PetDx® – The Liquid Biopsy Company for Pets™ published a study of over 350 dogs showing that cancer was detected by the current standard of care at wellness visits, before the onset of clinical signs, in just 4% of dogs. The study, published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, suggests that the use of a next-generation sequencing-based “liquid biopsy” screening test has the potential to increase early cancer detection at wellness visits and expand the number of cancer types detectable at these visits. In the study, OncoK9 detected cancer in about half the dogs with preclinical disease.
Human medicine employs cancer screening to increase early detection. Major veterinary organizations likewise recognize the importance of early cancer detection, but no formal screening guidelines exist. The current standard of care for cancer detection in dogs is the annual or semi-annual wellness visit, typically consisting of a history, physical examination and routine lab tests.
“This study showed that very few cases of cancer were actually found using the current paradigm. The vast majority were found only after the dog’s family noted clinical signs at home,” said the study’s lead author, PetDx Chief Medical Officer Andi Flory, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology). “By the time clinical signs are evident, cancer may already be advanced. Liquid biopsy is a new tool to change the way we detect cancer in dogs, allowing for more cancers to be diagnosed earlier, when there may be more treatment options.”
OncoK9® – The Liquid Biopsy Test for Dogs™, a pioneering multi-cancer early detection (MCED) test, has previously been shown to detect 30 different types of canine cancer using a simple blood draw; it is available at veterinary practices across the United States and Canada. “Early cancer detection” can be conceptualized as detection of cancer at an early disease stage (i.e., “early-stage detection”) or detection of cancer before the onset of clinical signs (i.e., “preclinical detection”). In both cases, early detection is crucial to optimizing outcomes for cancer patients in veterinary medicine.
“Next-generation sequencing is an advanced technology that is used for multiple applications in human medicine, including liquid biopsy testing for cancer detection,” said Ilya Chorny, PhD, PetDx Chief Technology Officer. “It is highly specific for cancer, so it has a low false-positive rate. It looks for cancer-associated genomic alterations across millions of DNA fragments in each blood sample and can allow for more cancer cases to be detected in both human and canine patients. This technology is catalyzing a paradigm change in the way cancer is detected in dogs.”