The new frontier in
veterinary diagnostics

At DeepScan Diagnostics, our mission is to empower veterinarians to add more healthy years to the lifespan of our furry friends by predictive diagnostics.DeepScan is building a proprietary early detection test for dog cancer. We’re launching our first product in fall 2023. We are currently looking for partners and team members.

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© DeepScan 2022 - All rights reserved


DeepScan Diagnostics - Predictive cancer screening tests for dogs

We're a passionate group of researchers, scientists and animal lovers who are dedicated to improving the lives of dogs through early cancer detection. We’re developing a liquid biopsy test that can detect cancer markers in blood samples before clinical signs. By doing so, we hope to catch cancer early and increase the chances of successful treatment.Our team consists of experts in the field of cancer research and veterinary medicine, as well as passionate dog owners who understand the importance of early detection.We believe that every dog deserves a fighting chance against cancer, and that early detection is the key to improving both lifespan and healthspan in dogs. We are launching our test by the end of 2023.

The technology

Liquid biopsies are a minimally invasive technique that detects cancer markers in bodily fluids, such as blood or urine, as opposed to traditional biopsies that require a surgical procedure to obtain a tissue sample. During a liquid biopsy, a small amount of the dog's blood is drawn and analyzed for the presence of cancer biomarkers. Liquid biopsies are less invasive, faster, and less expensive than traditional biopsies, and can be performed multiple times to monitor the progression of cancers in a dog. Because liquid biopsies can detect cancer at an early stage, they can significantly improve the chances of successful treatment and increase the quality of life for dogs.Early detection of cancer in dogs is crucial for successful treatment because it allows veterinarians to intervene before the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. When cancer is caught early, it is often more responsive to treatment, and the likelihood of achieving complete remission is higher. Early detection also means that less aggressive and less invasive treatment options can be used, which can reduce side effects and improve the dog's overall quality of life. Additionally, detecting cancer early can help prevent the development of secondary health issues that can arise as a result of cancer, such as anemia, infection, or organ dysfunction. Ultimately, the earlier cancer is detected in dogs, the better the chances of successful treatment and a longer, healthier life for the dog.

Currently gathering blood samples for research and product development.

We're partnering with leading veterinary clinics and breed associations to collect blood samples from dogs of different breeds, ages, and health statuses to ensure the quality and effectiveness of our test. Currently, we’re especially interested in dogs with a confirmed cancer diagnosis or with suspected cancer.If you have a dog with cancer or suspected cancer, please reach out to us. By participating in the development of this test, you'll be making a meaningful contribution to canine cancer research and helping us achieve our mission of improving the lives of dogs.To locate the nearest clinic for sample donation, please email or call us.

© DeepScan 2022 - All rights reserved



Contacts:

  • Email: william@deepscandx.com

  • Phone: +358 50 5282125

  • Office: Viikinkaari 5, 00790 HELSINKI

© DeepScan 2022 - All rights reserved


Frequently asked questions

Q: What does DeepScan Diagnostics do?
A: DeepScan Diagnostics Oy is a Finnish company founded in 2022 that develops diagnostic tests. Our first product is a dog cancer test and it will be on the market at the end of 2023.
Q: What is your cancer test based on?
A: Our test analyzes the amount of cell-free DNA circulating in the blood and other characteristics. Cell-free DNA is released when cells die, and its amount increases significantly in cancer.
Q: What kind of permit does DeepScan have for collecting blood samples?
A: DeepScan Diagnostics Oy has a valid permit for collecting and processing canine blood samples for the development of diagnostic tests. The permit (ESAVI/30126/12.9.2022) has been approved by the Southern Finland Administration Agency's Animal Testing Board (ELLA) and is valid for five years.
Q: Is there cell-free DNA in dogs other than those with cancer?
A: Yes. Cell-free DNA is released into the bloodstream when cells die and it circulates in small amounts in the blood of all dogs. The amount grows slowly as the dog gets older, but can quickly rise 1,000-fold in a dog with cancer, because cell division and death speeds up in connection with cancer. The amount of cell-free DNA also increases in connection with injuries, surgeries, and inflammation.
Q: Does the cancer test assess a dog's genetic cancer risk?
A: No. Our cancer test analyzes the cell-free DNA in the dog's bloodstream, concludes whether the dog has cancer and, if yes, from which tissue the cancer originates.
Q: How is the test done?
A: We will start with a 5 ml blood sample taken from the dog's forelimb. We will isolate cell-free DNA from plasma and analyze its properties. Based on the results, we will assess whether the dog has cancer, and if so, from which tissue the cancer originates.
Q: Does the dog have to fast for sample collection?
A: No. The dog can eat and drink normally on the day of sample collection. A blood sample can also be taken from a dog who has fasted for other procedures.
Q: Can I take a blood sample myself (e.g. veterinarians, clinical veterinarians)?
A: Yes, but you will need a special tube that stabilizes cell-free DNA until it reaches our laboratory. Contact us so that we can mail the number of sample tubes you need.
Q: My dog's blood sample has already been collected by a public biobank. Can this be used?
A: Unfortunately, traditional biobank samples are not suitable for analyzing cell-free DNA, because in most cases the white blood cells have contaminated the sample during sample handling.
Q: Why do you collect information about the dog’s characteristics?
A: We use this information to support our analysis. We know that the amount of cell-free DNA increases as the dog ages and, for example, in connection with injuries, surgeries and inflammation, so the dog's age and medical information are important for calibrating the test. Since we do not yet know the effect of breed and sterilization status on the behavior of cell-free DNA, we ask them just to be sure.
Q: How quickly can you return results?
A: Our goal is to return the results within two weeks, but during spring-summer 2023 it will take 1-3 months to return the results, because we need >50 samples per breed to reliably analyze the data and there may be several weeks between sample collection events. Once we have collected this initial data set, analysis of follow-up samples will be faster.
Q: How do you report results?
During 2023, we will build a reporting platform for the return of the results, from which the dog's owner and veterinarian can check the sample processing stage. In spring 2023, the reporting platform is not yet in use, so we will return test results directly to the dog owners via text message or email. We have agreed with some breed associations that results will also be shared with them with the consent of the dog's owner.
Q: How sensitive is your test?
A: This is what we are looking into. Measuring cell-free DNA is considered the most promising way in human medicine to detect cancer prior to clinical symptoms, but very few tests have been performed on dogs. A similar test has been developed in the USA and the results have been variable for different cancers.
Q: Why do you focus on certain dog breeds?
A: Some dog breeds have an increased risk of cancer and we want to first ensure that our test works well for these breeds before expanding the testing to other breeds. We use machine learning to analyze the tests and our computational methods require a sample size of at least 50 dogs to ensure the reliability of the results. The more dogs we get to examine from one breed, the more reliable our test is for that breed.
Q: How much does the test cost?
A: During the test development phase, testing is free. Our goal is to launch a test that detects the most common canine cancers at such an early stage that their treatment becomes possible. The test must also be so affordable that owners of high risk dogs will be able to order it annually.
Q: At what age should you take the test?
A: This varies from breed to breed and we will confirm this during the test development phase. We expect that the test will be recommended for middle-aged and older dogs as an annual test alongside a dog’s wellness visits.
Q: My dog seems healthy but tested positive. What do I do?
A: We expect our test to detect cancer in some clinically asymptomatic dogs, and we promote the planning and implementation of new treatment paths with our partners at the University of Helsinki and Evidensia. The amount of cell-free DNA also increases momentarily with physical injuries, so we recommend a new test at least two weeks after the first test to check that the level has returned to normal. Please contact us and we can send a test tube to your dog's veterinarian for a repeat test.