Osteosarcoma Project FAQs

Auction to support project: November 13-20!

Who is the principal investigator?
Carlos E. Alvarez, Ph.D. is a Principal Investigator in the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Here is more information on Dr. Alvarez.

How will the money be raised for this project?
Plan A is to raise money through donations, which will be solicited on-line, by mail (to those without computers), and by telephone, as well as an on-line auction and possibly some clothing sales.

How much of the current Bunny Austin balance is being used for the project?
Currently the BAF has about $13,000. It is used for the annual sample collection and health test clinic, and we like to keep a few thousand in the fund so if we get a smaller request we have the money to do it. If we get close to our goal after having asked everyone to donate and completed our auction and clothing sales, then Miranda Levin will go to the Board and ask for some Bunny Austin funds. We hope we don’t need to touch the Fund, but it’s there if we need it.

What happens to the donations made to Nationwide Children’s Hospital if enough money is not raised?
We have the money to cover any differences between what is raised and the grant total, so that is not an issue.

Can I see the grant proposal?
Here is the grant proposal submitted to the Health and Genetics Committee:

                        Deerhound Osteosarcoma Proposal

The goal of this project is to test Deerhound DNA for OSA variants found in other breeds by Karlsson, et al. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4053774/), as well as seven new candidates.


Carlos E. Alvarez, PhD
Principal Investigator, Associate Professor
Center for Molecular and Human Genetics
The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and
Departments of Pediatrics and Veterinary Clinical Sciences
The Ohio State University Colleges of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Experimental design

Stage I: Case-control OSA at 40 OSA-associated markers: 20 cases, 20 controls (external OSA case-control samples)

This study would determine allele frequencies from 80 chromosomes (40 dogs) and provide preliminary evidence of OSA-relevance and non-relevance for all 40 candidate markers.

What is the study budget?

Itemized Supplies and Services:
Cost of materials (labor and analysis would be free):
Custom TaqMan genotyping assays: $178.5 x 40 candidate markers = $7140
Reaction mix for 40 subjects x 40 marker assays = $1282
Plates (96 well), 2 x 10 plate unit = $67
Illumina HD SNP genotyping: $125/array + $10.34 processing x 10 = $1,354
Total: = $9,838

Acquisition of new samples (worst-case scenario):

Blood or saliva DNA collection and processing: $20ea x 40 = $800
Shipping by FEDEX: $15ea x 40 = 600 This would not be necessary if samples were collected in large batches at shows
Total sample collection         $1,400

Total: $9,838 + $1,400 = $11,238
Overhead (8%): $899

Total: $12,137

The above will be done as a grant contract; contract lays out the payment schedule, timeline, reporting responsibilities, etc.

Who owns the research and the samples?
Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

What is the timeline for the project?
The study begins immediately and must be completed by December 31, 2017.

What about reports from Dr. Alvarez?
A complete and thorough progress report that includes a lay summary on the status of the research shall be prepared and provided in writing to the SDCA Health & Genetics Committee no later than July 31, 2017. A final report that includes a lay summary shall be provided to the SDCA Health & Genetics Committee no later than December 31, 2017.

What recourse do we have if for some reason Dr. Alvarez doesn’t finish the project as outlined?
This is a grant contract with a letter of agreement signed by both parties. Dr. Alvarez and Nationwide Children’s Hospital are contractually obligated to finish this project. It’s the most protection we can get for a project of this type.

As we well know, osteosarcoma has been a tough genetic nut to crack for researchers in all the breeds affected by this disease, including Deerhounds. It is logical for us to take advantage of this new research to make sure that Deerhounds don’t share any of the mutations that cause osteosarcoma in two related breeds, Greyhounds and Irish Wolhounds. That is what this project will do, so we should know the answer to that, one way or another, at the end of this project.

If you have any more questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask — use the contact form below.

SDCA Health & Genetics Committee