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ISRN Veterinary Science
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 941275, 23 pages
Review Article

Breed-Predispositions to Cancer in Pedigree Dogs

Queen’s Veterinary School Hospital, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 OES, UK

Received 1 October 2012; Accepted 22 October 2012

Academic Editors: F. Napolitano and R. L. Page

Copyright © 2013 Jane M. Dobson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cancer is a common problem in dogs and although all breeds of dog and crossbred dogs may be affected, it is notable that some breeds of pedigree dogs appear to be at increased risk of certain types of cancer suggesting underlying genetic predisposition to cancer susceptibility. Although the aetiology of most cancers is likely to be multifactorial, the limited genetic diversity seen in purebred dogs facilitates genetic linkage or association studies on relatively small populations as compared to humans, and by using newly developed resources, genome-wide association studies in dog breeds are proving to be a powerful tool for unravelling complex disorders. This paper will review the literature on canine breed susceptibility to histiocytic sarcoma, osteosarcoma, haemangiosarcoma, mast cell tumours, lymphoma, melanoma, and mammary tumours including the recent advances in knowledge through molecular genetic, cytogenetic, and genome wide association studies.