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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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AWF Student Grant open for submissions

News Story 1
 Applications are open for the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to impact animal welfare.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of veterinary science, veterinary nursing, agriculture studies and animal welfare are invited to submit their proposals to undertake research projects next year.

Grants are decided based on the project’s innovation, relevance to topical animal welfare issues and ability to contribute towards raising animal welfare standards. For more information visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
SPANA film highlights plight of working animals overseas

Animal welfare charity SPANA (The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) has teamed up with Brian Blessed and other famous voices to highlight the plight of working animals overseas.

In a new animated film, the celebrities raise awareness by showing the solidarity of the UK's own working animals on strike. A sniffer dog (Brian Blessed), police horse (Peter Egan) and sheepdog (Deborah Meaden) are shown ignoring their duties and protesting in solidarity with animals in developing countries.

SPANA chef executive Geoffrey Dennis said: "We are so grateful to Deborah, Peter and Brian for lending their voices to our new film, and for speaking up for millions of working animals overseas. SPANA believes that a life of work should not mean a life of suffering, and it is only thanks to people’s generosity and support that we can continue our vital work improving the lives of these animals."