Results will be made available by email (or facsimile/post if requested) within 24 hours of receiving the sample.
cLBT as an aid to diagnosis
Results: the test results will give you a score of between 0.00 and 5.00. If the result comes back between 0.00 and 1.92, the test shows that the protein markers are within the negative range, typical of dogs free of lymphoma. If the result comes back between 1.93 and 3.28, the test is showing that the protein markers are slightly raised and the dog may be developing lymphoma. It is important at this point to monitor for the following symptoms: Abnormal swellings or lumps that are persist or continue to grow, loss of appetite, weight loss, difficulty eating or swallowing, hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina, drinking more or urinating more. If the result comes back between 3.29 and 5.00, the test shows that the protein markers are in the positive range which is typical of a dog with lymphoma.
cLBT for remission monitoring
Monitoring for disease remission/recurrence is usually performed by palpation of peripheral lymph nodes, and owners are frequently taught to do this. However, this can be a very subjective procedure which is only capable of detecting gross changes in peripheral lymph nodes. Biochemical methods which look for circulating markers of the disease have the potential to provide greater objectivity whilst also detecting changes which precede peripheral lymphadenopathy.
The cLBT has been developed to overcome these difficulties by providing a test which is capable of indicating the remission status of dogs undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma. Studies demonstrate that the test is able to reliably detect the recurrence of lymphoma up to two months prior to the appearance of physical signs such as lymphadenopathy. Regularly monitoring your patients using this test facilitates earlier referral of dogs to oncology specialists giving everyone more time to plan appropriate strategies.
Where possible, it is preferable to obtain a pre-treatment baseline sample. Thereafter it is recommended that the dog is tested at four to six week intervals to ensure early detection of lymphoma recurrence. To assist with client compliance we are now able to offer a remission monitoring package, which offers a 22% discount on the combined purchase of 3 tests.
What to Expect
The cLBT grades the remission status of each dog from 0.00 to 5.00. Statistical analysis from the study of 57 dogs undergoing lymphoma chemotherapy has demonstrated thresholds for the disease status:
- Complete remission cLBT Score < 1.93
- Partial remission 1.93 ≤ cLBT Score < 3.29
- Progressive disease cLBT Score ≥ 3.29
For each sequential sample Avacta will provide you with an updated graphic showing the current disease status of the dog along with the historical results as illustrated below.
If the cLBT Score remains below 1.93, it is reasonable to assume that the dog remains in remission and the dog can be booked in for its next monitoring visit with no further actions. Should the score begin to increase above this threshold it would be prudent to consider alternative actions which should include contacting your referral oncologist. Since lymphoma is such a complex and variable disease, options to consider (dependant on the dogs health status) would be maintenance, re-induction or rescue therapies in order to bring the cLBT score back down to below the 1.93 threshold.
In some situations, the test has demonstrated that the chemotherapy protocol was having little effect on the cLBT Score. If the score remains higher after several rounds of chemotherapy, this could indicate that alternative therapies might be warranted. A discussion with a qualified oncologist would always be recommended under such circumstances.
Practices using the test have commented that they find the results to be very helpful in managing owner expectations during and after treatment. They have also commented that the test helps to secure timely monitoring visits by owners.
Our JVCO study also demonstrated that the cLBT score at the time of diagnosis has potential prognostic value. Further studies are currently underway to determine this potential in more detail. However, these findings demonstrate how the cLBT can offer a valuable new tool in the planning and implementation of lymphoma chemotherapy.
Click here to contact customer services regarding your cLBT results interpretation or to find out more about our remission monitoring package.