Prognostic Indications of Canine Lymphoid Neoplasia Using Plasma DNA

A method of identifying a canine lymphoid neoplastic disease with no clinical symptoms using plasma DNA.

The Need

Dogs, like humans, are susceptible to development of abnormal growths or cancers. Improved veterinary medical care and diagnostic techniques have enabled a longer lifespan for dogs; however, older populations also have higher incidence rates of canine cancers. This proliferation in incidence of cancer means that there is a greater need to effectively and efficiently diagnosis and screen for oncological disease as part of a clinical routine exam. Currently, there are few options for screening that are financially viable, user friendly and time efficient. In addition, many modalities require extended visits and a visible presence of disease before diagnoses can be confirmed and treatment began. Human cancer screening using plasma DNA has promising results and due to the translatable aspects of canine disease, this diagnostic tool may also aid in early tumor evaluation in dogs.

The Technology

Dr. Laura Rush of The Ohio State University has developed a diagnostic and/or prognostic DNA assay that measures levels of circulating nucleic acids in the blood plasma for detection of lymphoid neoplastic cancer in dogs. In a proof-of-concept study, Dr. Rush found that dogs with lymphoid neoplasia had plasma DNA concentration levels statistically higher than that of normal dogs or those with carcinomas or sarcomas. Furthermore, in dogs with levels of plasma DNA greater than 25 ng/mL, survival rates were significantly lower and remission occurred significantly faster.

Utilizing the technology, veterinarians can screen canines for tumor-specific DNA markers arising from K-ras mutations, detect p53 mutations, and detect retinoblastoma (Rb) protein mutations. These results would help to assess the disease state before clinical symptoms arise and guide decisions regarding treatment, including prognosis and disease condition.

Commercial Applications

  • Screen for lymphoid neoplasia related diseases in canines before symptoms arise
  • Determine disease severity and canine life span at the point of care
  • Risk monitoring and risk stratification, possibly against environmental or domestic carcinogens
  • Assist in creation of a disease treatment plan for canine cancer


  • Detect nucleic acids in serum or plasma
  • Detect early biomarkers for identification of lymphoid neoplasia in canines
  • Save time through enabling large scale analysis and expression screening of sample DNA given the broad microarray design
  • Can use with PCR or microarray

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