Hemangiosarcoma   Abstract from the CHF website

Broad Institute - MIT (Non-profit Organization

Active Grant No: 593A:

Mapping Genes Associated with Canine Hemangiosarcoma

Disease(s): Cancer: Hemangiosarcoma


    American Boxer Charitable Foundation, American Bullmastiff Association, American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation, Briard Club of America Health & Education Trust, Clumber Spaniel Club of America, Flat-Coated Retriever Foundation, French Bulldog Club of America, Golden Retriever Foundation, Health & Rescue Foundation of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Club of America, Labrador Retriever Club, LEAP Agility, Leonberger Health Foundation, Portuguese Water Dog Foundation, Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States, Saluki Club of America, Inc., Saluki Health Research, Inc., Scottish Terrier Club of America Health Trust Fund, Skye Terrier Club of America

Researcher(s): Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, PhD

Breed(s): Boxer, Golden Retriever


    Hemangiosarcoma (HSA), a malignant tumor of blood vessels, is a significant health concern in dogs, with a reported incidence of up to two percent of all tumors. HSA can affect all dogs, but a particularly high disease incidence has been reported in certain breeds, such as Golden Retriever (15 percent), German Shepherd Dog (10 percent), and Labrador Retriever. The higher incidence in these particular breeds suggests that genetic risk factors exist. We aim to identify the genetic risk factors associated with canine HSA in Golden Retrievers. These same risk factors are likely present in other breeds as well. We will collect DNA samples from healthy and affected dogs. We will use a newly developed powerful analytical method in order to search for small differences in the patterns of DNA. Subsequently, DNA patterns will be compared with other related breeds and it will be possible to identify a small region of the DNA that is associated with the disease and should lead to the identification of genes predisposing to HSA. When an associated region has been identified, carrier testing can be performed and breeding programs can be improved. Ultimately, understanding of the disease biology will lead to better treatment of HSA.

March 31st, 2008 Update Report for Sponsors:

Grant 0593A&B

We have mapped seven loci that appear to be associated with hemangiosarcoma in the Golden Retriever. Fine-mapping of six loci in multiple breeds suggests that these risk factors are also present in at least one other breed, including Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Leonbergers and Boxers. Six candidate genes are currently being searched for mutations. So far no coding mutations have been identified. Once the mutations have been identified and their presence in different breeds assessed, this will allow for rapid development of genetic tests for carriers of HSA. Ultimately, understanding of the disease biology will lead to prevention and better treatment of HSA.  In the next six months we will perform denser fine mapping as well as analyze the genome-wide data from additional Golden Retrievers to try to reach genome-wide significance for as many as possible of the seven loci. We believe these findings are a major break-through for the identification of risk factors for hemangiosarcoma and that the results will be relevant for many breeds. We therefore ask that owners send us samples from all dogs with hemangiosarcoma (regardless of breed) at this point