1660: Identifying the Genes That Confer Risk for Osteosarcoma

Grant Status: Open

Grant Amount: $120,000
Carlos E. Alvarez, PhD; The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital
January 1, 2012 - December 31, 2019
Sponsor(s): American Whippet Club, Basset Hound Club of America, Inc., Flat-Coated Retriever Foundation, Leonberger Health Foundation, National Beagle Club, National Redbone Coonhound Association, Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America, Redbone Coonhound Association of America, Saluki Health Research, Inc. The K9 College
Breed(s): Rottweiler, Greyhound, Golden Retriever
Research Program Area: Oncology - Osteosarcoma


Osteosarcoma (OSA) is the most common cancer of the bone in both dogs and humans. A prime candidate for investigation of the genetic component of OSA is the Greyhound, which has the highest risk of OSA of any breed. However, despite significant effort, classical genetic approaches have not identified any Greyhound variant that accounts for most OSA cases in that breed. Dr. Alvarez proposes that Greyhound OSA variants have been directly or indirectly selected for in racing performance, consistent with the vastly elevated incidence in racing vs. show Greyhounds. If this is true and all racers carried an OSA mutation on both chromosomes, then this could not be detected using classical approaches (which require different genetic markers to distinguish cases v. controls). Here Dr. Alvarez proposes an innovative genetic approach that is impervious to the limitations described above, and enables genome-wide discovery of Greyhound variation with large effects on OSA risk. Such findings would lead to rapid development of therapies and clinical trials in dogs, and translation to human medicine.

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