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The Shine On Project: A Novel Way to Approach Cancer
The vision “to create a world where we no longer fear cancer” drives the work of Dr. Jaime Modiano and his colleagues in the Animal Cancer Care and Research Program of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. The “Shine On” study represents a turning point in their efforts to achieve this vision, by finding a way to prevent hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive, malignant tumor of blood vessel cells, in dogs. To do this, Modiano’s group plans to use a test to find hemangiosarcoma cells in the blood of dogs at risk for the disease. His group will then treat the dogs that have hemangiosarcoma cells in their blood with a new drug that kills the those cells before they ever have a chance to form a tumor.
The Milestones for Shine On
Shine On became a reality thanks to funding from the Golden Retriever Foundation, American Boxer Charitable Foundation, Portuguese Water Dog Foundation, and AKC Canine Health Foundation.
The study is divided into three phases, each of which represents one of the three milestones that Modiano’s group expects to achieve.
Progress and Early Results
Modiano’s team began working on the Shine On project in March 2016. A major challenge was to refine the blood test so that hemangiosarcoma cells in the blood could be detected not only in dogs with tumors, but also in dogs that had not yet developed tumors. Researchers spent the first six months investigating how to do this, identifying several molecules that they believe will improve the sensitivity and specificity of the test for early detection.
In the next six months, they made substantial progress toward the first two milestones. Modiano’s team screened blood samples from 54 dogs in Phase 1. Thirty-one dogs were unaffected and the other 23 dogs had hemangiosarcoma, another type of cancer, or a spleen mass that was due to a condition other than cancer. They defined the smallest number of hemangiosarcoma cells that the test could detect in a routine blood sample and confirmed that hemangiosarcoma cells are not detectable in the blood of otherwise healthy dogs at low risk for the disease.
Early results from Phase 2, where researchers tested samples from dogs that are undergoing treatment, suggest the patented blood test could show when a treatment might not work as well. In preparation for Phase 3, they established the safety of eBAT, a drug developed at the University of Minnesota to treat hemangiosarcoma and other cancers, in two clinical trials. They also documented the ability of eBAT to eliminate the cells responsible for initiating and maintaining hemangiosarcoma. eBAT’s remarkable safety record, potential to directly kill the cells that form hemangiosarcoma tumors, and ability to modify the cellular environment so it becomes inhospitable for tumor growth and survival make it a highly desirable drug for hemangiosarcoma prevention.
The plan is to continue enrolling dogs in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of Shine On for the duration of the study. Modiano expects enrollment for Phase 3 to begin in fall 2017. Golden retrievers, boxers, and Portuguese water dogs from the lower 48 states that are at least 6 years old and have no evidence of disease will be eligible to participate in Phase 3. Owners will receive information about how the test is done, how to interpret results, and options after testing. Complete information on eligibility and rules for participation is available on the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine Clinical Investigation Center website at http://z.umn.edu/shineon
eBAT chemoprevention therapy will be available exclusively at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, for eligible dogs participating in Phase 3 of the Shine On study. These dogs must have had two consecutive positive tests for hemangiosarcoma cells in the blood and have no detectable tumor. Their owners must consent to the dog’s treatment with eBAT.
Shine On represents a shift in both the way we think about cancer and the way we conduct research. The project is progressing on schedule, and Modiano’s team is optimistic, as the results so far are consistent with their predictions.
Modiano and his team are interested in expanding eligibility to participate in Shine On to dogs from other breeds, funding permitting. If you wish to help expand and accelerate recruitment and progress by contributing financially to this important research, please contact Andrea Fahrenkrug at email@example.com.
Position Title – GRF Director of Planned Giving
Committee of: One
Additional comments: The work load would be approximately 5 hours a week, however an enthusiastic,
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AKC's "Canines and Cocktails"
At the AKC Canine Health Foundation "Canines and Cocktails" event in Orlando FL this past December, the Golden Retriever Foundation was honored as one of the top 5 organizations for donations to canine health. The GRF and the American Boxer Charitable Foundation were the highest donation groups of all the Distinguished Research Partners to be so recognized.
AmazonSmile now rewards GRF!
Clicking thru the "Support Us" button on the bottom right of the website. If you go thru Amazon here, they donate 3% - HUGE difference than going just thru the Amazon Smile.
Select ‘Golden Retriever Foundation’, and log in with your Amazon.com login and password. Once logged into Amazon.com, you will see a comment about your support for GRF! You only pay for your product. But actually, you are not making the donation; Amazon is making the donation so there is no additional money to pay other than what you want to buy.
How does AmazonSmile work? When first visiting AmazonSmile, customers are prompted to select a charitable organization – in this case “Golden Retriever Foundation”, from almost one million eligible organizations. In order to browse or shop at AmazonSmile, customers must first select a charitable organization. For eligible purchases at AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 3% of the purchase price to the customer’s selected charitable organization.
What is the AmazonSmile Foundation? It’s a 501(c)(3) private foundation created by Amazon to administer the AmazonSmile program. All donation amounts generated by the AmazonSmile program are remitted to the AmazonSmile Foundation. In turn, the AmazonSmile Foundation donates those amounts to the charitable organizations selected by customers. Amazon pays all expenses of the AmazonSmile Foundation; they are not deducted from the donation amounts generated by purchases on AmazonSmile.
We have some interesting research information for you this month (July 2015).
