November 6, 2019 – With a challenge match of $1 million, Morris Animal Foundation partnered with the V Foundation for Cancer Research to raise $2 million in support of the Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. The match was met as part of the V Foundation Wine Celebration that raised more than $7 million for canine comparative oncology during a full weekend of events in the Napa Valley, Aug. 1-4.
“We are excited to partner with the V Foundation to not only advance our Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, but to bring awareness of what is happening in the field of comparative oncology and the opportunity we have to do so much more to advance the state of cancer medicine for dogs and people alike,” said Tiffany Grunert, President/CEO of Morris Animal Foundation. “The impact of our work is even greater when combined with the efforts of the V Foundation and other organizations fighting this deadly disease.”
Comparative oncology describes the integration of naturally occurring cancers in animals into studies of human cancer biology and therapy. Clinical trials in veterinary oncology have gained interest and focus over the last decade, with both veterinary and comparative oncology drug development leading the effort.
During the Wine Celebration Gala, the V Foundation announced their collaboration with Morris Animal Foundation to support the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. The collaboration focuses on genomic sequencing that will allow for significant progress in understanding the genetic aspects of cancers. This information additionally will help advance human cancer research efforts. The genomic sequencing data will be added to the Morris Animal Foundation Data Commons, an open data resource platform for animal and biomedical health researchers. Data Commons provides global access to historical data of the Golden Retriever Lifetime study cohort, covering 11 key subject areas such as activity, dental, disease diagnoses, diet, environment and others.
Dr. Rod Page, Principal Investigator for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, was one of the featured speakers at the event’s cancer research symposium. Event attendees also had the opportunity to meet Hero Dogs Churchill and Brewer, two of the more than 3,000 dogs enrolled in the Study. The golden retrievers and their owners illuminated the profound connection between people and the dogs that not only share their hearts and homes, but share 85% of their genetics and many of the same cancers.
The V Foundation for Cancer Research
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State University basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, the V Foundation has funded more than $225 million in cancer research grants nationwide. The peer-reviewed grants are selected through a competitive award process overseen by the V Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee.