Well, isn’t this interesting news! Dr. Heather Wilson-Robles, teacher, researcher, and veterinary oncologist at Texas A&M University, named 2017 Hero Veterinarian, is researching and developing a new test that hopefully will be the first early detection dog cancer blood test!
This is very good news, because right now, as so many of us know only too well, we usually do not detect dog cancer until it is very far advanced. And our dogs pay the price because early detection means more effective treatments. With one out of two dogs over the age of ten getting cancer, early detection would be a really meaningful advance.
Over the next year, Dr. Wilson-Robles will be working with a new blood test called Nu.Q from Volition Veterinary Diagnostics Development. The test looks for certain biomarkers in the blood left by cancer cells. While Dr. Wilson-Robles does not think that it will be able to detect each and every cancer type, anything will be better than what we currently have. (Ummm, CT scans and biopsies, which are both invasive and expensive and usually require anesthesia.)
Most of the research will be conducted at Texas A&M. Dr. Wilson-Robles will be working with blood samples voluntarily collected during veterinary appointments at the clinic.
If the test proves effective, the team hopes to make the test available within a year. The company predicts it will cost about $100 and be easy to administer in general practice veterinary visits. So as soon as a year from now, we MIGHT have a relatively affordable dog cancer blood test available to make early detection possible.
That’s some good news!
Texas A&M enters partnership in effort to develop effective cancer screening in dogs, The Eagle, November 3, 2019
Molly Jacobson is a writer and also the editor of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, published by Maui Media. A lifelong dog lover and self-professed dog health nerd, she is all too familiar with dog cancer. She has been supporting readers of this blog since the beginning. Molly earned a BA from Tufts University, and after a career in bookselling and book publishing attended The Swedish Institute to become a licensed massage therapist in New York State, licensed by the medical board. Her fascination with health is both personal and global, and she is most proud of how this site and the associated publications have revolutionized not only our approach to dog health, but our own health.