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Category: Cats

Biomarkers for Feline Pancreatic Neoplasia (Study Closed)
March 3, 2010 (published)
Melissa Meachem

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Study Start Date: 10/01/2009
Study End Date: 06/01/2012

Published results can be found here.

Pancreatic neoplasia is a rare, fatal neoplasia in cats. We would like to determine if there are unique proteins (biomarkers) present in the blood that can distinguish benign inflammation of the pancreas from fatal pancreatic cancer in cats. Such biomarkers have the potential to be developed into a blood test to screen cats with pancreatic disease, and so avoid more costly or invasive diagnostic procedures such as surgical biopsy.

Study Design:

Sample Size:
10-15 cats

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Cats with pancreatic tumors. Neoplasia should be confirmed either ante-mortem by cytology/histology, or post-mortem by necropsy.
  • Cats with pancreatitis. Pancreatitis without neoplasia should be confirmed either ante-mortem by cytology/histology or by fPLI and ultrasound, or post-mortem by necropsy.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Cats without pancreatic disease.

Study Controls:
Plasma samples from age-matched healthy cats will be used as controls.

We are asking clinicians to collect sodium citrated plasma samples (2 ml blue topped tubes) from cats falling into one of two categories:

  • Cats with pancreatic tumours (see inclusion criteria).
  • Cats with pancreatitis (see inclusion criteria).

Plasma sample:

  • Collect appropriate amount of blood in a blue-topped tube and mix it gently (invert 3-4 times) - at our college, we use 1.8ml BD Vacutainer® blue-topped tubes (1.05 M buffered sodium citrate).
  • Refrigerate sample for at least 30 min (but not longer than 2 hrs), and then spin for 10 min at 3000 rpm (~2000xg).
  • Remove supernatant (plasma) with a pipette into an eppendorf or red-topped tube.
  • Label the tube with animal ID/clinic number and store the plasma in the freezer at - 20 C (-4 F) until shipment.
  • Please complete the FePAC Patient Form (attached).
  • We will organize collection/shipment of plasma samples and FePAC Patient Forms 3 times per year (April, September and December 2010).


  • If you need assistance with histopathology examination, we will provide free biopsy or necropsy service for cats with pancreatic neoplasia.

Files for Download:
Client Consent Form
Sample Submission Form

Cost of shipping for samples will be covered, as well as biopsy/necropsy service for cases of pancreatic neoplasia. Please contact Melissa Meachem for further details.

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Full Disclosure information:

  • The study is funded by an institutional (university intramural) grant.
  • The investigator does not have a conflict of interest.
  • The study will be published if results are negative
  • The study will be reported on VIN
  • The authors will acknowledge VIN if the study is published with substantial VIN contribution

Have questions or feedback?