Canine Osteosarcoma Early Detection Pilot Study

Bone cancer (osteosarcoma) is the number one killer of Irish Wolfhounds and despite all efforts the incidence has not decreased in over 40 years. It is unlikely that cancer will ever be completely eliminated but it may be possible to decrease its incidence, and the morbidity associated with this condition. It has been shown that a blood test can detect whether microscopic osteosarcoma remains in dogs after treatment. It is possible that the same test could detect an emerging bone tumor before any clinical signs of the cancer are present. Detecting the tumor in the its earliest stages could delay or possibly prevent tumor formation.

The first step in this research is the validation of the blood test to detect emerging osteosarcoma in clinically normal dogs.The IWF has joined a consortium of 6 breed clubs and the AKC Canine Health Foundation to fund and support this research which is under the direction of Dr. Jaime Modiano at the University of Minnesota.

The IWF is also funding this pilot study to accelerate this project. This pilot study is now open to registration. To enter the study use this link and answer basic questions. A study representative will get back to you. Any healthy hound older than 4 1/2 years is eligible (one dog per household, contiguous US state residence). Your hound is not eligible if he or she has or had any cancer diagnosis or other chronic conditions. An initial group of 25 eligible hounds will be enrolled in the pilot study. Approximately 50 more hounds will be recruited when the main study begins to enroll.

Not for the Faint of Heart

To move forward this research must first establish the utility of the test. You will need to commit to completing brief (4-5 question) biannual surveys regarding the health of your dog for the duration of its lifetime.

There will be no notification to you or your vet regarding individual results of the study. A classification will not be developed until the study is complete. No prevention can be provided for positive hounds in based on data from these early studies.

This involves more than a simple blood draw:

  • Your vet has to be able to spin the blood on site and examine your hound and certify no cancer is noted on exam.
  • You must commit to getting the blood for pick up in the needed time frame.
  • You must provide a short health history biannually.
  • The study will pay for the collection tubes and shipping but does not have funds to pay the vet charges which will be the owners responsibility.

The IWF will reimburse $50 to any of the 25 entered dogs who request it by sending a note to treasurer David Milne at theirishwolfhoundfoundation@gmail.com. Please put "COED Reimbursement Request" in the subject line.

This is new approach to decreasing osteosarcoma in Irish Wolfhounds - a way to help make osteosarcoma no longer the number one killer of Irish wolfhounds. It will not provide answers overnight; the efforts of you and your hound will be for the future of all Irish Wolfhounds.

More information on this study is available in Focus, Winter 2021 edition, and on the University of Minnesota website.

 

Additional Study Details

Study Date(s): 3/15/2022
Study Status: Ongoing
Enrollment Status: OPEN to new enrollment
Lead Researcher(s): Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD

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