The CADETSM BRAF Mutation Detection Assay

A powerful new opportunity for owners and breeders to screen dogs proactively for evidence of early bladder cancer.

Identification of canine bladder cancer early in the course of the disease allows owners/breeders and veterinarians the best opportunity to initiate appropriate treatment in a timely manner. This screening product for early detection – available exclusively from the American Kennel Club (AKC) – also offers owners and breeders the opportunity to participate in a nationwide study towards improved methods for prevention and treatment.


What is canine bladder cancer?

The most common form of canine cancer of the urinary tract is known as transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), also referred to as urothelial carcinoma (UC). TCC/UC accounts for an estimated 1-2% of all cancer cases diagnosed in dogs, with an anticipated 80,000+ diagnosed cases this year.

TCC/UC affects the bladder, urethra, and kidneys of male and female dogs and also the prostate of males. Symptoms include straining to urinate, repeated frequent attempts to urinate, blood in the urine, and repeated bacterial infection. These symptoms are shared with several other more common and treatable conditions, including cystitis and benign bladder masses. This often leads to multiple rounds of treatment with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications, which only address the symptoms, not the underlying cause.

Using existing techniques TCC/UC is typically diagnosed in its later stages, when the cancer is more advanced and has invaded the into the underlying muscle. The growing mass often results in progressive loss of the ability to urinate appropriately. In 20% of cases the cancer has already spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body by the time it is first identified. These factors all indicate that current diagnostic methods have very limited ability for early detection of TCC/UC, which may in turn reduce treatment options and lead to a less favorable outcome.

The CADETSM approach for early detection of canine TCC/UC

Sentinel Biomedical now offers a unique DNA-based approach for owners and breeders to screen their dogs for early evidence of of canine TCC/UC. Our research has shown that a single genetic mutation in a gene called BRAF is present in 85% of confirmed cases of canine TCC/UC. Using state-of-the-art technology, we have developed an early detection strategy that can detect the presence of this mutation in cells that are shed into the urine of an affected dog.

We have also shown that the mutation is not found in the urine of healthy dogs, or dogs that have non-malignant bladder masses, inflammation or chronic cystitis. The presence of the mutation in canine urine is therefore a highly specific indicator of the presence of a TCC/UC.

What are the key advantages of the CADETSM BRAF Mutation Detection Assay?

  • Sensitive: The assay is remarkably sensitive, and can detect the presence of TCC/UC in a urine sample several months before any clinical signs associated with the cancer even become evident.
  • Convenient: The assay provides owners and breeders with all the necessary supplies to collect urine samples from their dogs at home, and includes the cost of shipping the sample back to the testing laboratory.
  • Affordable: Reduce the costs associated with treating non-specific symptoms, rather than the cancer itself.
  • Robust: Unlike some similar but less discriminatory approaches, the CADETSM BRAF Mutation Detection Assay is not affected by the presence of blood or bacteria in the urine.

Why should I consider using the CADETSM BRAF Mutation Detection Assay?

Use of the CADETSM BRAF Mutation Detection Assay to screen dogs for emerging TCC/UC allows treatment to be initiated very early in the course of the disease, potentially before the mass has begun to invade into deeper tissues.

While any breed is susceptible to developing TCC/UC, several breeds show an increased incidence of the disease compared to the general dog population. When combined, these breeds account for over a third of all diagnosed TCC/UC cases in purebred dogs. High-risk breeds include the American Eskimo Dog, Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Shepherd, Beagle, Bichon Frise, Border Collie, Parson Russell Terrier, Lhasa Apso, Rat Terrier, Russell Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Shetland Sheepdog, West Highland White Terrier, and Wire Fox Terrier.

Additionally, the risk of canine TCC/UC increases substantially with age – more than 95% of cases occur in dogs age 6 years and older. While the assay can be used for dogs of any age, we therefore recommend that owners and breeders begin regular, proactive screening of their dogs, particularly those of high-risk breeds, from the age of five. Learn more here.

Please view our frequently asked questions (FAQ) page for more details on proactive screening for TCC/UC.

How can I obtain the CADETSM BRAF Mutation Detection Assay?

Two versions of the CADETSM BRAF Mutation Detection Assay for early detection are available for purchase by dog owners and breeders, exclusively from the American Kennel Club (membership of the American Kennel Club is not required).

  • The Annual Subscription Service Pack is available to owners and breeders through the American Kennel Club and is used to screen one dog three times over the course of one year for early evidence of TCC/UC.
  • The Multi-Dog/Breeder Service Pack is available to owners and breeders through the American Kennel Club and is used to screen multiple dogs from the same household/kennel at one time for early evidence of TCC/UC.

View this link for a comparison of these products, and to purchase through the American Kennel Club

How I can learn more about the CADETSM BRAF Mutation Detection Assay?

Please view our brochure for more information.

You may also wish to view our list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).