Cancer Research

Exciting genetic research has opened many opportunities for companion dogs to contribute to scientific discovery.  Click here to learn more
Dog Genome Sequence 

MANY canine genetic researchers can now use DNA samples submitted on companion animals with clear pedigree information to support their work.  These samples involve no more discomfort for the dog than having their blood drawn or their cheek swapped with a small brush.  For disease research  these are ideally dogs known (or strongly felt) to be free of a specific disease and dogs affected with the disease.  Some researchers are also interested in samples to understand the genes involved in shape and size. 

Many Briards develop cancer and our dogs are fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in cancer related research.  The following researchers are accepting samples to support research into Briard cancer:

Dr. Kerstin Lindblad-Toh
Broad Institute
A research collaboration of MIT, Harvard and affiliated hospitals and the Whitehead Institute
 Dr. Lindblad-Toh is a key researcher in canine genetics at the Broad Institute and in the field of Canine Genomics is and is the first author on the landmark publication of the canine genome project referred to above. She is actively recruiting blood samples on all purebred dogs with the following types of cancer and their relatives. 

  • osteosarcoma
  • hemangiosarcoma
  • lymphoma
  • mammary tumors
  • mast cell tumors
  • melanoma

For information on participation go to 

Elaine A. Ostrander, Ph.D.
National Human Genome Research Institute
National Institutes of Health
The NHGRI Dog Genome Project
Dr. Ostrander's lab is now interested in receiving samples on dogs with SCC (Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Digit)  For study participation contact:
Dana Mosher
Samples Manager/Ostrander Lab
50 South Drive
Bldg 50 Room 5347
, MD 20892-8000
Phone: 301-451-9390
Fax: 301-594-0023
For more information on this study ready the following PDF Skin Cancer in the Briard

For more information on SCC you can also go to

Update 02/2012---Dr. Breen's studies do not appear to be collecting samples at this time

Matthew Breen, PhD. C.Biol. M.I.Biol
North Carolina State University
College of Veterinary Medicine

Associate Professor of Genomics
Dr. Matthew Breen and collaborator Jaime Modiano are two key researchers making landmark discoveries into the development of canine cancer tumors.  Their work has established a foundation for comparison between canine and human cancer and has established the similarity in the development of cancer in dogs to the development of cancer in humans.  They have established dogs as an ideal model for understanding the mechanisms involved in the development  of cancer.

Dr. Breen's laboratory is now set-up to enroll Briard cancer samples on dogs with lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma and soft tissue cancer.  For more information on Dr. Breen and his research go to:

For information on study enrollment go to:

Recruitment information Canine Soft Tissue Sarcomas or contact the lab directly

If you need financial assistance in establishing the diagnosis please contact me, Martine Huslig, at (512) 858-7939
or e-mail or

We have set-up a AKC Canine Health Foundation donor advised fund to support this work.  This fund is called The Briard Health Alliance.  A donation to this fund will be made for every puppy sold via this website.  If you would like to make a donation to this fund please contact the AKC-CHF.  All moneys in this fund will be dedicated to novel Briard health research.  Please contact me about more you can do to benefit Briard health (see below.)

If you have any questions about canine health research in general--please do not hesitate to contact me.
Martine Huslig, MS, CGC
Certified Genetic Counselor 
(512) 858-7939 cell
(858) 442-3791

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