The same lab that invented InCaSe, the blood test to screen for cancer in dogs, has a new test to determine gastrointestinal cancer in cats. Unlike InCaSe, VDI-TK is not a screening test and it cannot detect all cancers; what it can do is quickly differentiate between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and intestinal lymphomas, both relatively common diseases in cats.
Ultrasound is the first step in determining a gastrointestinal disease and whether symptoms like vomiting or diarhea are related to the gastrointestinal tract or another area. Gastrointestinal ultrasound can provide evidence of a thickening of the gastrointestinal tract. Wall thickening is symptomatic of both IBD and lymphoma.
Up until now, a biopsy was the only way to tell for sure whether cancer was responsible for the inflammation of the wall or it was the result of IBD. Now, with Veterinary Diagnostics Institute's (VDI) VDI-TK, a blood test can make that determination more rapidly and less costly.
Like InCaSe, the VDI-TK results provide a range of probabilities between the two extremes of 'definitely not cancer' and 'definitely cancer.' The ranges in between provide information categorizing the quantity of cancer cells present. This allows the veterinarian opportunity to recommend anti-cancer drugs and retest with VDI-TK after a period of therapy.
This short video explains how VDI-TK measures the 'degree' of lymphoma present.
As cancer is showing no signs of going away in our pet population, progress is, at least, being made in the advancement of cancer detection and cancer treatments in veterinary medicine.
That's the buzz for today!