A new test can detect signs of canine bladder cancer (also known as transitional cell carcinoma/urothelial carcinoma, or TCC/UC) long before symptoms show up. The test, called the CADETSM BRAF Mutation Detection Assay, was created by Sentinel Biomedical, a health company headquartered at the North Carolina State University’s Centennial Biomedical Campus in Raleigh, N.C. The test is available for breeders, owners and veterinarians.
How does the test work? According to Sentinel Biomedical website:
“All dogs shed cells from their bladder and urinary tract each time they pass urine. The CADET BRAF Mutation Detection Assay detects the presence of cells in the urine that contain the mutated gene. Detection of cells with a BRAF mutation is indicative that the dog has a TCC/UC.
The CADET BRAF Mutation Detection Assay offers a forensic level of detection, so sensitive that it can detect TCC/UC with as few as ten mutant-bearing cells in the urine sample. Combined with specially formulated urine preservation and DNA extraction process, the CADET BRAF Mutation Detection Assay detects the presence of TCC/UC up to 4 months before any clinical signs of disease are present.
Detecting cancer earlier—before symptoms even present—can dramatically change prognosis and long-term survival of your best friend.”
With around 80,000 canine TCC/UC tests diagnosed each year in the later states, having advanced notice can help veterinarians treat their patients that much soon, said Matthew Breen, Ph.D, CBiol FRSB, founder of Sentinel Biomedical, said in an American Kennel Club (AKC) press release. Dr. Breen is also the Oscar J. Fletcher distinguished professor of comparative oncology genetics at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “We have created a reliable and proactive screening tool for dog owners and breeders that will allow more time to create an optimal treatment plan, thereby potentially extending the life of their dogs.”
Sentinel Biomedical has joined up with the AKC to offer exclusive screening tests in two formats: a) as an annual subscription for one dog to be screened three times a year or as a Breeder Screen Pack to screen multiple dogs at once. “Both options provide all the supplies needed for collecting dog urine samples at home, and include free shipping to the testing laboratory, with results delivered within two weeks of sample receipt,” writes the AKC. The test is available for purchase at he AKC Shop.
Veterinarians may purchase the test on the Sentinel Biomedical website. As added value to the testing process, dog owners have the opportunity to join a nationwide study to help researchers better understand the environmental factors associated with cancer in dogs and in humans, the AKC writes.
“Thanks to canine health research, we now have real-world solutions for our dogs,” said Susan LaCroix Hamil, chair of the AKC Delegate Health Committee and an AKC Breeder of Merit. “Early detection is key to fighting canine cancer.”