I am a researcher working at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, Cambridge in the Transmissible Cancer Group. I am interested in sourcing paraffin embedded samples of Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumours or CTVTs and have contacted a number of contacts at institutions in Britain, France and Ireland to ask if any such samples might exist in veterinary pathology sample archives.

Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumour typically appears as a cauliflower-like, nodular, ulcerated tumour located on the genitalia of dogs but what is most interesting about this tumour is that it is contagious. The cancer is usually transmitted between individual dogs during coitus via transfer of living cancer cells.

Our group is interested in collecting CTVT samples from as many locations and time points as possible in order to learn about this unique cancer’s genetic diversity and evolution. At present, our oldest CTVT samples date to 2001 so having access to older or paraffin embedded samples might provide us with some additional insight into the cancer’s history and would make for a really wonderful collaboration.

This venture hasn’t been as successful as I would have hoped unfortunately and it’s difficult to know the best person to contact exactly, if you can help with samples or have contact details for someone who may be better placed to help or advice, please let me know.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Maire Ni Leathlobhair – ml677@cam.ac.uk