Breakthrough test for detection of cancer in dogs announced

Rametrix Technologies, Inc., announced today that they have developed a urine-based test for the presence of cancer in dogs.  The announcement follows the publication of their study “Cancer detection in dogs using rapid Raman molecular urinalysis in the prestigious, peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science – Oncology.

The study, co-authored by John Robertson, Ryan Senger, Amr Sayed Issa, and other members of the RTI Team, was able to detect the molecular signatures for lymphoma, bladder cancer (urothelial carcinoma), osteosarcoma, and mast cell tumor – all very common malignant tumors  in dogs – with a test accuracy exceeding 90%.

Important issues relevant to cancer in dogs were discussed in the paper, including:

  • Cancer is very common in dogs – ¼ dogs over 5 years old get cancer and ½ of dogs 10 years or older have cancer as a cause or the cause of death,
  • Twelve breeds of purebred dogs, including Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Scottish Terriers, and German Shepherd Dogs have a higher risk of developing cancer than other breeds.  They have acquired heritable genomic/epigenetic mutations during the process of breed refinement,
  • Most dogs who develop cancer usually are seen in more advanced, and difficult to treat, stages of disease – there are currently NO tests for early detection,
  • Currently available DNA-based tests for cancer in dogs are very expensive and require blood samples and cell samples, and they are only moderately accurate (70% or less) for detecting cancer/no-cancer,
  • Our urine-based test detects hundreds of molecules that create a “molecular fingerprint” of cancer/no-cancer and specific types of cancer,
  • Our test is fast, takes two tablespoons of urine, is highly accurate (90% or more), and will be comparable in cost to a standard complete veterinary urinalysis,
  • Our next step is to see if our test can detect cancer in earlier stages – when it is more treatable – work that will be done in concert with veterinary oncologists at Purdue University, Colorado State University – Flint Animal Cancer Center, and the veterinary college at Virginia Tech.

We are currently looking for investment to help us make the test widely available to pet owners, dog breed associations, and veterinarians.  Plans are underway to use strategic partnerships, investments, and competitive grants to provide funding to enlarge the Rametrix Technologies, Inc. laboratory in Blacksburg, VA, in order to accommodate the anticipated large volume of urine samples from dog owners, veterinarians, dog breeders, and veterinary oncology centers.