vet taking blood pressure measurement for dog

Photo by mirkosajkov from Pixabay

DENVER — Cancer is a leading cause of death among pet dogs all over the world. Now, a new study is leveraging the latest advances in artificial intelligence (AI) in order to develop an innovative approach to early detection of cancer for dogs. This could prevent the development of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, the most common form of this deadly cancer.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota are testing a new approach called “test and intervene,” using AI to analyze pieces of DNA fragments in blood. The ensuing findings may help identify dogs at higher risk for DLBCL. Using the results of this study, the research team plans to provide pet owners and veterinarians with intervention strategies to help lower the risk in identified dogs.

This project received funding from the Morris Animal Foundation and the Golden Retriever Foundation.

“Morris Animal Foundation is proud to continue our partnership with the Golden Retriever Foundation® and extend the impact of the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study with this important research on canine lymphoma,” says Kathy Tietje, Chief Program Officer for Morris Animal Foundation, in a media release.

“When given the opportunity to provide significant funding for this study, the Golden Retriever Foundation® was excited to be a part of LyRA (project) as well as a continued partnership with Morris Animal Foundation,” adds Christine Miele, President of the Golden Retriever Foundation. “Lymphoma sadly affects about one in eight dogs and results in both expense and loss of companionship. We are looking forward to the day of early detection and the application of prevention and treatment.”

Veterinarian working with worried dog owner
Cancer researchers say that lymphoma affects about one in eight dogs. (© pressmaster –

Researchers will develop the test by comprehensively evaluating a large group of dogs and performing an analysis of samples from Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study to identify DNA patterns present in the blood before cancer development.

This initiative sets itself apart from similar projects by trying to assess canine cancer risk using a Lymphoma Risk Assessment test in order to help veterinarians and pet owners make more informed care decisions and subsequently lower the impact of lymphoma on dogs.

“The LyRA test will categorize dogs into low or high risk for developing this form of cancer and will guide in the creation of prevention strategies for dogs deemed high risk,” explains Jaime Modiano, the study’s principal investigator and Perlman Professor of Oncology and Comparative Medicine, and the Director of Animal Cancer Care and Research Program at the University of Minnesota.

Beyond its direct influence on dogs, this work may also influence numerous research avenues regarding other mammals, such as cats, endangered species, and even humans, researchers say. The approach could even provide insights into aging, cancer risk, and chronic conditions, extending the project’s significance far beyond pet dogs.

“We want to be very mindful about how everything we do has the potential to promote graceful aging, not only for our domestic companions but also for other animals that make the world a place that we all want to live in,” Prof. Modiano concludes.

About John Anderer

Born blue in the face, John has been writing professionally for over a decade and covering the latest scientific research for StudyFinds since 2019. His work has been featured by Business Insider, Eat This Not That!, MSN, Ladders, and Yahoo!

Studies and abstracts can be confusing and awkwardly worded. He prides himself on making such content easy to read, understand, and apply to one’s everyday life.

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1 Comment

  1. Emory Kendrick says:

    Sadly, once it is detected, there is no cure. I tend to think it is environmental…related to lawn sprays, processed dog food, etc.