Study Finds Dogs 100% Accurate on Cancer Detection
Canines nose strong enough to pick up biological markers of ovarian cancer
Ohlin Frank, who is a trained Labrador has been capable of detecting ovarian cancer 100% of the time, according to her researchers and handlers.
Frank and the fellow trainee, McBaine Chamberlain (a spaniel) are both part of a research project being handled by the University of Pennsylvania in order to assist scientists to discover a chemical footprint that will lead to diagnosis of the cancers. Such early diagnosis is sure to help save human lives, making dogs solidify their position as man's best friend.
The dogs are among 15 breeds found to be capable of detecting such items as diseases, drugs, and explosives. Researchers are now using the sense of smell for the former, which was before only hypothesized by specialists.
Cancer cells are said to leave a bio-marker, not unlike the marker left by items such as asparagus in the sense that they can be detected through smell. Of course, dogs hold a much stronger sense of smell. Cynthia M. Otto, a Penn Vet founder, hopes that within the next two years, scientists will be able to design an inexpensive and less invasive test to catch cancers while they are treatable infections.
"All dogs are really good at sniffing, but part of what gives them a huge advantage over us is the surface area of the olfactory receptors," Otto said.
The current dogs are already being introduced to the tissue smells and are taught to sit at attention with the compound marker is found.
Otto says his work is built on the 2010 study from Sweden, which used schnauzers in order to detect the ovarian cancer. Those tests found that sensitivity was found at 100% while specificity was at 95% overall. Blood tests showed 100% and 98% respectively, according to the report.
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