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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Crossposted from another list:

A new study is underway that will examine whether or not there is a link between a common virus and lymphoma in Goldens. This study seeks to enroll 500 healthy Goldens (no cancer) and will follow those dogs with blood samples every 6 months for 2 years. Should any of those dogs develop lymphoma during that time, a biopsy will be needed; this can be done using a hollow needle (similar in size to a microchip needle) and does not require anesthesia. Most veterinarians are willing to donate their professional services for the blood draws, and shipping costs will be paid by the study. Owners will be informed of their dog's virus status at the end of the study.

We recognize that these sample goals are ambitious, and therefore we need "all hands on deck" to help make this study a success so that we can learn more about the causes of this common cancer in Goldens. Board-certified oncologist Dr Nicola Mason from the University of Pennsylvania is willing to make presentations to Golden Retriever Clubs and rescue groups around the country, and to enroll dogs with the first blood draw at those meetings. If your club or group might consider inviting Dr Mason as a speaker, please contact Rhonda Hovan at [email protected]

In addition, we request that breeders who have litters born in the 2004 – 2006 time range, please consider contacting your owners to let them know how much you care about the breed, by encouraging them to participate. And for anyone who may have felt left out of the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study due to their age restriction of under 2 yrs old, here's your chance to make a difference!

We also request and would appreciate widespread forwarding and cross-posting of this message.

Below is information from Dr Mason's website, or for live links please visit her website directly at http://www.vet.upenn.edu/Research/B.../GoldenRetrieverStudy/tabid/2375/Default.aspx

Information is also on the GRCA website at

http://www.grca.org/pdf/health/MasonVirusStudy.pdf

Mason Golden Retriever Study

The Mason lab at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine is investigating the possibility that a gammaherpesvirus can infect dogs and may contribute to lymphoma. The virus is thought to be highly similar to Epstein-Barr Virus that infects the majority of humans.

In most humans, infection is asymptomatic (no clinical signs), but in a very small subset of people, the virus is associated with lymphomas. Mason's lab has shown that some dogs (like people) can be infected with an EBV-like virus and that this appears to be associated with lymphoma in some cases (Evidence of an oncogenic gammaherpesvirus in domestic dogs. Huang et al. Virology. 2012 Mar 7).

Using a relatively simple blood test, Mason's lab can determine whether dogs have been exposed to an EBV-like virus. They now aim to screen approximately 500 healthy Golden Retriever dogs between 6 and 8 years of age to determine whether they are infected with the virus.

Participating dogs will be evaluated every 6 months for 2 years to determine whether the presence of increasing amounts of virus and antibodies to the virus predicts which dogs many go on to develop lymphoma.

The study aims to provide very important information about a possible environmental cause of cancer and may lead to future anti-viral therapies for cancer. This study is supported by the National Institutes of Health.

We invite All Owners of Golden Retrievers to Take Part in This Study

All owners of healthy Golden Retrievers are invited to participate in an unprecedented study to investigate the possibility that a particular virus (a gammaherpesvirus) can infect Golden Retriever dogs and that this infection contributes to the development of lymphoma in some dogs.

Eligibility

If you have a healthy Golden Retriever dog that has not been previously diagnosed with cancer, and is between 6 and 8 years of age you may be eligible to participate in this study. Complete information regarding the study and study eligibility can be found on the consent form (download below).

Samples Required for the Study

The study involves taking a blood sample from your dog once every six months for two years.

If your dog develops lymphoma while on the study, a biopsy of the malignant lymph node tissue will be taken and used to confirm the diagnosis and determine whether this virus is involved in the tumor.

Blood samples and lymph node biopsies can be taken at your local veterinarian and sent to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

About Costs: Please note that we do not have funds to cover any costs associated with visits to your veterinarian or costs associated with lymph node biopsies or blood samples. Funds are available to pay for shipping of samples to UPenn from your local veterinarian and for all laboratory tests that look for the virus in the blood and in any tumor tissue.

Study Participant Information for Golden Retriever Dogs

If you would like to participate in the study, please download:

· the consent form (PDF)

· the examination form and sample submission instructions (PDF)

[Please contact Rhonda for these forms as I am not able to post a link directly to them here. Her contact info is below.]

Take these to your veterinarian. Please complete the consent form and ask your veterinarian to complete the examination form.

Both forms should be submitted to UPenn with your samples.

All samples should be sent overnight to the following address:

Attention: Dr. Nicola Mason

Room 335, Hill Pavilion
University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
380 South University Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Contact Information

Golden Retriever owners may also contact Rhonda Hovan (GRCA Health Committee member) by telephone at 330-668-0044 or 330-338-4236 (cell) or by e-mail at [email protected].
 

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I will make the contact, Melanie..and check with our veterinarian as well. We have an about to turn 6 years in April "pup".

Thank you for posting.
 

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I am in. We have lost 2 Goldens to cancer. As well as other members in our human family. I have one that should be eligible for the study. My Vet is a Golden guy so I bet he will help out.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks you guys. Out of my four, none qualify for the study :( but am going to contact the gang we bred who might fit their age category.
 

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I will make the contact, Melanie..and check with our veterinarian as well. We have an about to turn 6 years in April "pup".

Thank you for posting.
Count me in too.

M
 

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One of mine just turned 9 yr and the other is 4 yr, so neither qualify. As I work in the veterinary oncology field, I am VERY interested in what this research turns up. It is heartbreaking to see so many dogs lost, many at age 3 or 4 to cancer.

Dawn
 
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