FunNature & AnimalDogs are able to detect cancer in the blood

Dogs are able to detect cancer in the blood

Everyone knows the enormous olfactory potential of dogs and that is that four-legged dogs have 300 million odor receptors, compared to the 5 million that humans have . Those of dogs are also 10,000 times more accurate than those of a person . As a consequence, there are odors that they detect without problem while for us they go completely unnoticed. A surprising example of what we are talking about is the result of a latest study by the BioScentDx medical research center, based in Myakka City, Florida, which indicates that dogs are capable of detecting the presence of cancer in a blood sample, with an accuracy of almost 97% . Amazing.

The present discovery opens the door to new, cheaper, more accurate and non-invasive cancer detection methods . “Although there is currently no cure for cancer, early detection offers the best hope for survival. A highly sensitive test to detect cancer could save thousands of lives and change the way the disease is treated, ”said Heather Junqueira, a BioScentDx researcher who led the study.

This is how the study was done

For this study, the scientists trained four beagle dogs using the clicker to be able to distinguish between normal blood serum and blood samples from lung cancer patients. Although one of the canids was not very cooperative, the other three correctly identified 96.7% of the lung cancer samples and 97.5% of the cancer-free samples.

“This work is very exciting because it paves the way for future two-way research, which could lead to new cancer screening tools,” explains Heather Junqueira. “One is using canine scent detection as a cancer detection method, and the other would be to determine the biological compounds that dogs detect and then design cancer detection tests based on those compounds,” the researcher continues.

Next lines of research

BioScentDx is already working on the possibility that dogs can detect breast cancer by breath. In November, the company collected breath samples from people affected by this type of cancer to be examined by dogs trained in detecting cancer. Another of their next lines of action is to separate the samples into their chemical components and show them to the canids to isolate the substances that form the odor that they themselves detect.

Dogs can smell minute changes in human biomarkers including hormones, proteins, and other organic compounds. This has led to training them to help monitor diseases such as diabetes, narcolepsy, and cancer itself.

The company offers the opportunity to scan our breath for cancer. On its website, it sells cancer screening kits with prices from $ 50 to $ 140 (depending on how often the test is desired) made up of a questionnaire, a consent form, instructions, a breath sample mask and a prepaid return envelope. Your trained dogs will be in charge of analyzing the samples.

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