Osteosarcoma Project - Rottweilers

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Bone cancer (osteosarcoma) research at Nottingham Veterinary School

Nottingham Vet School has been working with the Rottweiler breed for the past 2 years investigating factors that influence the development and progression of osteosarcoma. This has used an extensive lifestyle questionnaire, which helps us to identify important factors that may influence the development of osteosarcoma. The factors once identified may be easy to change and may have an important impact on the development of osteosarcoma. The questionnaire can be accessed online (or can be sent via conventional mail). In addition, we have been investigating which genetic features of Rottweilers might also lead them to develop osteosarcoma. These are equally, if not more, important but will be more difficult to deal with. Allied to this, we have been performing advanced genetic tests on osteosarcoma samples themselves. This helps us to identify particular changes and gain insight into how these tumours develop and progress. This may also help us determine how best to treat them.

We are also able to offer a free histopathology service to help confirm the diagnosis where your vet may be very suspicious that an osteosarcoma is present but has not yet taken a biopsy or requires confirmation with a second biopsy. This will enable a diagnosis to be reached as quickly as possible in affected dogs.

The project has been very successful to date but we would like this to involve all UK Rottweilers for us to be able to feel it has made the difference it should. We are therefore very keen to continue to recruit dogs into the study. The dogs that do not have bone tumours are just as important as those that do. Having affected and unaffected dogs means we are better placed to identify true differences between these groups and understand why some dogs get this disease and some don’t.

Please get involved, as we believe very strongly that this will lead to a major breakthrough in our understanding and treatment of osteosarcoma in Rottweilers. For further information please email the vet school’s breeder research programme
on sv-dogs@nottingham.ac.uk.

With very best wishes

Dr Mark Dunning
On behalf of the Nottingham Vet School breeder research group