Collection Process

Each year approximately six million dogs develop cancer. Canine cancers share many characteristics with human cancers, including types of cancers that arise (histology), what influences tumor formation and progression (biology), and if or where the tumor will spread in the body (behavior). Consequently, many naturally occurring cancers in dogs are relevant models for the study of human cancers.

The CCOGC intends to aid the advancement of our understanding of cancer in dogs, which will in turn further our understanding of cancer in all species. To this end, the primary aim of the CCOGC is to develop a thoroughly catalogued Biospecimen Repository consisting of whole blood, serum, plasma and urine as well as normal and cancerous tissues from tumor bearing dogs. This bank of specimens will be available to researchers focused on animal health as well as those interested in learning more about human disease through the study of canine cancer. Use of these samples may be petitioned by researchers whose goals are to:

  • Understand environmental risk factors for cancer.
  • Examine genetic/familial determinants that predispose certain breeds to cancer.
  • Develop and optimize novel cancer and gene imaging systems.
  • Evaluate novel therapeutic strategies for a variety of cancers.
  • Add biological relevance to genomics data generated from microarray and other molecular techniques.

Small volumes of blood, urine, tumor tissue, and samples of corresponding normal tissue (e.g. cancerous bone and normal bone) are collected from dogs undergoing surgical excision or biopsy of a specific tumor types. Tumors currently being collected include osteosarcoma, oral melanoma, lymphoma, soft tissue sarcoma, histiocytic sarcoma, malignant histiocytosis, mast cell tumor, primary lung tumor, and hemangiosarcoma. All sites and stages of cancer are acceptable; however, dogs cannot have been treated with any chemotherapy and they must not be on steroid therapy at the time of sample collection.

Fluid Collection and Processing

Approximately 25-30 milliliters of blood and 2-3 milliliters of urine are collected before surgical excision or biopsy of the tumor tissue. Body fluids are processed and stored within one hour of collection. A percentage of whole blood is stored for future DNA and RNA extraction. The remaining blood is processed to obtain plasma and serum samples. All fluid samples are placed in bar coded and placed CCOGC storage tubes for storage at -80°C. Samples are labeled only with the bar code, none of the samples are identified by patient or client name.

Tissue Collection and Processing

The processing of tumor tissue and corresponding normal tissue begins within five minutes of the samples being removed from the body. These tissues are processed and stored a number of different ways. The tumor tissue is divided into pea-sized segments that are then fixed in several different ways (formalin, cryopreservation media, and flash frozen in liquid nitrogen). A piece of normal tissue, often something as straightforward as a small piece of skin overlying the tumor, is also collected and processed in a similar manner. Fluid and tissue samples are later transported to the CCOGC Biospecimen Repository in Frederick, Maryland for storage.

Donating fluid and tissue to the CCOGC Biospecimen Repository can only be done through one of the six approved CCOGC collecting institutions. If you would like for your pet to participate in the tissue archiving project by donating tissue, blood, and urine please contact a CCOGC collection site near you for further information.

Colorado State University
Lynelle Lopez
Phone: 970.297.5000

Ohio State University
Dr. Holly Borghese
Phone: 614.247.2044

University of Wisconsin
Ilene Kurzman
Phone: 608.263.9754

Tufts University
Dr. Kristine Burgess
Phone: 508.887.4251

Diane Welsh & Sarah Cass
Phone: 508.887.4441

University of California at Davis
Teri Guerrero
Phone: 530.752.01251

University of Missouri