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Osteosarcoma genetically similar in dogs and human children - study
Researchers found that canine OS shares many of the genomic features of human OS.

Findings could lead to better treatments

The bone cancer osteosarcoma is genetically similar in dogs and human children, according to new research.

The study, published in Communications Biology, could help in the treatment of the disease, which has not seen a significant medical breakthrough in almost 30 years.

Senior author Will Hendriks said: “While osteosarcoma (OS) is rare in children, it is all too common in many dog breeds, which makes it a prime candidate for the kind of comparative cancer biology studies that could enhance drug development for both children and our canine friends.”

In the study, researchers at Tufts University and Translational Genomics Research sequenced the genomes of 59 dogs.

They found that canine OS shares many of the genomic features of human OS, including low mutation rates, altered cellular pathways and unique genetic features of metastatic tumours.

Professor in comparative oncology Cheryl A. London said the findings "set the stage for understanding OS development in dogs and humans, and establish genomic contexts for future comparative analyses.”

Researchers also identified new features of canine OS which may also warrant further investigation, including recurrent and potentially cancer-causing mutations in two genes - SETD2 and DMD.

Osteosarcoma is the most commonly-diagnosed bone cancer in dogs but it is rare in humans.

Chemotherapy and surgery can extend survival, but some 30 per cent of pediatric OS patients die from metastatic tumours within five years. In dogs, the cancer moves much faster, with more than 90 per cent succumbing to metastatic disease within two years.

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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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RCVS names Professor John Innes as chair of Fellowship Board

Professor John Innes has been elected chair of the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Board, replacing Professor Nick Bacon who comes to the end of his three-year term.


Professor Innes will be responsible for making sure the Fellowship progresses towards fulfilling its strategic goals, determining its ongoing strategy and objectives, and reporting to the RCVS Advancement of the Professions Committee on developments within the Fellowship.