Cancer is a diagnosis all too familiar to Golden Retriever lovers. The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) and the Golden Retriever Foundation (GRF) recently announced the joint funding of nearly $1.5 million for research to better understand and combat canine cancer.

The Foundations have worked together to select two canine cancer research projects that will potentially make real progress in the fight against canine cancer. The research results are expected to significantly improve the understanding and diagnosis of canine cancer so that dogs live longer, healthier lives.

While the research grants will primarily focus on Golden Retrievers, both projects emphasize a better understanding of how cancer begins and spreads, benefiting all breeds of dogs and potential human medicine as well.

The research will be conducted through a collaborative team effort of top scientists with a portion of the funded research produced in cooperation with the animal health industry. The hope is to drive diagnostic tests and new therapeutic products to market faster and more efficiently.

The two funded teams will commence their work later in 2013 with anticipated completion dates in 2016. Dr. Jaime Modiano of the University of Minnesota, Dr. Matthew Breen of North Carolina State University and Dr. Kerstin Lindblad-Toh of The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard will focus their efforts on the establishment of genetic risk alleles, defining the gene expression profile and the role of cellular activation in lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma. Dr. Jeffrey Bryan of the University of Missouri, Dr. Anne Avery of Colorado State University and Dr. Heather Wilson-Robles of Texas A&M University will focus on discovery of novel protein, blood and epigenetic biomarkers to enhance diagnosis and treatment of cancer in dogs. To read summaries of the grants, visit:

Dog lovers interested in supporting the research can contribute. To learn more, you’ll find more information and links here.