Bladder Cancer in the Scottish TerrierThe Ostrander Laboratory at the National Human Genome
Research Institute at NIH in collaboration with the Purdue Comparative Oncology Program at Purdue
University and the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at the University of Minnesota is conducting
research on the genetic susceptibility to transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the urinary bladder in the Scottish Terrier. This is a devastating disease with genetic underpinnings and our ultimate goal is to identify the genetic variants responsible for susceptibility to this disease. Scottish Terriers are 20 times more likely to be diagnosed with TCC than
other dogs and treatment of advanced TCC has often been met with disappointing results. Too many Scottish Terriers die each year as a result of this terrible disease.
Dr. Elaine Ostrander and her collaborators are searching for the genetic causes of TCC.
They will be looking at all the dog’s chromosomes to find regions of the genome that affected dogs share that occur with a decreased frequency in a population based sample of the breed. Statistical tools are used to evaluate the data between the two groups of dogs and to compare the data from Scotties to that being collected from other breeds.
Indeed, the Ostrander/Knapp groups will not only be collecting and testing DNA from Scottish Terriers, but also West Highland White Terriers and Beagles. Our collaborator Dr. Liz McNiel is a key player in helping inform potential study participants about the disease. Of key interest will be the determination as to whether related breeds, such as the Westie
and Scottie, have inherited the disease from a common ancient ancestor. The Ostrander Lab is soliciting blood samples from two groups of dogs. We seek samples from dogs with a histopathological diagnosis (biopsy confirmed) of TCC. In addition, we
seek DNA from dogs over the age of five who currently have no known cancers.
If your dog meets one of these criteria, please contact Dana Mosher, Ostrander Lab Samples Manager, for a sampling kit by phone (301-451-9390) or email
collecting 5-10 cc of blood at your veterinarian’s office, and instructions for handling the blood. The collection kit comes in a small cardboard mailer tube that protects the blood vials. A return address label is included so that the forms and blood can be sent back to the lab conveniently. Blood can be mailed at room temperature without cold packs.All genetic and contact information collected for each dog will remain confidential. Specifically, your participation in the study, your dog’s pedigree, health information you provide, and any data we get from your dog’s DNA sample will not be disclosed to any
breeders, Club personnel, the AKC, or the AKC Canine Health Foundation.
The sample you provide will be instrumental in helping to identify the genomic mutations associated with TCC. Every sample is precious and provides researchers with new and unique genetic information. Finding the locus (the part of the DNA that is abnormal) is the first step in what we expect will ultimately lead to a genetic test for TCC. Breeders could
use the test to make informed decisions resulting in a reduction of the disease in the population. In addition, determining the genetic cause of the disease is a necessary first step in developing strategies to prevent the cancer and develop therapies for affected dogs.
Thank you in advance for your time and effort. Our work would not be possible without the participation of responsive owners and club members like you. Please contact Dana Mosher by phone or email with any questions or concerns you may have.