Dogs have very special noses and can use the dog’s sense of smell to help humans diagnose cancer. In a new study on canine cancer detection, Beagle dogs have a sniffing blood sample to identify lung cancer with an accuracy rate of about 97% —this is an impressive achievement that may enable early cancer detection become possible.
Research author Heather Junqueira is the lead researcher at BioScentDx, which uses canine odor detection technology to develop cancer odor screening. She pointed out in a press release, ” Although there is no cure for cancer, early detection is still It is the greatest hope for survival after cancer. A high-sensitivity test for cancer detection may save thousands of lives and change the treatment of the disease. “
Dogs can detect cancer by sniffing blood samples
In the first phase of the study, the researchers trained four Beagle dogs to use smell to distinguish blood samples from lung cancer patients and non-cancer patients. The researchers used a spontaneous conditional reflex called ” snap training ” to train dogs.
During the training of the sound film, if the dog has done the expected behavior, it will make a ” click ” sound to let the dog know that they are on the right track. Of the four dogs, three dogs correctly identified the cancer samples, and the accuracy rate is very amazing, about 97%. Specifically, the results are very accurate, ” sensitivity is 96.7%, specificity is 97.5%, positive predictive value (PPV) is 90.6%, negative predictive value (NPV) is 99.2%. “
According to the researchers, the fourth dog named Snuggles ” did not perform well during training ” , so it scored slightly lower in accuracy than the other three dogs, with a specificity and sensitivity of 80% And 60%. But this research is still successful, further proving the usefulness of dogs in detecting cancer biomarkers.
” This research has laid the foundation for a larger research project that aims to explore the use of canine odor detection as a tool to detect cancer biomarkers, which will ultimately enable these dogs to recognize cancer, ” the study Personnel pointed out.
BioScentDx is also involved in other investigations, including a breast cancer study to determine whether a trained cancer sniffer dog can detect cancer from breath samples from breast cancer patients. Research is also dedicated to isolating biological compounds detected by dogs, which may pave the way for screening tests based on these compounds.
Dogs can sniff out ovarian and breast cancer
The dog’s sense of smell is amazing. In addition to lung cancer, previous studies have found that dogs can also detect cancer odor in the blood of patients with ovarian cancer, not only at the time of the first diagnosis, but also at the follow-up after three months and six months. Find. During follow-up, these dogs found positive samples in 3 of 10 patients, and all 3 patients had relapses.
The In Situ Foundation is also committed to scientifically training dogs to detect early cancers in humans, and has collaborated with the University of California, Davis to develop cancer detection dogs to provide screening for the public. In Situ only trains animals from shelters and rescue stations, they do not have their own shelter. The organization also added:
” DOGS HAVE EXTREMELY HIGH SENSITIVITY AND SPECIFICITY, WHICH MEANS THAT DOGS WILL NOT HAVE THE HIGH FALSE POSITIVE RATE AS MODERN SCREENING. FALSE POSITIVES WILL LEAD TO UNNECESSARY BIOPSY, TREATMENT AND WORRY.
IN 2006, OUR STUDY WAS PUBLISHED IN THE MEDICAL JOURNAL ” Journal of Integrative Cancer Therapies” . THIS STUDY PROVES THAT OUR DOGS ARE 99% SENSITIVE TO EARLY DETECTION OF LUNG CANCER EARLY DETECTION IS 88% SENSITIVE. THIS IS MORE ACCURATE THAN NEEDLE BIOPSY. “
BioScentDx stated that they train dogs to detect specific cancers and ” general cancer odors ” because many cancers share a common odor. To date, their cancer sniffer dogs have found odors associated with breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, thyroid cancer, melanoma, lymphoma, kidney cancer and transitional cell carcinoma.
Can you use cancer sniffer dogs for screening?
Using dogs for cancer screening is illegal in the United States unless it is part of a clinical trial. BioScentDx, which sells screening tools, pointed out that by purchasing a kit, ” you will participate in a study that will help to further raise awareness and expand the application of dog odor detection in the medical field. “
In addition, CancerDogs has also carried out cancer screening tests for firefighters, allowing firefighters at higher risk of cancer to undergo regular cancer screenings. As of January 2018, 30,000 firefighters have been tested by CancerDogs firefighter cancer screening test.
Although this test is considered experimental and does not replace standard medical care, they hope dogs can help firefighters detect cancer earlier and achieve more successful treatment results. It is hoped that dogs will one day find cancer in the general public.
In addition, not only trained dogs can sniff out cancer, but some private pet owners also reported that their dogs have reminded them of cancer. In 1989, the researchers published a case report that a dog smelled the lesion on the owner’s thigh and found it to be melanoma.
In 2018, a Wisconsin resident also stated that her Siberian Husky Sierra successfully reminded her that she had ovarian cancer-not just once, but three times in a row. Based on these scientific evidences and more and more anecdotal reports, if your dog seems to particularly like to sniff a part of your body, your breath, or a part of your skin’s surface, it should attract your attention.