Cancer Research Studies

Ostrander Study (Malignant Histiocytosis/Histiocytic Sarcoma only)

Lab Contact: (E-mail),301-451-9390 (phone), 301-594-0023 (Fax)
Email contact is preferred. In the email subject line, put “ Urgent inquiry about providing Flat-coated Retriever sample for ongoing study”

  • The study of Drs. Ostrander and Parker aims to identify the gene that causes malignant histiocytosis, and the related disease, histiocytic sarcoma. This information will allow the development of a genetic test to identify dogs that carry the mutation for these dreaded diseases.
  • This study requires blood samples from dogs affected with histiocytic sarcoma or malignant histiocytosis, as well as dogs over nine years of age who have never been diagnosed with cancer (for control purposes).
  • Dr. Ostrander provides a kit free of charge; it is not essential, but includes collection tubes for blood as well as paperwork to make the process easier. Contact to obtain a kit.
  • Supporting documentation includes a 3-generation pedigree and a Consent Form. In addition, a copy of the pathology report is required for affected dogs; a general description of the dog’s health is required for healthy old dogs. Information submitted is confidential. It will not be shared with the AKC, breeders or owners; it may be shared with collaborators, Drs. Sargan and Breen.
  • The Consent Form comes with the kit; it can also be obtained from or from the Support Team.
    Dogs undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy CAN participate in this research.
  • Health Updates: If a member of the healthy dog group is later diagnosed with any type of cancer, this information must be transmitted to the researchers by phone or E-mail. Alternatively, health information can be updated online at (contact for the password). Similarly, health information for dogs banked at the AHT must be regularly updated to avoid the possibility of a dog with cancer being included in the control group.
  • Instructions for your veterinarian can be found on the following pages: Veterinarian Information for Ostrander Study (pdf).

Malignant Histiocytosis/Histiocytic Sarcoma and Soft Tissue Sarcomas in Flat-Coated Retrievers