Penn Vet | Clinical Trial Detail - The Utility of OncoK9 Liquid Biopsy for the Detection of Canine Insulinoma
New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

The Utility of OncoK9 Liquid Biopsy for the Detection of Canine Insulinoma

Aug 1, 2022

Insulinoma is the most common pancreatic cancer in dogs. Tumor cells secrete excessive insulin which results in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar); this can be life threatening. The treatment of choice is surgical removal of the primary tumor and any sites of metastasis (tumor spread), when possible, in order to help reduce insulin levels and improve outcomes. Unfortunately, many dogs with insulinomas will eventually relapse due to the high rate of metastatic disease.

Cancer can release small fragments of DNA into the blood stream. OncoK9 is a commercially available test that can detect these cancer fragments for some types of cancers. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the OncoK9 liquid biopsy blood test can be used (in conjunction to standard-of-care blood glucose and insulin levels) to detect insulinoma cancer cells in the blood both prior to surgery as well as up to 1 year after surgery.


  • Dogs with suspected insulinoma that are good candidates for surgical excision and have not previously received definitive treatment (surgery) for this tumor
  • Ability to attend regular visits at PennVet (in Philadelphia) for blood tests: every 3 months following surgery as well as at the time of suspected relapse
  • Dogs must weigh at least 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs). For dogs between 2.5-4 kg (5.5-8.8 lbs), enrollment will be at the discretion of the clinician.


This study will cover the cost of:

  • Physical examinations (Oncology service visits) at all follow-ups in which OncoK9 liquid biopsy blood test is collected
  • All OncoK9 tests, as well as blood glucose and insulin levels for up to one year from the surgery.

Please contact the VCIC at 215-573-0302 or for more information about this study.