K9MD Weta 100% success

K9MD Weta 100% success

15th March 2022


Bowel Cancer is one of the most diagnosed cancers in New Zealand with over 3,000 people diagnosed each year. Every day in New Zealand 3 people will die from bowel cancer. 90% of bowel cancers can be prevented if found early enough. (BCFT)


New Zealand trained K9 German shepherd Weta (Star von Heisenberg) has successfully completed the Proof-of-Concept stage in detecting bowel cancer in saline down to as low as 5.0 percent concentration. 


K9 Medical Detection NZ, (K9MD) believes this is the way forward for early detection, to offer New Zealanders an easy, non-invasive screening and surveillance opportunity for bowel cancer. This would be a value-added tool to help protect New Zealander’s health, enable earlier instigation of treatment and potentially lead to improved patient outcomes. 


K9MD carried out a Proof-of-Concept Validation for canine detection of bowel cancer in saline with K9MD Weta. The validation consisted of 300 samples and was completed over five consecutive days under strict guidelines and conditions. An independent observer was present during the entire testing process to verify the process and ensure blind (the trainer does not know whether the samples are positive or negative) testing conditions were maintained throughout. The results were recorded into a specific software programme and analysed by K9MD’s Biostatistician. 


Using various concentration ratios from 100% down to 5% for the validation, K9MD Weta successfully detected positive bowel cancer samples 100 per cent of the time and ignored samples that did not contain cancer 100 per cent of the time. Since validation K9MD Weta is now detecting positive bowel cancer samples as low as 0.1 percent.


K9MD Weta is the second dog trained by K9 Medical Detection specifically for bowel cancer detection. K9MD Levi completed an equally successful validation in 2021. Both dogs are German shepherds from proven working lines.