WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A study has found that dogs can be able to smell the difference between blood samples with and without lung cancer.
- Researchers used four different beagles and found they could point out blood samples with lung cancer with 97% accuracy.
- The results open up more possibilities for research on cancer-screening methods.
Some dogs are trained to assist the disabled or sniff out drugs like K-9’s. According to new research, dogs, specifically, beagles, can sniff out lung cancer with an accuracy of 97%.
The study was presented Monday in Orlando at the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The study involved four 2-year-old beagles and how they could identify different blood samples with and without lung cancer.
Florida researchers from the pharmaceutical lab BioScentDx trained 4 beagles to be able to differentiate between normal blood samples and those taken from lung cancer patients. Three of the four dogs, the one named Snuggles was “unmotivated to perform”, could identify blood samples that had lung cancer 96.7% of the time and blood samples free of cancer 97.5% of the time.
Lead researcher Heather Junqueira said that the findings of the study could point to other possible tools for screening cancer. These tools are important as cancer is more treatable if it is detected in the earlier stages. Two paths are opened up for further research.
The first being the use of canine scent detection to screen for cancer and the second would be to identify biologic compounds that dogs detect when they sniff out cancer. Cancer-screening tests can be developed based on these compounds.
Dogs have smell receptors 10,000 times more sensitive and accurate as compared to a human, which is why they are able to detect the differences. Beagles, in particular, are scent hounds and are good hunting dogs.
Source: Fox News