The FCI in the process of modernisation

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) is more than one hundred years old; it was actually formed in 1911 and this year celebrates its 103rd anniversary. It now has 89 member countries. Reconciling the different points of view and finding solutions that satisfy everyone (or at least the majority) is never easy.

Each member has its own structures, traditions or reality, whether economic, social or cynological.

There is, however, one area where the desire to move forward together and keep pace with the challenges of our time is undoubted; that area is the modernisation and simplification of working procedures.

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Y. De Clercq
FCI Executive Director
Naturally occurring melanomas in dogs as models for non-UV pathways of human melanomas
Marc Gillard 1,2, Edouard Cadieu 1,2, Clotilde De Brito 1,2, Jérôme Abadie 3, Béatrice Vergier 4, Anne-Sophie Guillory 1,2, Patrick Devauchelle 5, Frédérique Degorce 6, Laëtitia Lagoutte 1,2, Benoit Hédan 1,2, Marie-Dominique Galibert 1,2, Francis Gallibert 1,2 et Catherine André 1,2

1 CNRS, UMR 6290, Institut de Génétique et Développement de Rennes, Rennes, France.
2 Université Rennes 1, UEB, IFR140, Faculté de Médecine, Rennes, France.
3 Laboratoire d’Histopathologie Animale, Oniris, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire, Nantes, France.
4 Service de Pathologie, CHU Bordeaux and Université Bordeaux Segalen, France.
5 Centre de Cancérologie Vétérinaire, ENVA, Maisons Alfort, France.
6 Laboratoire d’Anatomie Pathologique Vétérinaire du Sud-Ouest LAPVSO, Toulouse, France.


Spontaneously occurring melanomas are frequent in dogs. They appear at the same localizations as in humans, i.e. skin, mucosal sites, nail matrix and eyes. They display variable behaviors: tumors at oral localizations are more frequent and aggressive than at other anatomical sites. Interestingly, dog melanomas are associated with strong breed predispositions and overrepresentation of black-coated dogs. Epidemiological analysis of 2350 affected dogs showed that poodles are at high risk of developing oral melanoma, while schnauzers or Beauce shepherds mostly developped cutaneous melanoma. Clinical and histopathological analyses were performed on a cohort of 153 cases with a 4-yr follow-up. Histopathological characterization showed that most canine tumors are intradermal and homologous to human rare morphological melanomas types – ‘nevocytoid type’ and ‘animal type’-. Tumor cDNA sequencing data, obtained from 95 dogs for six genes, relevant to human melanoma classification, detected somatic mutations in oral melanoma, in NRAS and PTEN genes, at human hotspot sites, but not in BRAF. Altogether, these findings support the relevance of the dog model for comparative oncology of melanomas, especially for the elucidation of non-UV induced pathways.


The first original article on this subject, this study comparing melanomas in dogs and humans underlines the value of comparative oncology for both human and veterinary medicine. The article reveals that certain dog breeds are more likely to develop certain types of melanomas, while other breeds only very rarely suffer from them. This finding could result in vets and dog owners becoming more aware of the possibility of melanomas occurring in certain breeds. It should also allow researchers to identify genetic alterations specific to certain breeds likely to develop melanomas. A research programme into the genetics of melanomas in dogs has been running at the CNRS in Rennes for several years, with a team of vets, doctors, experts in veterinary and human anatomopathology and geneticists working on it. This work was initiated at the CNRS in Rennes under the leadership of Dr Catherine André and in collaboration with Dr Patrick Devauchelle (MICEN-Vet, Créteil, France), Dr Jérôme Abadie (Nantes Veterinary School, Oniris, France) and with the help of the French veterinary network AFVAC ( and the Cani-DNA biobank ( developed at the CNRS in Rennes. To date, this research has resulted in a PhD thesis in 2011, several papers presented at veterinary and human genetics congresses and, most recently, the publication of the scientific article we are summarising here.
Apart from the genetic analyses, a further research objective is to find ways of better treating melanomas, both in dogs and in humans. Numerous types of melanomas are to be found in both species, whereby in dogs the most frequent and most severe ones are oral melanomas. Such melanomas lend themselves to genetic and therapeutic studies in dogs and humans for whom melanoma tumours located in the mouth are rare and poorly documented at the genetic level. The majority of cutaneous melanomas in dogs are intra-dermal and of a dark colour. This study of dogs helps us better understand genetic causes of melanomas not linked to exposure to the sun and potentially to develop new therapies benefiting both dogs and humans.

Running for more than 5 years, the current research programme in the Rennes laboratory has been financed by the CNRS, the Brittany region (a PhD grant), the French Anti-Cancer League (post-doctoral funding) and the NCIa, the French National Cancer Institute which has funded two research projects. Also involved are numerous vets, breeders and dog-owners.

This issue of Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research, published in January 2014, focuses on the value of comparative studies of melanomas in dogs and humans, witnessed by the journal's cover created at the Rennes laboratory (Cadieu et al.), an editorial and a "perspective" on the same subject.

The article is available on

Gillard et al. 2013-PCMR Cover
© Photos credits to (upper left to upper right): Dr T. Jouary (1, 3); Dr P. Devauchelle (2); Dr M. Delverdier (4, 10); Pr A. Dupuy (5, 7, 9); Pr F. Fogel (6); Dr A. Muller (8); I. Raymond (11).
The dark side of human melanoma. The Vitruvian Man and dogs, drawn by Leonardo da Vinci, accent the power of the dog model to shed light on non-UV light dependent human melanoma. The additional images illustrate the striking correspondences between human and dog anatomic sites: mucosal/oral; cutaneous; acral (soles/footpad); nail matrix; acral (digit); eye. Image composition is from Cadieu et al.

To participate in this research by sending in samples and/or information:

Contact : Edouard Cadieu, Clotilde de Brito
Tel +33 2 23 23 45 09 Fax : +33 2 23 23 44 78

Website on "dog genetics":