AAHA Con trivia, part deux 3: Who am I?


Andi Flory, DVM, DAVIM (Oncology) 


Session 1: Cancer: DNA Goes Off-Leash 

This session will provide an overview of the basic principles of cancer biology, including the types of genes involved in cancer and common classes of genomic alterations. The concepts of clonality and tumor heterogeneity as the basis for treatment resistance will also be discussed. The session will conclude with a review of the current state of cancer screening in humans and dogs, and how advances in cancer diagnostics and treatments in one species may benefit the other. 

Learning Objectives 

  • Review cancer genomics as a new way of understanding the origin of cancer. 
  • Discuss technologies for assessing the genome, including Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS). 
  • Summarize applications of NGS in veterinary medicine. 


Session 2: The Importance of Early Cancer Detection in Dogs 

Major veterinary medical organizations agree that the early identification of cancer is important; however, current screening paradigms (annual/semi-annual physical exam and routine minimum database) are inadequate for early detection of most canine cancers. So, it’s probably no surprise to hear that most dogs are diagnosed with cancer after the family notices clinical signs due to the disease.  

This session will review data from a cohort of over 350 cancer-diagnosed dogs, evaluating how the disease came to clinical attention. The session will then discuss a novel, blood-based approach to cancer screening – liquid biopsy testing. The session will conclude by answering the question “when should I start screening a dog for cancer” by reviewing data from a large study of over 3,000 cancer-diagnosed dogs in which median age at cancer diagnosis was analyzed by breed and weight. 

Learning Objectives 

  • Review the current state of cancer screening in dogs and understand how canine cancer currently comes to clinical attention for diagnosis. 
  • Evaluate the benefits and limitations of liquid biopsy testing as a novel screening tool for dogs. 
  • Consider the appropriate age to initiate cancer screening in individual dogs based on their breed or weight. 


Session 3: Updates in Liquid Biopsy: From Cancer Screening to Post-Treatment Monitoring 

The clinical validation study of next-generation sequencing-based liquid biopsy testing for multi-cancer detection in dogs was published in 2022. This session will provide an overview of liquid biopsy technology, test performance, and the various applications of this testing in pre- and post-diagnosis use cases. Recent clinical laboratory experience will be reviewed, along with a series of interesting real-world case studies that demonstrate how this testing is being used in clinical practice. 

Learning Objectives 

  • Review the fundamentals of next-generation sequencing-based liquid biopsy testing for multi-cancer detection in dogs. 
  • Define the various clinical use cases in which liquid biopsy can be applied. 
  • Summarize up-to-date laboratory experience with liquid biopsy testing. 


Register at aaha.org/aahacon!