Cancer is the leading cause of death in companion animals, and successful early treatment has been a challenge in the veterinary field. We have developed the Non-Invasive Cancer Screening (N.C.S.) Study to perform cancer detection through the analysis of canine urine samples. The test makes use of the strong olfactory system of the nematode, which was previously shown to positively respond to urine samples from human cancer patients. We performed a proof-of-concept study to optimize the detection capability in urine samples obtained from dogs with naturally occurring cancers. In this study, we established a scale for identifying the cancer risk based on the magnitude. Through validation, the N.C.S. Study achieved a sensitivity of 85%, showing that it is highly sensitive to indicate the presence of cancer across multiple types of common canine cancers. The test also showed a 90% specificity to cancer samples, indicating a low rate of over-identifying cancer risk. From these results, we have demonstrated the ability to perform low-cost, non-invasive cancer detection in companion animals—a method that can increase the ability to perform cancer diagnosis and treatment.
In addition to the N.C.S. study, over the course of two years from 2021 to 2023, a longitudinal clinical study was conducted in collaboration with local veterinary hospitals, encompassing a cohort of over 500 canines. The data obtained from this study demonstrate a sensitivity of 83% and a specificity of 96% among the 4 most common canine cancer types; lymphoma, melanoma, hemangiosarcoma, and mast cell tumors.