Frequently Asked Questions



Will Hendricks, PhD, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, addresses frequently asked questions to provide insight into the value, use cases, and future horizons of genomic diagnostics in canine oncology


2021 Searchlight Sample Requirements

SearchLight DNA can be run on samples  submitted  in the following forms (and quantities)

  • Fine Needle Aspirate Liquid (>0.5 mL in sterile vial/tube with no additives)
  • Fine Needle Aspirate Slides (>5 unstained or stained slides) with one Diff-Quick slide
  • FFPE Scrolls (10 x 10-micron sections) with 1 adjacent H&E slide
  • Unstained FFPE Slides (10 x 10-micron sections) with 1 adjacent H&E slide
  • Decalcification of bone tumors (including osteosarcoma) often involves strong acids that can destroy DNA. If you are submitting a bony tumor for SearchLight DNA it is important that we obtain a sample that has not undergone decalcification in strong acid. Please submit a non-decalcified sample or allow us to coordinate with the pathology lab in order to determine if SearchLight DNA is feasible for that sample.

Please note that we can also process tissue in other less common formats such as a full paraffin block or fresh frozen tissue. Please inquire for more details.

SpotLight ePARR can be run on samples submitted in the following forms (and quantities)

For FNA samples:

  • Aspirate onto slides: 5 or more unstained or stained, non-coverslipped slides with 1 Diff-Quick slide. Aspirate material should be nickel-sized or larger


  • Aspirate into sterile tube: >0.5 mL in sterile vial/tube with no additives

For histopathology specimen:

  • 10 unstained, non-coverslipped coated slides from serial sections of the most representative FFPE block, and 1 H&E slide from the same block

For alternate specimens:

  • Fresh frozen tissue (6 to 7 30-mg pieces)
  • Tissue in paraffin block
  • 10 FFPE scrolls (10 micron sections) and 1 H&E slide from the same block

Vidium diagnostic tests can be run on a wide variety of sample types. For the best results on cases where both SearchLight DNA and SpotLight ePARR may be run concurrently, we suggest submitting samples in the following forms (and quantities):

  • 15 stained or unstained non-coverslipped coated slides from serial sections of the most representative FFPE block, and 1 H&E slide from the same block
  • 10 FFPE scrolls (10 micron sections), and 1 H&E slide from the same block

Searchlight DNA  is an extensively validated, targeted next-generation sequencing assay. A tumor sample is sent from a veterinarian to the Vidium genomics laboratory where DNA is extracted. We then sequence the DNA using technology that identifies nearly 500,000 of the 2.8 billion individual letters (the As, Ts, Gs, and Cs of the DNA alphabet) in the tumor’s DNA in order to find misspellings (mutations) that play a role in cancer. These mutations are then matched against a proprietary scientific database (derived from scientific literature and public genomic databases), and summarized in both a technical report for the veterinarian and also a condensed report for the pet owner.

Searchlight DNA can be ordered at the time of tumor sampling (aspiration or biopsy) or after results/cytology is returned. Searchlight DNA can aid in diagnosis, prognosis, and/or treatment planning. It may help guide you in cases where treatment protocols are unclear/borderline, or in cases where the veterinary team desires more data before recommending a course of treatment. Identification of predictive genomic biomarkers associated with targeted therapies, description of the context in which those therapies may be effective, and provision of the evidence to support those associations can assist you in considering integration of targeted therapies into treatment protocols. It may also help guide you in cases that have ambiguous or unclear histopathology. When a patient’s disease progresses amid therapy or when a new metastatic lesion displays unexpected or bizarre behavior, Searchlight DNA can help identify new mutations that could provide additional biomarker associations to inform a patient’s evolving clinical management. Searchlight DNA can help inform clinical decision-making in these cases, but every case is unique and other cases in which this test is helpful may exist. To talk with someone at Vidium to determine if Searchlight DNA is right for your patient, please contact us.

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Veterinarians may choose this additional service if the sample they wish to have tested already exists at a pathology lab. It can be time-consuming to coordinate transfer of that sample and Vidium would be happy to take care of that for you. This cost is a pass-through charge of the costs incurred from pathology labs and shipping services.

Reports for SearchLight DNA tests are delivered 9–12 days from receipt of the sample at the Vidium genomics laboratory. SpotLight ePARR reports are delivered 5–7 days from sample receipt.


Yes. We understand that it may be helpful to discuss the report with our scientists, so we offer one-on-one phone consultations for veterinarians following delivery of your report, free of charge.

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By signing up for a Vidium Vet Portal, veterinary teams can easily manage their cases in one place. Registering for the portal allows you to:

  • Track the progress of your cases and know exactly which step of the process they are in at all times
  • Easily view and download reports for all of your cases in 1 organized place
  • Submit new orders with ease
  • Upload supporting documentation relevant to the case and view all sample information for each case
  • Enjoy direct contact with our clinical relations team to answer all your questions and provide help quickly

Pet owners

SearchLight DNA identifies mutations in 120 genes that are associated with cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment based on published scientific studies about dog and human cancers. Vidium’s knowledge database, which is routinely updated as new data is published, includes more than 2500 such associations. These mutations can thereby provide veterinarians and pet owners with information to guide individualized treatment planning.

The first step will be to discuss SearchLight DNA with your veterinary team to see if it is right for your dog. Your veterinarian can order the test or, if you agree the best course of action is for you to order the test directly, you can place your order on this page. Click the “Place Order” button. A sample of your pet’s tumor will be taken at your veterinarian’s office and sent to Vidium’s lab. Your pet’s tumor may have already been biopsied and sent to a pathology lab for diagnosis. Vidium can also coordinate with pathology labs to receive a sample. For more details, please see the Products page.

SearchLight DNA costs $1000.

The results of your pet’s test will be sent to your veterinarian, who will discuss the results directly with you.

Vidium is a part of your veterinary care team. We work with the other team members to create the most complete picture of your pet’s cancer possible. By providing your veterinarian with the genomics information in the report, we are helping with the understanding of all treatment choices and potentially unlocking new options for you and your pet. You and your veterinarian are on this journey together and Vidium is here to support both of you.

Results from a SearchLight DNA test will be sent to your veterinarian in the form of a report 9–12 days from the time Vidium receives the sample in our genomics laboratory. Results from a SpotLight ePARR test will be delivered to your veterinarian 5–7 days from the time Vidium receives the sample.