Heather Wilson Robles

Cancer is the most common cause of death in dogs over the age of 2 years in the US

Up to 50% of all dogs over the age of 10 will develop cancer in their lifetimes.

With approx­i­mate­ly 84 million pet dogs in the United States, there are an estimated 6 million pet dogs diagnosed with cancer each year.

Earlier detection can save lives

It can also improve the quality of life of the dog and its owner.

Yet, as of today, there are few single assay cancer blood tests on the veterinary market. Currently, dogs suspected of having cancer are required to undergo a variety of diagnostic tests that may be expensive, time consuming, and painful for the animal.

Nu Q Vet Logo RGB

We are hoping to change this with the intro­duc­tion of the Nu.Q® Vet Cancer Test.

Our Nu.Q®Vet Cancer Test is available to vet­eri­nar­i­ans in the U.S. through Reference Lab­o­ra­to­ries at IDEXX and Heska. It is also available for pre-order at the point-of-care from Heska.

Vet­eri­nar­i­ans in the UK and Ireland can access our test via Veterinary Pathology Group (VPG) & NationWide Lab­o­ra­to­ries. The test is also available in Singapore via Sage Healthcare.

The Nu Q® Vet Cancer Test was developed with the goal of providing an accessible and affordable screening test to aid in early detection. This test can be easily integrated into your preventive care programs, and used alongside other routine bloodwork during regular wellness visits.

Introduce the Nu.Q® Vet Cancer Test as part of a regular wellness check for older dogs and at-risk breeds.

How does the Nu.Q® Vet Cancer Test work?

DNA is compacted within a cell’s nucleus in the form of nucleosomes which are bead-like structures comprised of DNA coiling around a histone protein core.

When a patient (human or canine) has cancer, nucleosomes from those cancer cells are released into the blood and can be measured using antibodies that are specific to nucleosomes.

By measuring and analyzing nucleosomes, our Nu.Q® Vet Cancer Test can identify patients who may have cancer. This must then be confirmed by follow-up procedures – for example, a biopsy or scan. 

Where can I find the Nu.Q® Vet Cancer Test?

Nu.Q® Vet is available through Reference Lab­o­ra­to­ries in the U.S. from IDEXX and Heska. Vet­eri­nar­i­ans can also pre-order the Nu.Q® Vet Cancer Test for point-of-care from Heska.

The test is available to Vet­eri­nar­i­ans in the UK and Ireland from Veterinary Pathology Group (VPG) & NationWide Lab­o­ra­to­ries. It is also available in Singapore via Sage Healthcare.

Clinical Evidence

Results of a study of over 650 dogs, both healthy and with cancer, have been published in a peer-reviewed journal. A variety of breeds, weights and cancer stages were represented in the dataset with samples collected from Texas A&M’s Veterinary Clinic and NCI’s DCTD Biorepository*.

Nu.Q® Vet Cancer Test detects 76% of systemic cancers at 97% specificity. At the recommended cut-off, the Nu.Q® Vet Cancer Test detected 77% of lymphoma, 82% of heman­giosar­co­ma, and 54% of histiocytic sarcoma at 97% specificity, versus control including all stages of lymphoma.

*Samples collected from: Canine plasma samples from the National Cancer Institute Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (NCI-DCTD)
biorepos­i­to­ry and from active patients or healthy volunteers at the Texas A&M University Small Animal Teaching Hospital were purchased or collected
with owner consent, respec­tive­ly, for this study. (Wilson-Robles et al. 20228)

For more information about our Nu.Q® Vet Cancer Test, browse through the Resources section of our website, or click here for technical documentation.

Systemic cancers

Building on previous studies, the Nu.Q® Vet Cancer Test can now be used to detect a broader range of systemic canine cancers.

These include Lymphoma, Heman­giosar­co­ma, Histiocytic Sarcoma, Osteosar­co­ma, Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Malignant Melanoma, and Mast Cell Tumors.

Click to read clinical paper

Future Products in Development

Cats: We have begun research on a Nu.Q® Vet Cancer Test for felines and hope to report data in the coming months.

Nu.Q® Vet now available for pre-order at the point-of-care through Heska

  • The Nu.Q® Vet Cancer Test is now available for preorder on the Element i+ Immun­odi­ag­nos­tic Analyzer as the Heska Nu.Q® Canine Cancer Screen and Monitor

  • The Element i+ can run multiple immunoas­says on a single platform, providing quick results with minimal sample require­ments. This makes it the perfect choice for cancer screening and monitoring in our patients, helping us to provide the best possible care and improve their quality of life
  • With results ready in under 10 minutes, vet­eri­nar­i­ans can build a stronger bond with their clients by providing them with answers and a plan of action during the same visit

  • Early detection is the key to successful treatment and a long, happy life for your pet patients, and the Heska Nu.Q® Canine Cancer Screen and Monitor makes it easier than ever to provide the best possible care. This is the element you’ve been missing in your practice.

Click to find out more about the point-of-care test

How to submit a sample

  • Patients should be fasted (minimum 4 hours) for this test to be accurate.
  • Draw down 2 – 5 mL of blood from a peripheral vein.
  • Immediately fill EDTA tube(s) with blood.
  • Spin the sample in-house at 1600xg for 10 minutes within 1 hour of sampling.
  • Remove plasma and place in a non-additive tube (be careful to not disturb buffy coat).
  • Ship sample with cold packs. Store in fridge until ready to ship. Please refer to your reference lab of choice for sample shipping logistics.
  • Make sure to check when your Nu.Q® Vet Cancer Test provider accepts samples, as some labs may not operate over the weekend.

Localized tumors are less likely to cause elevated plasma nucleosomes, and this test is not able to dif­fer­en­ti­ate severe/​systemic inflam­ma­tion from cancer.

Results should be interpreted in clinical context in combination with history, physical exam and other diagnostic methods.

Note: The Nu.Q® Vet Cancer Test identifies patients who may have cancer, however, not all neoplastic conditions are detectable using elevated plasma nucleosomes.

How to interpret the results

Consider using the Nu.Q® Vet Cancer Test for all dogs (7 years and older) and younger dogs (4 years and older) with an increased risk of developing cancer in their lifetimes. 

Low Risk

Results are consistent with those found in healthy animals over the age of 1 year, and all genders.

Retest at your next visit

“Gray Zone”

If the patient has not been fasted, and is otherwise healthy, we recommend repeating the test at your earliest convenience.

If the patient has been fasted, and is otherwise healthy, we recommend testing in 2-4 weeks.

If the Nu.Q® score remains elevated after retest, please refer to the Nu.Q® Vet Pathway for procedures that may be included in the diagnostic process.

If the Nu.Q® score returns to the low risk level after retest, repeat test in 6-12 months as part of routine wellness screening.

High Risk

Nu.Q® Vet Cancer Test results at the orange level are consistent with an increased risk of cancer in healthy animals over the age of 1 year, and all genders.

Confirmatory diagnostics should be used to confirm the suspicion of cancer.*

Please refer to the Nu.Q® Vet Pathway (page 7) for procedures that may be included in the diagnostic process.

*Please Note: Nucleosome spikes may occur when patients have not been fasted for a minimum of 4 hours, as well as conditions such as immune-mediated disease, systemic inflammation, sepsis, and trauma.

Case Studies

Intel­lec­tu­al Property

Covers human and veterinary applications

Believed to be the only company working on ELISA measurement for epi­ge­net­i­cal­ly modified circulating nucleosomes.

As of March 31, 2023:


Patent families


Patents granted in the U.S.


Patents granted in Europe


Additional patents granted worldwide


Patents pending