AKC Canine Health Foundation Announces $432,000 Grant to Fight Cancer in Dogs


The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing, treating, and curing diseases in all dogs, is pleased to announce the funding of an exciting grant which aims to better understand and prevent hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive form of cancer in dogs. Three groups whose dogs have been affected by this cruel disease --  the American Boxer Charitable Foundation, the Golden Retriever Foundation, and the Portuguese Water Dog Foundation -- are taking a unique, collaborative stand against cancer by pledging $432,000 to support this research effort.

Dr. Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD, professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota will be leading a team of researchers on this project entitled, “A Novel Approach for Prevention of Canine Hemangiosarcoma,” which aims to pair two novel technologies consisting of a patented test to detect hemangiosarcoma cells in blood samples, and a treatment that attacks the cells that establish and maintain the disease.

According to Dr. Modiano, “Hemangiosarcoma is the cause of death for an estimated one out of every five Golden Retrievers in the United States. Portuguese Water Dogs and Boxers also have an especially high risk for this disease which is devastating for all dogs.” Dr. Modiano continues, “Hemangiosarcoma is incurable partly because the cancer is detected at a very advanced stage when it is resistant to conventional therapies. Thus, an unconventional approach to improve outcomes for hemangiosarcoma patients will involve effective methods for early detection and for disease prevention.”

“The Golden Retriever Foundation is honored to partner with the American Boxer Charitable Foundation and Portuguese Water Dog Foundation to magnify the effectiveness of all of our donors’ contributions through the power of collaboration, said Collette Jaynes, president, Golden Retriever Foundation. “We are particularly proud to continue our commitment to making meaningful strides against hemangiosarcoma.”

This project will create tools to guide further development, licensing, and deployment of new paired technologies against cancer, specifically hemangiosarcoma, with an ultimate goal for disease prevention in all dogs.

According to Carol Mattingley, Portuguese Water Dog Foundation (PWDF) president, “Our Foundation is honored to be included in this unprecedented collaboration. The PWDF played a role in supporting Dr. Modiano’s 2005 research to develop a diagnostic test to detect hemangiosarcoma, and we are happy and proud to help take this research to the next level.” 

The work on this research project will begin immediately. “We are proud to be able to participate in this unprecedented collaboration. The American Boxer Charitable Foundation (ABCF) has played a role in supporting cancer grants for the last 20 years,” said Joyce Baker Brown, treasurer of the ABCF. “We thank our generous donors to the ABCF, and the Georgia Buchla fund for their help with our fundraising endeavor.” 

CHF supports the funding of this effort and will oversee administration of funds and scientific progress. “This novel approach to a particularly aggressive form of cancer in dogs has the potential to eventually change the landscape and improve outcomes for all dogs diagnosed with this terrible disease,” said Dr. Diane Brown, CHF chief scientific officer.  “The collaboration between these three breed club foundations and their dedication to canine health has really driven this project forward – together they are making a significant difference for all dogs.”

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