Dogs are man’s best friend, and there’s no disputing that. Recent research has proven that there’s more reason to love this canine breed. With their amazing sense of smell, they can also sniff out lung cancer. Dogs have smell receptors 10,000 times more accurate than humans. Of all the dog breeds, beagles have some of the best noses.
This highly evolved sense of smell makes dogs more sensitive to odours. Researchers used this skill to carry out a study on blood samples from patients with malignant lung cancer. With the result, it proves that early detection of cancer is ‘paw’sible.
The study on lung cancer and dogs
A startup in Florida, BioScentDx carried out a study on four beagles. Experts taught them to use their sense of smell to distinguish between the blood of healthy people and the blood of patients with malignant lung cancer. One of the dogs, Snuggles, was “unmotivated to perform,” according to a press release. Meanwhile, the others were actively involved in the research.
They were able to identify the affected samples 96.7% of the time. While they identified normal samples 97.5% with accuracy, the overall result showed nearly 97% accuracy.
Heather Junqueira, who is lead researcher, said,
“Although there is currently no cure for cancer, early detection offers the best hope of survival. A highly sensitive test for detecting cancer could potentially save thousands of lives and change the way the disease is treated.”
Similarly, sometime in November 2018, the company launched a b****t cancer study. B****t cancer patients submitted samples of their breath for screening by trained cancer-sniffing dogs.
Heather Junqueira continued in the press release,
“This work is very exciting because it paves the way for further research along two paths, both of which could lead to new cancer-detection tools.
“One is using canine scent detection as a screening method for cancers. And the other would be to determine the biologic compounds the dogs detect and then design cancer-screening tests based on those compounds.”
The study was presented at Experimental Biology, a life sciences and biomedical research conference.