Morris Animal Foundation Launches Research Initiative into Leading Cause of Canine Cancer Deaths

Morris Animal Foundation Launches Research Initiative into Leading Cause of Canine Cancer Deaths

Morris Animal Foundation announced today a new multimillion-dollar research initiative focused on hemangiosarcoma, the leading cause of cancer deaths in the Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study cohort of dogs.

A major goal of the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study – one of the largest longitudinal studies ever conducted in veterinary medicine – is to help focus research dollars in areas identified as critical to improving canine health. After 10 years of data reporting, enough data has been gathered to show the outsized impact of hemangiosarcoma on cancer deaths in the study cohort of 3,044 dogs.

“Hemangiosarcoma, an almost universally fatal cancer, accounts for approximately 70% of cancer deaths to date in our study cohort,” said Dr. Kathy Tietje, Vice President of Scientific Operations at Morris Animal Foundation. “With meaningful and targeted research efforts, and a greater investment of funding, we hope we can improve the outlook for all dogs diagnosed with this devastating disease.”

The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study launched in 2012 to help animal health researchers better define and understand the environmental, genetic, nutritional and lifestyle risk factors for the development of cancer and other major diseases in dogs.

The Foundation will open the call for Hemangiosarcoma Initiative proposals on January 12, 2023, focused on advancing the prevention, detection and treatment of, and potentially cures for, hemangiosarcoma.

For this grant call, proposals should have a high potential for translation to clinical practice in the areas of:

  • Early disease diagnosis
  • New therapeutic approaches, either alone or paired with diagnostics to monitor treatment efficacy
  • Genomic prediction of breeding values

Researchers and research groups will have access to samples and data from the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, although other samples and datasets may also be used.

“Hemangiosarcoma is one of the deadliest forms of canine cancer,” said Tietje. “This upcoming research initiative is dedicated to our Golden Retriever Lifetime Study dog owners and veterinarians and their beloved golden retrievers. They are helping the research community move the needle on this deadly disease.”

All proposals submitted to Morris Animal Foundation in response to this RFP will undergo administrative and scientific review by a Scientific Advisory Board. Interested researchers can find additional information, including award types and funding levels at Morris Animal Foundation Apply for a Grant.

More information about the initiative can be found in the Foundation’s Hemangiosarcoma Initiative prospectus.

About Morris Animal Foundation

Founded in 1948, Morris Animal Foundation is one of the largest nonprofit animal health research organizations in the world, investing more than $149 million in over 3,000 critical studies to date across a broad range of species. Learn more at

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Morris Animal Foundation Launches Research Initiative into Leading Cause of Canine Cancer Deaths

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