Your veterinarian has recommended the OncoK9 liquid biopsy test for cancer detection for your dog. The goal of this test is to improve your veterinarian’s ability to detect cancer earlier in your dog. However, as with any diagnostic test, there are important considerations to keep in mind:
- The OncoK9 test is indicated for use in dogs at higher risk of cancer, including those age 7 years and older, dogs from breeds predisposed to cancer (potentially at ages younger than 7 years), and in dogs who are showing clinical signs of cancer.
- This test may detect cancer at an early stage in some cases; however, not all cancer types, sizes or stages are detectable with this test.
Results of this test should be interpreted by a veterinarian in the context of your dog’s medical history and clinical signs.
- The OncoK9 test does not provide a definite diagnosis of cancer. If your dog receives a Cancer Signal Detected result, more testing will likely be recommended to determine a diagnosis.
- The OncoK9 test looks for cancer in your dog’s body at the time of the blood draw. It does not determine future risk of developing cancer. For dogs at higher risk of cancer (such as certain breeds and dogs with a history of cancer), regularly scheduled testing is recommended to increase the chance for early cancer detection throughout your dog’s lifetime. Please discuss with your veterinarian how frequently your dog should be tested to have the best chance for early detection.
- In rare cases, the OncoK9 test may detect cancer that cannot be seen on x-rays or ultrasound. If this happens, your veterinarian may recommend additional testing and/or very close monitoring to look for early signs of cancer development.
- As with any diagnostic test, false positive results may occur. A false positive test result would indicate the possibility of cancer in a patient that is actually cancer-free. In a large validation study, the OncoK9 test has shown a very low false positive rate of 1.5%. In other words, only about 3 in 200 dogs receive a false positive test result.
- As with any diagnostic test, false negative results may occur. A false negative test result would not identify a cancer signal in a patient that actually has cancer. Only an estimated 5-10% of cancers are detected before the onset of clinical signs in dogs, and now with the OncoK9 test, the cancer detection rate is 55% overall. While this is a major improvement, it still means that about 45% of cancer cases may go undetected (i.e., false negatives) after one use of the test. For this reason, a negative OncoK9 test result cannot rule out the possibility of cancer, and your veterinarian may recommend further testing if there is still a high suspicion of cancer after a negative OncoK9 result.
- The OncoK9 test has been shown to detect 30 different cancer types. The detection rate varies among cancer types. Furthermore, the ability of the OncoK9 test to detect cancer may vary based on the location and extent (i.e., stage) of cancer in the body.
- Rarely, a non-reportable result will occur, and a new blood sample might be requested. If this happens, PetDx will provide the repeat OncoK9 test at no additional cost. Additional fees may apply for an appointment, supplies, and/or staff time required to collect an additional blood sample.
- Important decisions about treatment or euthanasia should not be made based on the results of this test alone. Please discuss the results, and the most appropriate next steps, with your veterinarian.
- OncoK9 is available only by prescription from a veterinarian.
- Further information about the OncoK9 test can be reviewed in the Product Insert.