Genetic cause of follicular thyroid cancer in Dutch German Longhair Pointers

Project: PhD

Project Details


The incidence of follicular thyroid cancer rapidly increased in 2012 in the Dutch German Longhaired pointers dog breed. This type of cancer probably has its background in (a) germline genetic mutation(s) of a common ancestor. The onset age for this cancer varies from 4.5 till 13 years. Related to this, follicular thyroid cancer in these dogs may either be a single trait or multiple different traits. The explosion of thyroid cancer in Dutch German longhaired pointer not only considerably impacts the breeding program, but most importantly also the health and life of the dogs. Detection of the causal variation underlying this disease and developing a test to eradicate the disease from the population by selection is critical for the health of this group of dogs. Finding the gene or genes with the causal mutation(s) might also benefit the research and the development of novel treatment of follicular thyroid cancer in human. A whole genome association analysis needs to be performed where genotype and phenotype data is combined to find regions associated with follicular thyroid cancer in dogs. Furthermore, whole genome sequence (WGS) data of healthy and affected animals will be compared to a WGS database of over 800 individuals at the Texas A&M university. In addition, WGS of the tumour and healthy tissue of the thyroid gland of the same individual will be sequenced and compared to identify the somatic genome changes. This will help to understand which genes and pathways are involved in follicular thyroid cancer growth. This knowledge can later be used to develop potential medication.
Effective start/end date1/10/1811/10/22


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