Identifying Early Stage Ultra-rare Mutations as Predictive Biomarkers of Lymphoma in High-risk versus Low-risk Breeds Within the Dog Aging Project

Breed(s): Dalmatian, Boxer, Chow Chow, Alaskan Malamute, German Shorthaired Pointer, German Shepherd Dog
Sample Type: Blood Sample
Study Location: University of Washington
CHF-funded Grant: 02772

The most common type of cancer in dogs is lymphoma, with ~80,000 cases diagnosed annually in the US. Breeds vary considerably in their risk of lymphoma, but it is unclear what accounts for this variation. Cancer typically arises from the accumulation of non-inherited (i.e., somatic) mutations. The purpose of this study is to test the hypothesis that breeds at high risk of lymphoma have higher frequencies of precancerous somatic mutations in white blood cells. This study uses a new technology that makes it possible to detect extremely rare mutations in very small samples of blood with high accuracy. This method represents a >10,000-fold improvement in accuracy over previous methods, and so makes our study possible. By determining if mutation frequency in blood of healthy high-risk and low-risk companion dogs can predict lymphoma risk, this work could lead to the development of novel tests for the early diagnosis and prognosis of canine lymphoma.

The study seeks healthy dogs free of any cancer, with the goal of better understanding canine lymphoma.

Participation Requirements:

Six breeds are included: German Shepherd, Boxer, Dalmatian, Chow Chow, Alaskan Malamute, German Shorthaired Pointer

Healthy dogs of any age and sex
Willingness to provide blood sample from dog at veterinary clinic

Owner's Responsibilities:

Bringing your dog to a collection site for the blood to be collected. Collection sites will include veterinary clinics, and pop-up blood collection clinics located at various Puget Sound locations such as parks, veterinary clinic parking lots, dog shows, or other similar venues. The sample will be transferred to the laboratory by a staff member from the University of Washington immediately following the blood draw. Owners will be asked to complete a brief environmental questionnaire.

Geographic Location:

  • Dogs living within driving distance of King County, Washington.
  • Dog can present to any clinic willing to participate.
  • Samples could be sent from other clinics if PBMCs are first isolated and frozen.

More Information


Contact Information:

Name: Daniel Promislow
Phone: 206 616-6994

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