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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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Celebrity chefs urge public to get baking to support Cats Protection fundraiser

News Story 1
 In support of Cats Protection's Pawsome Afternoon Tea fundraiser, Masterchef winner Tim Anderson and Great British Bake Off star Kim-Joy have shared biscuit recipes to help keen bakers raise money for needy cats across April.

The celebrity chefs are both cat owners and have said that they hope this fundraiser will help to raise awareness of cats in need and the importance of adopting a cat, rather than buying one.

This is the fourth year Cats Protection has run its Pawsome Afternoon Tea campaign, which encourages people to hold tea parties, bake sales and fundraising events to help raise money for the charity.

To view the recipes and other fundraising resources please visit the Cats Protection website. 

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BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.