Study reveals OncoK9 liquid biopsy test can enhance cancer monitoring in canines


Test now also recommended for detection of residual disease and detection of recurrence in dogs previously diagnosed with cancer

Holly Michele /

Holly Michele /

PetDx – The Liquid Biopsy Company for Pets has unveiled a white paper1 displaying that OncoK9, its multi-cancer early detection (MCED) test for dogs, can enhance cancer monitoring in dogs with a simple blood draw. A prior study2 surrounding CANcer Detection in Dogs (CANDiD) demonstrated performance characteristics of the OncoK9 test for detection of 30 various kinds of canine cancer using next-generation sequencing (NGS) of blood-derived DNA.

According to a company release,3 OncoK9 was first recommended for cancer screening and as an aid-in-diagnosis, and now it’s also recommended for detection of residual disease and detection of recurrence in dogs previously diagnosed with cancer.

"It is an exciting development for the field to have a non-invasive cancer detection test that can alert the veterinarian to the presence of residual disease following surgery, or to disease recurrence following therapy," stated Angela McCleary-Wheeler, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Oncology), director of translational research and collaboration at PetDx, in the release.3 "It is important to note that this test is intended to be used as an adjunct tool for cancer monitoring in dogs; it does not replace standard-of-care clinical assessment methods."

After therapeutic intervention for cancer, veterinarians often conduct physical examinations and imaging tests to examine the clinical disease status at follow-up visits. However, these methods may not be sensitive enough to identify residual disease after surgery or early evidence of cancer recurrence after therapy. What’s more, access to certain imaging methods may be limited, pose risks to patients, or both.

For the clinical research program that supported the CANDiD study, longitudinal blood samples were collected from over 200 cancer-diagnosed dog patients throughout more than 500 follow-up visits to analyze the performance of the OncoK9 test for cancer monitoring in the post-diagnosis setting. The OncoK9 result, and the presence or absence of disease, were reported at each longitudinal visit. Some of the main findings included3:

  • High concordance between OncoK9 test results and clinical disease status: Over 95% of samples with a Cancer Signal Detected (positive) OncoK9 result were found to have clinical disease present at the same visit or at a future visit.
  • Detection of molecular residual disease following excisional surgery: In dogs with absence of clinical disease at their first post-operative visit, those with a Cancer Signal Detected OncoK9 result at that visit were approximately twice as likely to develop clinical recurrence within 6 months compared to dogs with a Cancer Signal Not Detected result.
  • Detection of disease recurrence: In dogs with initial complete response to therapy but with subsequent cancer recurrence over a 12-month observation period, 70% had cancer signal detected by the OncoK9 test prior to or concomitant with clinical recurrence; molecular recurrence was detected prior to clinical recurrence in 37% of those cases, with a median lead time of more than 2 months.

"In human oncology, blood-based detection of cancer signal after therapeutic intervention has been shown to be an effective prognostic marker and recurrence predictor and has been deployed in routine clinical care for multiple cancer types. For the first time, we present analogous results in the veterinary medicine setting, based on the largest canine cancer cohort with longitudinal monitoring by liquid biopsy reported to date," said Dana Tsui, PhD, PetDx chief scientific officer, in the release.

"We are excited to take OncoK9 one step further to not only help detect cancer earlier in dogs but to also help veterinarians monitor the disease more effectively after it has been diagnosed, with the convenience of a simple blood draw," Tsui contined.

Beginning in February 2023, veterinarians can order the OncoK9 test for detection of residual disease and detection of cancer recurrence in dogs.


  1. Evaluation of OncoK9 for detection of residual disease and cancer recurrence in dogs. PetDx. Accessed January 16, 2023.
  2. Flory A, Kruglyak KM, Tynan JA, et al. Clinical validation of a next-generation sequencing-based multi-cancer early detection "liquid biopsy" blood test in over 1,000 dogs using an independent testing set: The CANcer Detection in Dogs (CANDiD) study. PLoS One. 2022;17(4):e0266623. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0266623.
  3. OncoK9 liquid biopsy test can enhance cancer monitoring in dogs, new results show. PetDx. January 16, 2023. Accessed January 16, 2023.
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