2 Million Dogs – The Blog

Cancer. Touches. Everyone.

Posts Tagged ‘leukemia’

More Ways to Help

Posted by Erich Trapp on July 23, 2013

broad boxerOur “Cancer Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down” 2014 calendar is in full swing, so stop by and vote for your favorite canine cancer heroes. Your voting dollars will go to The Broad Institute again this year, and we want to raise as much as we can to further their work. Their research is international and encompasses canine cancer exploration at the DNA level. Last year the calendar contest winners chose to fund Broad’s Canine Osteosarcoma study. This year’s winners will have the same opportunity to choose which study to support.

And the work Broad does is translational*, which means it helps in human cancer research as well.

Some Background — Since the Human Genome Mapping Project began, $3 billion has been spent over 15 years to generate a reliable sequence of the human genome. Sequence of the canine genome was generated in 2004, taking only about a year to finish and costing about $50 million. (Source.)

Throughout this period of intense research, an important fact has emerged. People and dogs are extraordinarily similar in a genetic sense. But while it takes thousands of human patients with cancer to identify risk factors, it only takes maybe 100 canine patients to identify these factors in dogs. This is because their genetic makeup is not as ‘noisy’ as that of humans. As such, researchers can look at the genetics of cancer in dogs to accelerate discoveries that will benefit both dogs and people.

As you probably already know, the statistics on cancer in dogs are alarming, and in fact, the current rate of cancer is higher in dogs than it is in humans.

But did you know that dogs are:

  • Twice as likely to develop leukemia than humans.
  • Four times more likely to suffer from breast cancer.
  • Eight times more likely to develop bone cancer.
  • An incredible thirty-five times more at risk for developing skin cancer. (Source.)

So, besides voting in the calendar contest to support the work of Broad, how can you help further the research they’re doing the rest of the year?

Broad needs DNA samples from purebred dogs who have been diagnosed with the cancers Broad is studying, as well as from older, healthy dogs (ages 8+ years) from the same breeds. Currently those cancers are: Hemangiosarcoma, Osteosarcoma (bone cancer), Lymphoma, Mast Cell Tumors, Mammary Tumors, Melanoma (skin cancer), and Glioma (tumors that start in the brain or spine).

Why are DNA samples important? At its deepest root, cancer is caused by damage to the DNA. DNA is found in every cell and is responsible for directing cells in normal behavior patterns. Under normal circumstances, the body is able to repair DNA damage, but when that damage isn’t repaired, the cells begin to behave abnormally, beginning the out-of-control growth that leads to cancer formation. (Source.)

Why purebred dogs? In developing breeds, certain physical features (size, shape, coat, color) and behaviors were selected by breeders. This genetic diversity makes purebreds dogs ideal for genetic research. Using samples from only purebred dogs ensures the fastest progress for all dogs.

If your purebred dog has had cancer or is an older, healthy dogs (age 8+) please visit www.broadinstitute.org/dogsamples where you’ll find information to guide you on working with your vet to collect and ship blood samples to use in their studies.

To learn more about the breeds they study and the work your votes will be funding, please follow this link: www.broadinstitute.org/dogresearch.

Broad Institute on blackBroad’s Ethical Statement: The Broad Institute’s Canine Disease Mapping group performs disease research under a conservative ethical model that no harm should come to the dogs. Dogs enrolled in their studies are pet dogs, participating after owner consent, only in ways that do not harm them. They DO NOT induce cancer in dogs, nor do they ever keep any animals in the laboratory.

Thank you for supporting the efforts of 2 Million Dogs and The Broad Institute through your participation in the 2014 “Cancer Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down” calendar. Don’t forget to cast your votes for your favorite dogs before voting ends at midnight, EDT, August 8th.

*Translational research is research in the laboratory with an eye toward learning things that could be brought back to patients (both animal and human) in the clinical setting.

Posted in 2014 Calendar Contest, Fundraiser, Research, Stories | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Featured Pup — Baxter

Posted by Erich Trapp on October 1, 2011


Less than 24 hours left to enter and/or vote for your favorite pups for the 2 Million Dogs’ Cancer Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down 2012 calendar contest . The contest ends tonight at 12 midnight Central time. Still a few hours to vote!

The story below is about Baxter. His mom and I have both tried to upload his photo but have had no success. So we’re publishing it to the blog. However, you can follow this link to vote for Baxter.

My Baby Boy, Baxter ‘s Story

(by Christine Morrison) I want to tell you about a wonderful little puppy who came into my life just after the new year began in 2006. He was a little black and white fluff ball and he was full of fun! We struggled and struggled with just the right name for this little guy because he had the most amazing personality…we finally settled on “Baxter”.

We adopted him from the shelter at 9 weeks… we spent every minute of every day molding him from an adorable little pup into a loving, friendly, obedient dog. He was smart as could be too! It was like he understood exactly what we were saying to him – particularly if we were telling him where to look for his ball! He lived for swimming and fetching his favorite soccer ball (black and white of course). He was my shadow and I told him every single day how much I loved that little man and thanked God for bringing us together.

We had a bad year in 2005 — we lost my 13 year old Yorkie on Valentine’s Day and my 7 year old tri-color border collie on Thanksgiving. Baxter was just the ray of sunshine we needed in our lives and he put spark back in each day for my 6 year old Golden Retriever who had suffered the loss of two siblings in nine months. Baxter continued to entertain and amaze us on a regular basis, never meeting a person or dog he didn’t like or want to play with. When we moved from Potsdam to Massachusetts he snuggled in for the long ride and made a smooth and easy transition to living with my sister and her dog and 15 year old cat. Nothing was ever a problem for him once he put his mind to something. His determination and intelligence always won out!

We enjoyed two Christmas holidays with Baxter (Boo-Bear as I affectionately called him) where he was showered with gifts and attention from all family members, human and canine. Everyone adored him! He tore into his gifts with delight and entertained us all day attacking his new stuffed animals, chomping on his treats and playing with his toys! He was always “up” for a party and company!

In January of 2008 we had a birthday party for a family member who brought her dog over to play and B just wasn’t himself. The next day I took him to the vet because I was very “in-tune” with this little guy and I knew this wasn’t like him. The vet did blood work, tests and x-rays and it turned out that my little man was in the final stages of leukemia! He had not let on at all that he was sick until the very end.

I prayed for a miracle that never came and as I checked him into the Tufts Animal Hospital and put him in his crate, he pulled himself up from lying panting on his side, climbed onto my lap, puts his paws around my neck and licked my face. The diagnosis was barely determined when he succumbed to the disease and died in my arms at the animal hospital the next day at the age of 26 months.

To vote for Baxter, please follow this link.

Posted in 2012 Calendar Contest | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »