Study Location: Ostrander Laboratory at the National Human Genome Research Institute at NIH, in collaboration with the Purdue Comparative Oncology program at Purdue University
Cancer is a major cause of death in older dogs and treatment is often ineffective. We wish to identify the causes of cancer in order to learn how to more effectively predict, prevent, and treat the disease. Genetic (heritable) factors are important in the development of Transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the bladder. The Scottish and West Highland White terriers and the Shetland sheepdog are at high risk for TCC, suggesting that subsets of dogs from each of these breeds are born with errors in critical genes that predispose them to TCC. We wish to develop ways to identify the dogs with genetic risk factors for TCC before they get the disease. Dogs at risk could then either enter cancer prevention trials, undergo screening tests to detect cancer at its earliest state, and, in the future, possibly receive “genetic” therapy. We have found two regions of the genome where error-prone genes lie and have narrowed the first region to a few hundred bases in an interval that has only two genes. We are requesting continued support to allow us to find this mutation as well as fine map the remaining critical gene(s). To do this we need blood samples from dogs that have been diagnosed with TCC of the bladder as well as healthy dogs over the age of 10 that have never had any form of cancer.
List of research projects funded through the AKC Canine Health Foundation in recent years. Many of the projects are underway at this time, though some of the projects have been completed.
HTF Statement of Limitations on Financial Support for Research Projects*
The HTF does not financially support the following:
Salary of tenure-track faculty (university) or professional, salaried senior-staff (non-profit or for-profit)
Salary of tenure-track faculty (university) or professional, salaried senior-staff (non-profit or for-profit) for statistical analysis support
Laboratory equipment or non-disposable parts
Laboratory equipment repair or non-disposable parts
Development of custom-designed computer software
Tuition or registration fees for classes, training, or conferences
Travel expenses for any purpose, except those directly related to sample procurement (example: dog shows, scheduled clinics)
Transportation of dogs
The HTF will pay up to a maximum of 8% Indirect Costs.
*In Accordance with the AKC CHF Grant Application
Grant 01827 (2013) High-throughput (metagenomic) sequencing for identification of bacteria associated with canine periodontitis and oral health. Marcello Pasquale Riggio; University of Glasgow Project Dates: 1/1/2013 to 1/31/2014 Sponsorship Payment: $1,200
Grant 01602 (2012) Longitudinal Study Investigating the Progression and Pathogenesis of Atypical Hyperadrenocorticism in Scottish Terriers Kurt Zimmerman; Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine Project Dates: 1/1/2012 to 12/31/2013 Sponsorship Payment: $10,000
Grant 01577 (2012) Fine Mapping of Loci for Transitional Cell Carcinoma in the Scottish Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, and Shetland Sheepdog Elaine A Ostrander; National Human Genome Research Institute Project Dates: 1/1/2012 to 12/31/2013 Sponsorship Payment: $5,000
Grant 01592 (2012) Investigation into the Genetics of Scottie Cramp: Sequencing of Associated Chromosomal Regions Natasha J Olby; North Carolina State University Project Dates: 1/1/2012 to 6/30/2013 Sponsorship payment: $10,000
Grant 01413 (2011) Investigation into the Genetics of Scottie Cramp: a Genome-Wide Association Study Natasha J Olby; North Carolina State University Project Dates: 1/1/2011 to 3/31/2012 Sponsorship Payment: $23,250
Grants 1336-A&B (2010) Finding the Mutations that Increase Susceptibility to transitional Cell Carcinoma in the Scottish Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, and the Shetland Sheepdog Dr. Deborah Knapp, DVM; Dr. Elaine Ostrander, PhD Purdue University: National Human Genome Research Institute Project Dates: 1/1/2010 to 12/31/2011 Sponsorship Payment: $10,000
Grant 1384-A(2010)Improved Imaging to Monitor Therapy Response of Urinary Bladder Cancer Using 3D Volume Ultrasonography Dr. James F. McNaughton, DVM Purdue University Project Dates: 2/1/2010 to 7/31/2011 Sponsorship Payment: $1,000
Grant 1131 (2009) Genetic Background and the Angiogenic Phenotype in Cancer Dr. Jaime Modiano, VWD, PhD University of Pennsylvania
