Research into Bone Cancer
(University of Nottingham)
Update, July 2019
We have around 900 wolfhounds recruited for this study and currently NVS have said they don’t need any further swabs. For those dogs already swabbed for this project please remember to complete the health update surveys annually - see below.
Background to the project
The IWHG is helping to recruit hounds and owners for a long-term study into bone cancer (osteosarcoma or OSA) by Nottingham University Vet School (NVS). The project began in April 2014 and ultimately, we need to sign up 1,000 Wolfhounds, initially from the British Isles. Recruiting so many Wolfhounds is ambitious but – we hope – achievable. With around 300 Wolfhound puppies registered in the UK each year the population is approximately 2,100, so we need to sign up about half of all living Wolfhounds in the UK. We have recruited approximately 700 so far and numbers are growing every week, but we still need another 300 dogs.
The aims of the research:
1) To study lifestyle factors affecting the onset anddevelopment of OSA.2) To identify biological markers which may be usedto screen for early detection.3) To review and improve treatment.
How can you help?
No further swabs are requried, but if you have already sent in swabs please remember to complete the update form every 6 - 12 months for the life of the hound: update form.
Tip: make it easy to remember by doing this on the dog's birthday or at the time of annual boosters.
Should your Wolfhound be unfortunate enough to develop OSA in the future, two bone samples would be required: one from the tumour itself and one from healthy bone near the tumour site. These samples can be taken at the same time as bone biopsy or amputation, or following euthanasia, but will require timely liaison between the you, the project team and your vet. You will need to email Mark Dunning to discuss the procedure.
We know this is a big 'ask' at a most difficult time, but pairs of samples from ten dogs are needed for the research to be worthwhile. The team will examine the bone samples for differences in genetic signals between the tumour and healthy bone. Identifying which genes behave differently may lead to new treatments or diagnostic tests.
In the event of your dog developing OSA there is also a treatment survey to be completed on the treatment options offered by your primary care vet.
The study method in brief:
1 Dog is swabbed.
2 Owner completes lifestyle/health questionnaire.
3 Owner completes health updates regularly throughout
the dog's life.
4 Should the dog develop OSA:
a) it is hoped owner will agree to provide bone samples.b) owner completes treatment survey,