First, from Rhonda Hovan, Research Facilitator, Health & Genetics Committee:
Golden Retriever Genetic Diversity Project
The Golden Retriever Foundation is excited to announce that it has asked Josh Stern, DVM, PhD, Niels Pedersen, DVM, PhD, and the research team in the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine to develop a genetic diversity study of Golden Retrievers. The project will survey DNA from North American Goldens, with a focus on selecting dogs that represent all or nearly all of the genetic variety available in this population. A report at the end of the study will detail the frequency of key haplotypes (groups of genes that tend to be inherited together) that are indicators of the genetic health of a population, and will identify subpopulations that have maintained richer diversity versus those with potentially risky loss of diversity.
The 1998 GRCA/GRF Golden Retriever Health Survey gave us invaluable insight into the state of clinical disease and health of our breed, and it remains a gold standard source of data that helps guide research priorities. Similarly, this DNA survey will provide insight into the genetic health of the breed, and will be a lasting resource to inform and guide breed planning. This may help us reduce harmful practices that cause loss of diversity, and allow us to develop a rational strategy to improve the long-term viability of the gene pool.
In addition to reporting on diversity in the breed as a whole, VGL will provide participating owners with individual reports on their dogs. This will enable the identification of dogs that have rare genes whose diversity value to the breed is highly desirable, so that special effort or consideration can be made to preserve those dogs/lines going forward. Over time, as the database matures, it may help breeders select breeding pairs that will produce a higher level of healthy diversity in their puppies.
It is said in medicine that one cannot change or impact what one doesn’t measure, and thus GRF has initiated this study to measure the current state of genetic diversity in the North American Golden population. A long-range goal is that we will obtain data that will allow us to be better caretakers of the breed.
Phase I of this research is already underway, and Golden owners and breeders are encouraged to participate by submitting a DNA sample that will help to build the database. During the research phase, cost is discounted to $50 instead of the regular rate of $100, and additional information can be found at:
From Morris Animal Foundation – MADGiC Project:
Dog breed susceptibility to certain cancers has been recognized for years, but understanding the relationship between inherited traits and the likelihood of developing cancers has been elusive. With funding from Morris Animal Foundation and the Golden Retriever Foundation, Dr. Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, Dr. Jaime Modiano and Dr. Matthew Breen have discovered a potential link between certain mutations in the DNA of golden retriever and future cancer development.
Their three year, $1 million project examined genetic traits associated with risk and progression of two of the most common and deadliest cancers diagnosed in golden retrievers – hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma. They uncovered two specific gene regions that predispose golden retrievers to both cancers.
Now that candidate genetic mutations have been identified, researchers need to test more golden retrievers with and without cancer to see if these observations remain valid in the larger population. Once validated, a genetic test can be developed to identify individuals at higher risk of disease.
Golden Retriever Lifetime Study: To celebrate enrollment of 3,000, MAF is having a party! For information please go to:
www.goldenretrieverhero.org and click on Events.
From David Haworth, President & CEO Morris Animal Foundation:
I’m pleased to let you know that Sharon Albright, DVM, CCRT, will join Morris Animal Foundation in August as study veterinarian for the Canine Lifetime Health Project. In her new role, she will be responsible for many of the veterinary science as well as canine health aspects of our Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.
Donate to the National GRF Art Auction.
This year, I am very excited to chair the 2017 Art Auction being held during the GRCA National Specialty Show in California and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for being such a valued member of the Golden Retriever Foundation family. Without the generous support and hard work of so many committed and dedicated golden lovers, we simply wouldn’t be as successful as we have been in supporting the GRF.
As you may know, the Art Auction is held in three parts:
If you would like play a big part in breaking last year’s record by donating to the 2017 Art Auction, kindly email me a description and photo of the item(s). Or if you have ideas and/or contacts to help us arrange “priceless experience packages”, I’d love to hear from you. We will be accepting donations until September 1st, 2017. Donations may also be mailed directly to me at the address below.
So, let’s get to work to continue the legacy of commitment and generosity to this vital foundation and to the breed that we all love so dearly! Thank you for your continued support. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
The Purina Program explained.
Through the PPCP Program, Purina and the AKC Canine Health Foundation work together to help parent clubs address priority health concerns for their breeds and areas not previously funded. Here's how the PPCP Program works:
Pro Club members redeem weight circles from bags of participating Purina brand dog foods. Purina tracks these weight circle submissions, and for every $100 of qualifying weight circle points earned by Pro Club members, Purina donates $10 to the participating national parent breed club.
Points are accumulated throughout a calendar year, and in February, a check representing 10% of the value of the submitted weight circles for the year is evenly split. Fifty percent will go to the Canine Health Foundation, in the name of the Golden Retriever Foundation (designated as a GRCA/GRF donor advised fund) and will be specifically directed for research of Golden Retriever health issues. These monies are eligible to be matched up to 100 percent by the Canine Health Foundation if it meets the Foundations funding guidelines. The remaining fifty percent will be issued to GRCA to be used for rescue, education and/or research as determined by the Club.
For the year 2014, we earned $17,851. Since the inception of this program in 2003 the total Purina has sent GRCA/CHF is $182,369. For more information on this program visit http://purinaproclub.com/why-purina/ppcp
The GRF is thrilled to announce that the joint research project with CHF, originally agreed in 2010 under the leadership of Dave Kinghorn of GRF and Terry Warren of CHF, is a reality!
On Tuesday, May 28, 2013 CHF issued a press release specifying that our two foundations have agreed to fund a total of almost $1.5 million for the following two grant proposals: