Osteosarcoma is the most commonly diagnosed bone tumor in dogs and children. In dogs, it mainly affects large breeds, even giant breeds. This disease mainly affects the long bones of the limbs. It is locally aggressive and metastasizes rapidly and unfortunately, 90% of affected dogs and 30% of affected children die from this cancer. In dogs, the main treatment is surgical (amputation if possible) and requires adjuvant chemotherapy. Life expectancy is one year after after a complete treatment (surgery and chemotherapy). This information comes from American studies; our current research aims to collect information on French dogs.

Osteosarcomas affect a certain group of dogs, those of the large breeds, and a significantly important frequency has been noted within certain breeds. This leads us to believe that genetic factors associated to rapid growth are at work. An American study has also highlighted the influence of breed on the karyotype of osteosarcoma. (Breen M. : Influence of genetic background on tumor karyotypes : evidence for breed-associated cytogenetic aberrations in canine appendicular osteosarcoma. Chromosome Res. 2009; 17(3): 365-77). However, it is important not to forget environmental factors which also seem to be implicated in the apparition of this cancer.

Another study, looking at the Scottish Deerhound and based on the construction of a large pedigree, puts forth the hypothesis, that the presence of a major dominantly inherited gene in this breed is at the origin of osteosarcomas (Dillberger J et al .:Heritability and segregation analysis of osteosarcoma in the Scottish deerhound. Genomics. 2007 Sep ; 90(3): 354-63). Studies of other breeds need to be undertaken to determine the mode of inheritance.

The genetic understanding of human osteosarcomas is also advancing (discovery of new tumor suppressor genes) (Fletcher JA et al .: Identification of chromosomal aberrations associated with disease progression and a novel 3q13.31 deletion involving LSAMP gene in osteosarcoma. Int J Oncol. 2009 Oct;35(4):775-88). But the dog still seems to be a good model to help in advancing our knowledge.

Our research is being done on all breeds of dog, but in particular on the Leonberger, since we have a significant amount of information on this breed dating back to 2007.

The study of the Leonberger’s pedigree, which has been accomplished thanks to the information obtained from owners and breeders, has allowed us to postulate that the mode of transmission is polygenic and autosomal. This signifies that several altered genes are necessary for the development of the disease, as is the case for several cancers. The next step in our research is the identification of the responsible genes. This requires many samples. The goal is to compare a group of dogs having been diagnosed with osteosarcoma (ideally with a histological report) to a group of healthy dogs from the same breed. Paradoxically, samples from healthy dogs are the most difficult to obtain. This is why we are requesting samples from elderly dogs not affected by cancer.

Other Bibliographic Reference: Kirpensteijn, J., Kik, M., Teske, E. & Rutteman, G.R. TP53 gene mutations in canine osteosarcoma. Vet Surg 37, 454-60 (2008)

To continue our research, we need :

  • Blood samples in EDTA tubes from dogs of all breeds (Leonbergers and others) affected by osteosarcoma, as well as samples from healthy Leonbergers over the age of 5 years old : CNRS_Ostéosarcome_Protocole
  • A questionnaire for each dog, in order to collect clinical epidemiology data on French dogs : CNRS_Ostéosarcome_Questionnaire
  • A photocopy of the pedigree (if possible and if available)
  • A photocopy of clinical results or histological or imaging analysis

In case there is a bone biopsy for an osteosarcoma diagnostic, an amputation of a limb or the death of the dog (healthy or affected), it is important for this study to receive bone samples collected within specific conditions, for complementary analyses. If this is the case, please contact us (tel: 02 23 23 45 09) rapidly or, ideally, ahead of time, so that we can explain to you or your veterinarian the procedure to follow and ship specific kits for sampling.We remind you that the data collected at the CNRS remain confidential.

For more information, you can contact our team by phone at 02 23 23 45 09 or by email cani-dna@univ-rennes1.fr.