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Feline Cancer Blood Test


TKfeline cancer panel
For the differential diagnosis and monitoring of intestinal lymphosarcoma in cats

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Clinical Background

Gastrointestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and intestinal lymphoma (LSA) are commonly encountered in feline medicine. The challenge with these two similarly presenting diseases is how to quickly distinguish between the two.

TKFELINE CANCER PANEL combines the information obtained from two independent measures of cellular irregularity; abnormal cell division and systemic inflammation. Thymidine kinase type 1 (TK1) is a measure of dysregulated cellular proliferation – a hallmark of cancer. Haptoglobin (HPT) is elevated in the presence of systemic inflammatory disease. United through the Neoplasia Index (NI), the test panel provides objective evaluation for disease.

 feline chart

The panel is useful for monitoring treatment and disease progression. For patients undergoing therapy, results from the cancer panel can quickly indicate that the patient is responding to the treatment protocol, as indicated when both TK1 and HPT decline from the initial pretreatment assessment. With resistance to therapy, TK1 and HPT will be unresponsive and remain elevated. Upon disease recurrence, TK1 and HPT will elevate from baseline. Retesting  intervals are recommended at 4-8 week intervals.


 Chemiluminescent and Sandwich Immunoassay 
Units (Range)  TK1 U/L (0.5-100)  HPT mg/dL (0.5-500)  NI index (0-10)
Sample Requirements  
Serum≥1mL; SST tube / separate & freeze within 45 min
Interferences  Gross hemolysis / Gross lipemia
Stability  Room temp: 1 hour / 4 °C: 4 hours / -20 °C: 30 days





TK feline header





Challenging Diagnosis

Gastrointestinal disorders are caused by multiple factors. After common baseline tests rule out other sources, we are often left with IBD or intestinal lymphoma as the most likely cause of the illness.



Intestinal wall thickening, common to both IBD and intestinal tumors, is confirmed using ultrasound. Although an important tool on the path to diagnosis, ultrasonography is not solely effective in distinguishing lymphoma from IBD.



Definitive diagnosis of lymphoma or IBD is obtained through histopathological evaluation of intestinal biopsies. Full thickness biopsy obtained surgically offers a more thorough evaluation of all tissue compartments compared to endoscopic biopsy and is the preferred means of diagnosing intestinal lymphoma.


Non-invasive Alternative

Financial constraints and/or concerns over the invasiveness of biopsy force many cat owners to seek alternatives. For those willing pet owners, the decision to pursue biopsy is made easier when greater evidence points to lymphoma as being the more likely cause of the illness. That is where a blood test that helps discriminate between IBD and lymphoma plays a major role in the diagnostic pathway.


Dual Biomarker Test Design

TKFELINE CANCER PANEL combines the information obtained from two independent measures of system irregularity; abnormal cell division and systemic inflammatory activity. Thymidine kinase (TK) is a measure of dysregulated cellular proliferation. Haptoglobin (Hpt) is elevated in the presence of systemic inflammatory disease. Dual-marker


Neoplasia & Inflammation

There has been a long standing and studied relationship between cancer and inflammation.  Research shows that inflammation plays an essential role at each stage of the disease (initiation and proliferation), and has demonstrated that the effectiveness of tumor development correlates directly with the degree of the inflammatory reactions.

NI Index


Neoplasia Index

The Neoplasia Index (NI) is a dual-biomarker algorithm that combines the dysregulated proliferation marker TK and the systemic inflammatory marker CRP. These two independent variables - thymidine kinase & CRP - combines two distinct hallmarks of neoplasia; rapid dysregulated cell division & systemic inflammation. The algorithm developed to integrate the dual biomarkers, produces the resultant Neoplasia Index.




 Clinical Study

Feline NI chart


161 cats of various breeds, ages and both genders were enrolled in a multi-institutional study including 50 with disease (LSA n=29, IBD n=21) and 111 apparently healthy control cats.

Findings: Progressively elevated neoplasia index (NI) values were observed with the IBD and LSA groups compared with the control group. NI population separation was observed between all three groups.









INCASE report







The Right Tests for the Right DecisionSM


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