 13-year longitudinal veterinary study this year to examine canine cancer in Golden Retrievers. In fact, the Canine Lifetime Health Project, set to begin this year, will ultimately enroll some 2,500 Golden Retrievers from ages 2 to 7 in an effort to better understand the genetic, nutritional and environmental risk factors for cancers and other canine diseases.

The project, first announced at the North American Veterinary Conference, is thought to be the largest and longest observational study ever initiated in dogs, reports Wayne A. Jensen, DVM, PhD, MBA, chief scientific officer of Morris Animal Foundation (MAF). It is receiving wide-scale industry support including Platinum sponsorship from Hill’s Pet Nutrition, a $2 million from Pfizer Animal Health and commitments from Merial and other animal health companies.

The study’s objective, Jensen says, will be to determine “the true incidence of canine cancer in Golden Retrievers in the United States. The long-range study offers researchers a chance to characterize the pathogenesis and explore other associations with the development of cancer and other diseases, he adds. “The Canine Lifetime Health Project is a groundbreaking, long-term effort to identify genetic, nutritional and environmental risk factors for the development of cancer and other canine diseases,” MAF reports. “This study will involve thousands of dogs, owners and veterinarians and will result in the identification of new ways to diagnose, treat and even prevent cancer and other diseases in dogs.”

The hope, according to MAF officials, is that the study will also serve as a platform to help researchers better understand the progression of disease and offer a novel framework to conducting long-term research like this.

David Haworth, DVM, PhD, director of Global Alliances for Pfizer Animal Health, says the company’s contributions underscore its commitment to veterinarians.

“We expect to gain valuable information regarding prevention strategies, early diagnosis and, eventually, treatments for many diseases.”

For registration information, click here.

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