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Groundbreaking Advances in K9 Cancer: CHF's Battle for a Cure


Benjamin Hughes

May 7, 2024 - 13:27 pm


Pioneering Research for Canine Health: The AKC Canine Health Foundation's Battle Against Cancer

RALEIGH, N.C., May 7, 2024 – The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF), a notable non-profit entity specializing in improving dog health, has dedicated May as Canine Cancer Awareness Month. This occasion is marked to showcase the significant efforts and progress made by CHF's funded research on canine cancer—an investment that soars to an impressive $3.6 million. The foundation fiercely battles against this ruthless disease, emphasizing its staunch resolve to eradicate the affliction from the lives of dogs everywhere.

The foundation is elated to announce the approval of two pilot projects that delve into the intricacies of malignant melanoma and bone cancer in dogs. These groundbreaking studies not only have the potential to revolutionize veterinary medicine but might also pave the way for novel human cancer therapies. The detailed profiles of these targeted studies are as follows:

Understanding the Enemy: Canine Oral Melanoma

Through Grant 03261-A: Mechanisms of Immunotolerance in Canine Oral Melanoma, the principal investigator Dr. Valentina Stevenson, DVM, PhD, from the University of Florida, embarks on a quest to dissect oral melanomas. The goal is to unravel the tactics these malignancies employ to manipulate the immune system and create pathways for metastasis. Given the close resemblance between canine oral melanoma and human mucosal melanoma, this study holds promise for informing revolutionary treatment modalities for both species.

A Novel Approach to Diagnosing Canine Bone Cancer

The second study, highlighted as Grant 03266-A: Development of a Novel Diagnostic Test for Canine Osteosarcoma Using Raman Spectroscopy, spearheaded by Dr. Terza Brostoff, DVM, PhD, from the University of California, Davis, strives to craft an indispensable diagnostic blood test. This test is designed to swiftly and precisely confirm the presence of bone cancer. The implications of such an innovation extend towards early detection and monitoring post-treatment resurgence, potentially shifting the current diagnostic and therapeutic landscape in veterinary oncology. Moreover, the parallels between canine and human bone cancers suggest that the findings could bestow benefits across species.

Championing Cancer Research for Decades

Since its inception in 1995, CHF, propelled by its donors, has directed over $18.1 million into cancer research. The endeavors range from scrutinizing cancer at a molecular scale, managing clinical trials for novel therapies, to exploring the intricate dialogue between cancer cells and the immune system. Remarkably, a quarter of CHF's active research portfolio is concentrated on these studies, forging ahead to fine-tune diagnostic procedures and pioneer fresh treatment strategies for canine cancer. The commitment does not wane, as additional proposals for cancer research are currently under review, ensuring perpetual investment in avant-garde technologies and methodologies to confront cancer head-on.

A Tribute to Canine Lives

Dr. Stephanie Montgomery, CHF's Chief Executive Officer, ardently believes that investing in scientific innovation is a heartfelt tribute to the dogs affected by cancer. The relentless pursuit of knowledge fortifies the hope for a future filled with healthier, cancer-free dogs, cherished both as companions and family members.

For an in-depth understanding of CHF's unyielding commitment to canine cancer research, encompassing educational resources and opportunities for participation, kindly visit

About the AKC Canine Health Foundation

The AKC Canine Health Foundation has harnessed the potential of scientific inquiry to meet the health requirements of all dogs since 1995. With an astounding fundraising achievement topping $70 million, the Foundation disperses grants for premier-quality canine health research and disseminates insights from breakthroughs that contribute to the prevention, treatment, and eradication of canine diseases. CHF's fiscal prudence exceeds industry standards, validated by the highest four-star rating from Charity Navigator and the Candid Platinum Seal of Transparency. Further information can be accessed at

In conclusion, the AKC Canine Health Foundation stands as a testament to the notion that through dedication, and scientific advancement, the wellbeing of our canine companions can be safeguarded and improved. Celebrating Canine Cancer Awareness Month is more than a symbolic gesture; it is an affirmation of the ongoing fight against a disease that affects so many beloved dogs.

A Message from the Source

The original announcement of these landmark studies and an appeal to public awareness were disseminated by the AKC Canine Health Foundation, a cornerstone in the landscape of canine health advancement.

As we reflect on the journey undertaken by the AKC Canine Health Foundation, it is clear that with each initiative and each dollar invested, we come closer to unlocking the mysteries of canine cancer. While the discoveries often cross over to benefit human medicine, the heart of this foundation beats for the betterment of our four-legged friends.

In commemorating Canine Cancer Awareness Month, let us remember not only the strides that have been made but also the strides that we must continue to take. For every story of a battle lost to cancer, let us create countless tales of triumph made possible by these breakthroughs in veterinary research.

The Promise of Tomorrow

Looking ahead, the AKC Canine Health Foundation is poised to continue its crusade against canine cancer with unwavering conviction. Each new study, each advancement in diagnostic testing, and each potential treatment ushers in hope—a promise of tomorrow where dogs live longer, healthier lives by our sides. The pursuit of a world where the shadow of cancer looms less menacingly over our beloved pets is not a distant dream, but a tangible objective, steadily being brought to fruition by the work of CHF.

As pet owners, researchers, and advocates collectively support the mission to eradicate canine cancer, the future shines brighter with the promise of what is yet to come. The dedication of CHF reminds us that with continued support and belief in scientific progress, not only can we contend with this formidable foe, but we can envision a future where victory is within our reach.

Joining Hands for Canine Wellness

Canine Cancer Awareness Month is a call to action for every individual who holds a canine companion dear to their heart. It is an invitation to join hands with organizations such as the AKC Canine Health Foundation in the quest for knowledge, solutions, and ultimately, a cure. The awareness raised echoes far beyond the month of May—it spurs ongoing commitment, funding, and participation that fuel the research machinery year-round.

Every dog lover is called upon to become an advocate, to educate themselves and others, and to contribute to the monumental task ahead. The collaboration of the public with institutions dedicated to canine health is a powerful force, one that can rewrite the narrative of dog diseases and change lives irrevocably for the better.

A Thank You to the Donors

It cannot be overstated that the remarkable strides made in canine health research would not have been possible without the generous contributions of donors. These individuals and organizations who give selflessly to fund the studies and trials spearheaded by the CHF deserve immense gratitude. Their support does not merely translate into financial terms but represents a collective spirit of caring and hope that underscores each funded project.


As Canine Cancer Awareness Month comes to a close, the narrative does not end. With each new discovery, each shared piece of knowledge, the collective effort to combat canine cancer continues to build momentum. The rigor and determination embodied by the AKC Canine Health Foundation serve as a beacon for all who dream of a day when cancer is no longer a verdict but merely a challenge that, with time and tenacity, can be overcome.


The AKC Canine Health Foundation remains grateful to all its collaborators, including scientists, veterinarians, and pet owners, who contribute to and benefit from the foundation's commitment to canine health. The battle against cancer is not a solitary journey, but a shared mission that the CHF proudly champions.

For further information, please consider visiting the AKC Canine Health Foundation's website, a treasure trove of resources, opportunities for involvement, and detailed reports on ongoing and completed research.

To all who join in this noble cause, we extend our deepest thanks. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of dogs everywhere.

This dedication to scientific exploration and unwavering spirit of innovation is the cornerstone of what makes the AKC Canine Health Foundation a leader in canine health, and a beacon of hope for dogs afflicted with cancer around the world.