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The AKC Canine Health Foundation and the Golden Retriever Foundation Jointly Fund Groundbreaking Canine Cancer Research Projects

05/28/2013

The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) and the Golden Retriever Foundation (GRF) embark on a new journey of finding answers to canine cancer by announcing the joint funding of nearly $1.5 million in canine cancer research. The Foundations have worked together to select two outstanding canine cancer research projects that will potentially make real progress in the fight against canine cancer. The research results are expected to significantly improve the understanding and diagnosis of canine cancer so that dogs live longer, healthier lives.

“These grants are an exciting step forward in the field of cancer research for dogs,” said Dr. Shila Nordone, CHF’s Chief Scientific Officer. While the research grants will primarily focus on Golden Retrievers, both projects emphasize a better understanding of the mechanism of how cancer begins and spreads, resulting in research that will be applicable across all breeds of dogs. Nordone added that, “These results will have a One Health application, impacting human medicine as well.”

The research will be conducted through a collaborative team effort of top scientists, bringing unique synergy of talent and resources together for a greater outcome. Throughout all fields of science collaborative grants are now believed to be critical to drive scientific discovery from the bench to the bedside faster and more cost effectively. According to Dr. Chand Khanna, DVM, PhD, of the Pediatric Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute, “Given the imperative to deliver scientific advances to patients, there is an increasing need for the development of collaborative research efforts that include a diversity of perspectives from basic and clinical research.” The grants chosen for funding meet this new research paradigm. In addition, a portion of the funded research will be done in cooperation with the animal health industry with the hope of driving diagnostic tests and novel therapeutic products to market faster and more efficiently.

The two funded teams will commence their work later in 2013 with anticipated completion dates in 2016. Dr. Jaime Modiano of the University of Minnesota, Dr. Matthew Breen of North Carolina State University and Dr. Kerstin Lindblad-Toh of The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard will focus their efforts on the establishment of genetic risk alleles, defining the gene expression profile and the role of cellular activation in lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma. Dr. Jeffrey Bryan of the University of Missouri, Dr. Anne Avery of Colorado State University and Dr. Heather Wilson-Robles of Texas A&M University will focus on discovery of novel protein, blood and epigenetic biomarkers to enhance diagnosis and treatment of cancer in dogs. To read summaries of the grants, visit: http://www.akcchf.org/research/funded-research/collaborative-cancer-awards.html

The process, from the initial partnership between CHF and the GRF to the selection of these research teams was a three year undertaking. Submitted applications were required to include at least three component projects and were reviewed by the foremost experts in the field of veterinary oncology. The partnership between CHF and the GRF is an exciting avenue in canine cancer research. “Working with the GRF on this critical funding program has been a productive and enjoyable effort from start to finish,” said Nordone. Nancy Talbott, president of the Golden Retriever Foundation added, “We are excited to see the results from this funded research and we are confident the results will help move canine cancer research forward in a meaningful way.”

Dog lovers are encouraged to support these grants. Donations to CHF can be made at http://support.caninehealthfoundation.org/cancer and dog clubs or organizations that wish to sponsor these grants should contact chfgrants@akcchf.org. Donations to the GRF can be made at http://goldenretrieverfoundation.org/Donatetoday.php. Donations to these grants will make a substantial impact on canine cancer research, helping all dogs live longer, healthier lives.

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Hospice Care / End of Life Care For Dogs

10/30/2014

In this podcast we are wrapping up our “Old Dogs Rule” educational series with a difficult, but important conversation about end of life care. We are very fortunate to feature Dr. Kathleen Cooney, founder of “Home to Heaven,” an in-home pet hospice and euthanasia services practice. She is also the owner of the first-ever pet euthanasia center in the United States. The center is located on her 35-acre farm in Loveland, Colorado and offers two comfort rooms for pet euthanasia. It is open year-round for families looking for an alternative to standard clinic or in-home euthanasia. Dr. Cooney graduated from the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine in the spring of 2004. That same spring, her family had to say goodbye to their 15-year-old yellow lab, McKenzie. McKenzie passed peacefully under the aspen tree in their front yard. From this experience, Dr. Cooney learned just how important it was for pets to be at home for the end of their lives. In 2012, she completed writing the book “Veterinary Euthanasia Techniques: A practical guide.” Dr. Cooney served on the 2013 American Veterinary Medical Association's panel on euthanasia guidelines. She is currently the Vice President and conference coordinator for the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC). She travels frequently to speak on her work and on the current advancements in end-of-life care.

This podcast was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, A KeyBank Trust.


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