Mapping Genes Associated with Canine Hemangiosarcoma

Hemangiosarcoma (HSA), a malignant tumor of vascular endothelial cells, is a significant health concern in dogs, with an incidence of ~2% of all tumors. A national health survey of Golden Retriever reported that neoplasia accounted for >60% of all reported deaths and HAS was the most common malignant tumor affecting >15% of Golden Retrievers. A particularly high disease incidence of hemangiosarcoma in Golden Retriever suggests a genetic susceptibility.

The purpose of this study is to identify the mutations causing the increased risk for hemangiosarcoma in Golden Retriever. To do this, we have proposed to compare the genotypes of dogs diagnosed with HSA with healthy older dogs using a statistical analysis.


To date, we have collected 125 blood samples from Golden Retrievers diagnosed with HSA and more than 400 healthy Golden Retrievers over 8 years old. We have identified six regions in chromosomes associated with HSA and are have narrowed these to precise regions (a few hundred thousand base). We now need to find the precise mutations that cause the disease and link them to functionality. In the long term, this work should allow the development of specific genetic tests for carriers of HSA. Ultimately, understanding of the disease biology, which will lead to identification of target genes for prevention, early detection and novel treatments of this malignancy.

Co-sponsored with the AKC Canine Health Foundation, Grant Number: 00593A


Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, PhD
Broad Institute at MA