Please join the research underway:

After completing the dog genome sequencing project, the Broad Institute of Harvard, MIT and collaborators, are now working on identifying disease genes that predispose to cancer. Identification of such genes could lead to carrier testing, a better understanding of the disease, and long term better treatments for the disease in both dogs and humans. More information can be found at:

If you own a Leonberger, please send blood samples to the Broad Institute.  Healthy dogs as well as affected dogs are needed.  If you submit a blood sample from your healthy Leonberger, please notify the institute if the dog develops any form of disease, especially cancer.

For each of the diseases listed below, researchers need blood samples from affected dogs as well as blood samples from healthy older (>6 years) dogs.

To download the forms which accompany the blood samples, please visit the Leonberger Health Foundation:


Dr. Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, of the Broad Institute at Harvard and MIT,  is conducting research on the genetics of bone cancer in the dog.  The Leonberger suffers from this cancer with increasing frequency which is why the Leo is now included in this important research. The goal of her study is to locate the genetic marker for osteosarcoma, which could lead to health screening, earlier diagnosis and more targeted treatment for this fatal disease.

Blood samples from Leonbergers are needed. Please visit the website of the Broad Institute to download forms and obtain instructions on submitting samples from your Leonberger.

  Mammary tumors

PI: Kerstin Lindblad-Toh Broad and Elizabeth McNiel, U. Minnesota

Focus: English Springer Spaniel

Additional breeds included: German Shepherds, Cocker Spaniels and Boxers Please contact:


PI: Kerstin Lindblad-Toh Broad and Phil Bergman, Animal Medical Center, NY.  Breeds included: ALL including the Leonberger, Scottish Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Black Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Chow Chows, and Pugs. Please contact:


PI: Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, Broad

Focus: Golden Retrievers, Boxers

Additional breeds included: Cocker Spaniel, Rottweiler, Akita, Flat- Coated Retriever Please contact:

 Mast cell tumors

Collaborators: Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, Broad and Cheryl London, UC Davis

Focus: Pugs and Chinese Shar-Pei

Additional breeds included: Pit Bull Terrier, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Cocker Spaniel, Boxer Please contact:

Researchers at the AMC Cancer Research Center and University of Colorado Health Science Center are looking for samples for the following projects:


Researchers need samples from any dog that has an AKC registration number.

Eligible dogs will undergo standard of care treatment and provide blood samples as well. Availability of 2 or more unaffected relatives that are >6 years old is desirable. They also are encouraging people that have dogs who are related to the affected study subjects to participate.

Owners of all dogs will be asked to fill out a follow-up questionnaire.


Researchers need blood samples from affected dogs for a study to map susceptibility genes. In some cases, samples may be applied to the development of a diagnostic test for hemangiosarcoma. Eligible dogs must have an AKC registration number. Owners of all dogs will be asked to fill out a follow-up questionnaire.

Visit for additional information on these programs.

Dr. Breen is doing hemangiosarcoma research with Bernese Mountain dogs, and Golden Retrievers.  She has accepted the Leonberger into this research.  If you have a Leo with this form of cancer, please participate in Dr. Breen's study:

Dr. Breen at

their website is

You may also view the other various research, not all are limited to Berners:

If you know of additional cancer research projects, please let me know so it can be added. 

If you are fighting cancer in your Leo, please read Jazzie's story and consider an alternative therapy that has extended the life of my Leo.  No one knows how much time she may have but with prayers and Neoplasene, she continues to bring incredible joy to our lives.  In addition to the Neoplasene, dogs and cats with cancer, including Leonbergers, have been winning more time in their fight against this disease by using Artemesinin.  Please check the links to these alternative therapies.  Most of them can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy.



Last updated 08/01/2017 .
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