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Research > BONE CANCER
Research into Bone Cancer 
(University of Nottingham)

Background to the project
The IWHG is helping to recruit hounds and owners for a long-term study into bone cancer (osteosarcoma or OSA) by Nottingham University Vet School (NVS). The project began in April 2014 and ultimately, we need to sign up 1,000 Wolfhounds, initially from the British Isles. Recruiting so many Wolfhounds is ambitious but – we hope – achievable. With around 300 Wolfhound puppies registered in the UK each year the population is approximately 2,100, so we need to sign up about half of all living Wolfhounds in the UK. We have recruited approximately 700 so far and numbers are growing every week, but we still need another 300 dogs.

Note for overseas owners
We know many in the global Wolfhound community are keen to take part, and names will be kept on file should the research team allow wider recruitment in the future. For now, overseas owners may take part only in the treatment survey.

The aims of the research:
1)    To study lifestyle factors affecting the onset and
       development of OSA.
2)   To identify biological markers which may be used 
       to screen for early detection.
3)   To review and improve treatment.

How can you help?
Firstly, we need a mouth swab from your Wolfhound. This is done by you at home - no need to visit the vet. Simply complete the online form to the right, and we will send you a  swab kit  with full instructions plus a pre-paid envelope to return the swab to NVS. 
Tip: if you have multiple dogs keep a record of 
which ones have been swabbed.

Secondly, you need to complete a comprehensive a health and lifestyle questionnaire.

Then every 6 - 12 months for the life of the hound you complete a shorter update form
Tip: make it easy to remember by doing this 
on the dog's birthday or at the time of annual boosters.

Both forms are available below online or to print.

(or phone Maura Lyons
on 07546 420898)

Finally, should your Wolfhound be unfortunate enough to develop OSA in the future, two bone samples would be required: one from the tumour itself and one from healthy bone near the tumour site. These samples can be taken at the same time as bone biopsy or amputation, or following euthanasia, but will require timely liaison between the you, the project team and your vet. You will need to email Mark Dunning to discuss the procedure. 
Consent form

Mouth swab instructions

Heath & lifestyle questionnaire

6 - 12 month update 
Treatment survey

We know this is a big 'ask' at a most difficult time, but pairs of samples from ten dogs are needed for the research to be worthwhile. The team will examine the bone samples for differences in genetic signals between the tumour and healthy bone. Identifying which genes behave differently may lead to new treatments or diagnostic tests.

In the event of your dog developing OSA there is also a treatment survey to be completed on the treatment options offered by your primary care vet.

Check out our Facebook page!

We need help to spread the word to get enough dogs signed up. 
Please talk to your friends and your breeder about it, 
and breeders - please ask your puppy buyers to join.

If you have any questions or know anyone who 
might be interested in joining in this research please 
email Maura Lyons or phone 07546 420898. 

If you are not part of the project but your dog has OSA and you would like to help, please email Mark Dunning to discuss collecting samples.

Please note:
If your dog was swabbed before the health and lifestyle questionnaire was available but you have taken part in the recent NVS telephone survey you don't need to complete the questionnaire. We are contacting owners who haven't yet provided this information to complete the initial data gathering exercise.

Also, if your dog has been swabbed at a heart testing session it does not need to be repeated.

And finally, if you have had a hound with OSA in the last ten years you can complete the treatment survey. There is no need for swabs or information except what is asked for in the survey.

The study method in brief:
1   Dog is swabbed.
2  Owner completes lifestyle/
     health questionnaire.
3 Owner completes health
   updates regularly throughout
   the dog's life.
4  Should the dog develop OSA:
a) it is hoped owner will agree
   to provide bone samples.
b) owner completes treatment
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