SearchLight DNA™ for Veterinarians.

As a veterinarian or veterinary oncologist, you know that the genetics behind cancer can help inform your patient’s clinical management. But knowing how and when to search for those genetic mutations can be daunting. SearchLight DNA™ and the scientists at Vidium leverage the latest science available to partner with you to guide you and your patients on the cancer treatment journey.

A closer look at SearchLight DNA™.

To learn more about how SearchLight DNA™ was validated, view the conference poster presentation:

Wong S, Warrier M, Byron S, et al. Design, analytical validation and diagnostic yield of a novel canine cancer gene sequencing panel. A poster presented at the Veterinary Cancer Society 2020 Annual Conference; 2020


SearchLight DNA™ is a “pan-cancer” precision diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic indicator, using a targeted Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) 482kB gene panel that identifies point mutations, copy number mutations, and internal tandem duplications in 120 known cancer genes, as well as the chemo-sensitivity gene MDR1. It is appropriate for FFPE, FNA, or fresh frozen tumor samples. Searchlight DNA™ is the most informative canine cancer genetic test available: It incorporates all high quality diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive biomarkers known from canine and human cancer studies into a proprietary knowledge database that has been curated from more than 300 canine-specific publications. It also brings inference from human publications and databases. We provide you with two detailed, annotated reports: one designed for the clinician, the other designed for passing on to the pet parent if you choose.

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SearchLight DNA™ is not for every cancer case that walks into your office.

Some examples of ideal cases:

Clients or clinicians who want all the information possible and aren’t comfortable “going with the odds”.

Cases where treatment protocols are unclear/borderline and more data may help the clinician recommend a path forward.

Cases where a novel targeted therapy may apply and identification of alterations in that target could assist in therapeutic decision-making.

Ongoing clinical decision-making based on tumor evolution for progressing, treatment-refractory, or relapsed cases.

Cases where a metastatic lesion displays unexpected or bizarre behavior that could indicate a new set of driver mutations, different from the primary lesion.

Inconclusive or ambiguous histopathology results or non-diagnostic biopsy samples.


What needs to be submitted for Vidium to run SearchLight DNA™?

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

  • FFPE Scrolls (10–20 x 10-micron sections) with one adjacent H&E slide
  • Unstained FFPE Slides (10–20 x 10-micron sections) with one adjacent H&E slide
  • Fine Needle Aspirate (>5 unstained slides) with one Diff-Quick 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.

How does SearchLight DNA™ work?

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.

When should I order SearchLight DNA™?

SearchLight DNA™ can be ordered at the time of biopsy or after histopathology 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.

What is the expected turnaround time for a report?

9–12 days from receipt of the sample at the Vidium genomics laboratory.

Will there be someone for me to talk to about the report?

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.

When should I expect to pay for the test?

Once your sample's DNA has been extracted and checked for quality, you will be sent an invoice and request for payment through our secure payment portal. Payment must be received before a report can be delivered.

The future of pet cancer care is here.

By analyzing the DNA of your pet’s tumor cells, Vidium’s SearchLight DNA™ can inform your veterinary team about what mutations might exist within that tumor, what is driving the tumor’s growth, and what treatments might be effective to help make your dog well again.

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