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How do
I donate samples
for Saluki studies?


Your tax-deductible donations, made payable to SHR Inc, should be sent to

MaryDee Sist DVM
1629 Meech Road
Williamston, MI 48895


2007 Annual Meeting
& President's Report

The July ASA Celebration Weekend silent auction was a success thanks to generosity of both the donors of items and to the bidders. One half of the total proceeds or $1429.50 was given to SHR to benefit cancer studies. Thank you letters have been sent to acknowledge donations of the items.

A collaborative venture has begun with an Irish researcher, Dr. Robert Shiel. He came to DCPAH as a visiting scholar to learn laboratory techniques that would help him explore thyroid hormone binding in Greyhounds. His research involves scintillation studies in Greyhounds which has shown normal function in spite of having low measured thyroid hormone concentrations. Due this similar interest, I shared with him the results of the Saluki Thyroid Study. He is currently analyzing the data and hopes to submit the findings for publication early next year.

In a conjunction with the SCOA Health Committee, a new and very in-depth health survey was formulated. Every effort was made to make it as easy to fill out by using a check off system of identifying health issues even though it was quite long. The participation has been very poor with only 29 completed health surveys returned. However, all identify cancer and heart conditions as the major Saluki health problems which indicate that we should continue in our endeavors.

I received a review of the scientific progress for Grant No. 593: Mapping Genes Associated with Canine Hemangiosarcoma from the CHF. The performance summary commented on the excellent work that is already yielding results and indicated that fine mapping and candidate gene analysis is underway with interesting comparative data from the Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, GSD, Leonberger and Boxer. I have had little contact with the Dr. Noriko of the Broad institute who is currently analyzing the DNA in this study. She requested and was provided blood samples from normal as well as HSA affected Salukis. Since SHR did fund the remainder of their HSA study with the proceeds of the 2005 SCOA Western Regional Auction ($3663), I am going to inquire about use of the Saluki samples. Possibly sending a Saluki specific grant would encourage analysis of the samples. I was told originally by the head researcher (Dr. Kerstin Lindblad-Toh) that the Saluki samples would be invaluable in fine tuning the genome search when they had identified areas of interest in the Golden Retriever samples which has been done.

I was fortunate to attend the AKC Canine Health Foundation Health Conference held in Oct. as a representative of SHR. The meeting is always very informative and details current research projects and canine health issues. They continue to stress the need for a current health survey from all the breed clubs so that researchers can focus their studies. With the lack of participation of the Saluki folks in completing the new health survey, I was interested in their presentation of an on line health survey that could be tailored to each breeds needs and will discuss the possibility of using this with the SCOA Health Committee.

There were 4 categories of posters presented at the Health Conference and the 350+ breed representatives were asked to vote on the posters. Ginger Petit had put together 2 posters summarizing SHR's studies for display at the SCOA National Show in June. Both posters, one summarizing Saluki Thyroid and Complete Blood Count studies and the poster showing how the Saluki Heart Study evolved into the Heart Pathology Study and was currently an ongoing Saluki Tumor Registry, won 2nd place prizes complete with Rosette ribbons and $300 cash prize award for each into SHR's Donor Advisory Fund.

I feel that the real value of attending the conference is to be able to interact with the researchers as well as the AKC and CHF staff. I again talked to both Drs. Mathew Breen and Jaime Modiano (who have been leaders in Hemangiosarcoma research) about the Saluki samples banked with their breadth of information including pedigrees and health history and my frustration in getting the samples analyzed. They both agreed that they would be interested in including them in their research. I need to pursue this with them further to get some idea of how funding could be arranged and the design of the study.

The meeting also provided a good opportunity clarify the balance in SHR's Donor Advisory Fund. According to our records, SHR should have approximately $1000 in the fund. However, the correspondence that I have had with the CHF gives a range of having a balance of $5135.05 to $1502. I learned that part of the discrepancy was that in some years, interest was credited to the account, though this was not reported to SHR. Also, due to problems in the study, Grant 593, Mapping Genes Associated with Canine Hemangiosarcoma, the PI refunded some monies and our account had not been fully credited with the complete refund of $2000. The $3633 Grant to the Broad Institute had not been withdrawn until Dec. 2006. With the addition of the $600 poster prize money, that leaves a balance of $2721.05 in our Donor Advisory Fund as of Oct. 31, 2007.

After reviewing the current CHF funding requests, the board members of SHR agreed that we should add to our CHF fund and support some of the current proposals. While Grants No. 639 and 919 are supposed to be breed specific, I have not heard of Cystinuria occurring in Salukis and do not see a need to support these. Hemangiosarcoma and mammary cancers are the most commonly cancers in Salukis, with the next highest incidence being Lymphoma and then Osteosarcoma. There are a number of grants involving cancer studies, which have been partially funded by other breeds and the researchers have shown interest in including Salukis in their studies.

SHR will sponsor the following grants (which have been approved for matching funds from the CHF) starting in 2007 or 2008:

- $2500 to Grant No. 613 (request for $113,929 over 2 years): The Prognostic Significance of Chromosome Aneuploidy in Canine Lymphoma, Dr. Breen

- $2500 to Grant No. 947A&B (request for $332,355 over 2 years): Heritable and Sporadic Genetic Lesions in Canine Osteosarcoma, Drs. Breen and Modiano

- $2500 to Grant No. 757A&B (request for $150,000 over 2 years): Hereditary Mutations in Genes Associated with Osteosarcoma in Large Dog Breeds, Dr. Kerstin Lindblad-Toh

Other board actions include:

- Approval of the continuation of the histological examination and banking of cancer samples with Dr. Barb Stefichek. 10 tissue samples were processed in 2006 and 11 in 2007.

- Approved purchasing an update to the computer pedigree program so this information can be forwarded with the Saluki samples.

- Consider a private or CHF sponsored Saluki specific Hemangiosarcoma grant to encourage submissions from researchers.

I continue to get weekly inquiries about Saluki health issues and send out Saluki normal studies when requested. SHR logo pins have been given to all major funding contributors. I have being going through all the stored blood and tissue samples to log what kind of samples are available and which blood samples have yielded useful DNA. This is being correlated with pedigree and health information for inclusion in future research studies.

Respectfully submitted,
MaryDee Sist, DVM

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