Grant 1105 (2009) Understanding the Dynamics of Canine Influenza Virus Transmission In Dog Populations and Intervention Strategies for Reducing Transmission Dr. Cynda Crawford, DVM, PhD University of Florida
Grant 896 (2007) Clinical Trial and Pharmacokinetics of Intravesical Mitomycin C(MMC) for Treatment of TCC Dr. Deborah Knapp. Purdue University
Purdue Bladder Cancer Study
Purdue University recently completed a health study that was jointly funded by the STCA Health Trust Fund and the AKC Health Foundation. This material was just published in the April 15, 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medicial Association. It is titled "Herbicide exposure and the risk of transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder in Scottish Terriers". The STCA HTF is pleased to announce that a summary of this study (in briefing format) is available on the STCA web site. (Click here)
The Purdue researchers are planning to publish several more articles based on this research. Dr. Glickman, one of the researchers, is especially excited about one of the articles which will describe the relationship in Scotties between consumption of fresh vegetables on a regular basis and a reduced risk of cancer. This relationship should not be surprising based on what has been found from studies in humans. However, finding the same thing in dogs hopefully will send a message to pet food companies that maybe their current foods are not optimal and could be modified for the better.
Scottie Cramp Research Project
Most Scottish Terrier owners and breeders are very aware of the disorder called ‘Scottie Cramp’. This is an episodic genetic disorder that causes dramatic spasticity of the muscles (‘cramping’) with excitement and exercise. A more complete description of the disease is available on the genetic health issues page.
The STCA Health Trust is pleased to announce that Dr. Olby’s research team is starting the first phase of trying to identify the genetic cause of this disease. The AKC Canine Health Foundation, together with the STCA Health Trust has funded a project to collect DNA from both affected and normal Scottish Terriers. A second grant to perform the genetic analysis is anticipated, once there are enough samples in hand.
Dr. Olby anticipates that her team can move forward relatively quickly because of the work they have already done with Scottish Terriers that have Cerebellar Ataxia. She will be able to combine genetic data already generated in the Cerebellar Ataxia project with the new data generated in this Scottie Cramp project to increase their ability to detect associations with each disease. As you all already know, the road to finding mutations and genetic tests can be long, but the tools available to researchers improve all the time. The STCA Health Trust hopes that you will support this project and are happy to answer any questions you may have.
What Can I Do?
If you believe that you have a Scottie who may have Scottie Cramp, please use the links at the bottom of this page to access detailed instructions on how to contact Dr. Olby’s team, how to videotape a Scottie Cramp episode and the protocol for obtaining a blood sample for the DNA research.
Dr Olby's Research Team
The research team includes Dr. Natasha Olby, a veterinary neurologist and Associate Professor at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Ganokon Urkasemsin, a veterinarian who is now completing her PhD in Dr. Olby’s laboratory, working exclusively of genetic diseases of Scottish Terriers, and Tonya Harris, a technician who works in Dr. Olby’s laboratory. The laboratory telephone number is 919 513 7235.
The Scottish Terrier is the result of many generations of careful breeding, not only for superior conformation, but also for correct temperament and good health. Vaccines and antibiotics have eliminated most of the health problems that faced early breeders. Today we have a more complex task - to understand and eliminate genetic disorders from our beloved breed. To that end, the Scottish Terrier Club of America has established a Health Trust.
The funds from this Trust will be used for many purposes including:
to identify health problems and establish priorities for solving them
to make the latest research results accessible to breeders
to encourage and support research on health problems affecting Scottish Terriers
Everyone who loves a Scottish Terrier will benefit from the projects supported by Trust funds. We are encouraging each person who loves a Scottish Terrier to support this Trust with a small donation.