April 20, 2023 – One of the significant hallmarks of the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is real-time data collection that provides a more accurate picture of cancer occurrence in golden retrievers, along with prevalence of different cancer types. The importance of longitudinal studies and accurate pathology reports for understanding cancer in dogs, including the deadly histiocytic sarcoma (HS), cannot be overstated.
Early prognosticators anticipated some HS diagnoses among the Study cohort, but the actual number of Study dogs affected is unexpectedly high. Because of this, the Study team added HS to the primary endpoint cancers and is carefully tracking affected dogs.
HS is an aggressive canine cancer that develops when specialized white blood cells begin dividing uncontrollably. Because white blood cells are found in many tissues, HS can arise almost anywhere and spread quickly. The prognosis is poor, with almost no dogs surviving longer than 18 months, even with surgery and chemotherapy.
Histiocytic sarcoma is not a common cancer in the general dog population, but some breeds including golden retrievers, Bernese mountain dogs, flat-coated retrievers, miniature schnauzers, Rottweilers, Labrador retrievers and Pembroke Welsh corgis, are reported to have a higher incidence.
As of January 1, 2023, the Study team recorded 37 cases of HS in the Study cohort. All these cases have data and samples collected over the lifetimes of the dogs, which will be valuable resources for researchers interested in learning more about this serious canine cancer