EPISODE 238 | RELEASED February 5, 2024

Early Dog Cancer Detection with Urine-Sniffing Worms | Dr. Page Wages & Chan Namgong

Worms are helping screen dogs for cancer by sniffing their urine. Could this new screening method help catch dog cancer early?


A company in Raleigh, North Carolina, is using worms to sniff dog urine for cancer metabolites. It’s a simple, non-invasive, relatively inexpensive way to screen for cancer. Could this test catch cancer early enough to make a dent in the number of dogs who succumb to their #1 killer?

Six to ten million dogs are diagnosed with cancer every year in the U.S. alone, and veterinarians think half of those cases could be treated and cured if caught early. But our canine companions are naturally stoic, so we don’t often get it early enough. If early detection methods were available and less expensive, it would help us catch cancer earlier. And that might save millions of dogs every year from their deadliest illness.

Imaging tests like ultrasound, x-ray, and MRI are expensive and invasive. Few dog lovers can afford to engage them routinely once a dog hits their senior years at age seven.

Oncotect’s promise is that their urine test, which costs much less and involves a simple urine catch, will help find dog cancer early. Once they receive the urine in their lab, the company uses C. elegans nematodes, tiny little worms, to “sniff” the urine. Their behavior helps discern whether cancer by-products are present in the urine sample.

We are joined today by Oncotect CEO and founder, Chan Namgong. Also, Dr. Page Wages, a Raleigh-area veterinarian who has been using Oncotect for years with hundreds of patients and says this urine test has changed the way she screens for cancer.

Join our Facebook support group at https://facebook.com/groups/dogcancersupport

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Related Links:

Oncotect website: https://oncotect.co/

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