KC gives financial boost to genetics & cancer centres

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KC gives financial boost to genetics & cancer centres

Post by Caryll on Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:56 am

Report from Dog World Newspaper this week...

KC gives financial boost to Genetics and Cancer Centres

Created: 03/03/2014

THE KENNEL Club is committing another £1.6 million over the next five years to its Genetics and Cancer Centres at the Animal Health Trust (AHT).
The money will be used to investigate and identify mutations, develop DNA tests and enhance services available to breeders to tackle diseases, and enable the AHT’s cancer research team to buy equipment which can investigate tumour biopsies, collected for diagnostic purposes, in a manner not previously possible.
Initially the technology will assist in identifying gene markers which are characteristic of the spread of uveal melanomas, the most common primary eye tumour in dogs. It is hoped that through this research a test will be developed to identify whether a tumour in an individual dog will spread or not, and therefore prevent the unnecessary removal of eyes from dogs with uveal melanomas.
Longer term, the intention is for the GeneAtlas System to be used in the investigation of many cancers, including lymphoma, oral melanoma and mast cell tumours.
From the creation of online tools to the development of DNA tests, the Genetics Centre has proven beneficial to many owners and breeders in helping to improve the health and welfare of dogs, said the KC. Celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, it was created to combine the resources and expertise of the KC and the AHT with the aim of benefiting thousands of dogs – individuals and whole breeds.
By developing essential tools, minimising the risk of breeding affected puppies and designing breeding programmes which improve overall health of breeds, the Centre has helped breeders improve the health of their dogs by avoiding inherited diseases in their breeds.
KC chairman Steve Dean said: "We are committed to helping breeders address inherited diseases, and by working with the AHT we have together created a centre of excellence which in just five years has already helped to significantly improve the health and welfare of a number of pedigree breeds.
"The KC invests a significant part of its income towards improving dog health and welfare. Historically we have information on our registration system about millions of pedigree dogs which we use to further knowledge of dog diseases and how to prevent them.
"By working in partnership with the AHT we have been able to provide a number of practical resources and expertise to aid breeders in their ambition to reduce or eradicate inherited diseases.”
The KC Charitable Trust invested £1.2 million in the centre when it opened in 2009. Since then, led by Dr Cathryn Mellersh and Dr Sarah Blott of the AHT, the centre has:
Collected and stored DNA samples from 11,000 dogs from 170 breeds;
Undertaken genome-wide association studies using DNA samples from 1,461 dogs of 25 breeds;
Identified ten unique mutations responsible for inherited disorders known to affect 29 different breeds and developed DNA tests which have been used to test more than 38,000 dogs through the AHT’s DNA testing facility.
Dr Mellersh, head of canine genetics at the AHT, said: "The creation of the Genetics Centre has enabled us to take huge steps forward in our mutation detection work. This is assisting breeders in their breeding decisions and, most importantly, minimising the risk of breeding affected puppies.


Mate Select

"The work we are doing within the centre is making a significant difference for thousands of dogs.”
In addition to the mutation detection work the Centre has helped the KC develop and launch the revolutionary web tool, Mate Select, enabling breeders to find the most suitable mate for their dog, Prof Dean said. One of the first tools launched through this platform was the algorithm for calculating inbreeding coefficients of all KC-registered dogs and for prospective matings. This service now attracts more than 23,000 searches per month.
At Crufts, scientists from the centre will be demonstrating the next phase of Mate Select which will include giving breeders and owners access to estimated breeding values (EBVs) for hip dysplasia in 15 breeds and elbow dysplasia in five breeds. These breeds account for more than 80,000 KC registrations per year, so these EBVs will initially be available to 33 per cent of all KC-registered dogs.
The centre has also begun analysis of the population structure and rate of inbreeding for all 211 KC-recognised breeds in an effort to understand better how this may contribute to an increased rate of inbreeding. Analysis has shown that about 40 per cent of the 132 breeds analysed to date have effective population sizes below 50 – the minimum size recommended in order to manage inbreeding.
Dr Blott, who is head of quantitative genetics at the AHT, said: "Management of complex diseases, those which are caused by more than just one defective gene, pose the greatest threat to the health of dogs. Of the 489 currently known genetic diseases in dogs, 72 per cent are believed to be complex.
"The research the quantitative scientists are undertaking in the centre is helping breeders develop breeding strategies which will maintain long-term health by managing rates of inbreeding and reducing the prevalence of existing diseases.”
Prof Dean said it was hoped that the £1.6 million boost would further accelerate research into inherited diseases affecting dogs.
"The Genetics Centre will continue to investigate and identify mutations, develop DNA tests and enhance services available to breeders to address diseases that are clinically severe or affect large numbers of dogs,” he said. "The funding will also enable the AHT’s cancer research team, working with the KC Cancer Centre, to acquire an innovative technology known as the GeneAtlas System. This equipment enables the investigation of tumour biopsies, collected for diagnostic purposes, in a manner not previously possible.
"The KC remains passionate about improving the health and welfare of dogs. The addition of a capability to study the genetic factors associated with cancer development is a new avenue for our co-operation with the AHT and one we are very excited about, given the dominance of cancers as a cause of death and suffering in dogs.
"We know there is still much to do on all health-related fronts, so I’m extremely pleased that we will be funding a further five years of research within the Genetics Centre and also the more recently-founded Cancer Centre at the AHT.”
AHT chief executive Dr Mark Vaudin said: "We’re delighted to continue our partnership with the KC on these important welfare issues. Our level of skill and expertise within the canine genetics and cancer fields is widely recognised and it is exciting to know that we will be applying our knowledge to further equip breeders and owners with essential information to improve the health of their breeds.”



- See more at: http://www.dogworld.co.uk/product.php/109987/1/kc_gives_financial_boost_to_genetics_and_cancer_centres?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Dog+World+Newsletter+149+March+6&utm_content=Dog+World+Newsletter+149+March+6+CID_6ce2fb3e67fbb2da9c82a376a059be4e&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=KC%20gives%20financial%20boost%20to%20Genetics%20and%20Cancer%20Centres#sthash.wsc8Sd3i.dpuf

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Re: KC gives financial boost to genetics & cancer centres

Post by Eleanor on Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:16 am

That's great news! happy Interesting read, as well!
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Re: KC gives financial boost to genetics & cancer centres

Post by Caryll on Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:18 am

Just shows that the Kennel Club are doing something to improve the health of pedigree dogs!

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Re: KC gives financial boost to genetics & cancer centres

Post by Eleanor on Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:21 am

Yes, although people still say it's not enough. Quick fixes are very rare in real life!
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Re: KC gives financial boost to genetics & cancer centres

Post by ella on Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:53 am

Great news!

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