Samples Needed from Giant Breeds affected by Osteosarcoma

Breed(s): Greyhound, Rottweiler, Leonberger, Borzoi, Great Pyrenees, Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, Golden Retriever, Mastiff, Scottish Deerhound
Study Type: Blood Sample
Study Location: Broad Institute

Osteosarcoma is the most common bone tumor of the dog. This cancer develops in the bone, usually the limbs, and as the tumor grows it becomes progressively more painful for the dog and can result in lameness. Osteosarcoma is highly metastatic with many dogs having metastasis in the lungs already at diagnosis. Giant breeds are at the greatest risk for developing osteosarcomas.

To date, we have collected ~500 samples from dogs diagnosed with osteosarcoma and ~1500 healthy dogs over 8 years old. We started out by studying Greyhounds, Rottweilers and Irish Wolfhounds. In each of the breeds we find both novel genes and genes that are known to influence the risk of developing bone cancer. Our current study, soon to be published, helps us understand the disease mechanisms that predominate in each of these breeds.

We are now on the verge of searching for risk factors also in Leonbergers and golden retrievers to identify the genes and disease mechanisms affecting these breeds.

Our overall goal is to collect samples from multiple breeds to find the risk factors and disease mechanism in each. This should lead to an ability to tailor better treatment options in the long run.

Investigators are enrolling all pure breed dogs that fall into any of the following categories:

1) Have been diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (OSA)
2) Over 8 years old and without cancer
3) Have other types of cancer/hereditary diseases (see the comprehensive list at

Researchers need 5ml (= 1 teaspoon) of blood in a purple top tube (EDTA tube). The sample can be mailed in at room temperature, as long as it arrives within a week from the time it was taken. A consent form signed by the owner must be sent in with the sample. The consent form can be found on the website along with more detailed instructions.

If you are also able to donate a sample from your dog’s tumor in addition to the blood please contact the Modiano lab at the University of Minnesota by emailing Mitzi Lewellen. All samples sent to Dr. Modiano’s lab will be shared with the Broad Institute and with Dr. Matthew Breen’s laboratory at North Carolina State University. All the information regarding your dog is kept strictly confidential, and the genetic disposition of any dog is never to be made public.

We are looking forward to your participation!!!

More Information


Contact Information:
Name: Michele Perloski
Phone: 617-714-7792

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