Dogs Can Accurately Sniff Out Lung Cancer in Human Blood: Study
According to the study, dogs have smell receptors that are 10,000 times more accurate than human smell receptors
Another point for the canines in the struggle between cats and dogs: a new study says that dogs are able to sniff out lung cancer in human blood with 97 percent accuracy.
The study, from researchers at Florida-based pharmaceutical lab BioScent DX, notes that dogs have smell receptors that are 10,000 times more accurate than our own.
During the study, researchers used a form of clicker training to teach four beagles to tell the difference between healthy blood samples and samples from patients who have malignant lung cancer.
Three of the dogs correctly identified the lung cancer samples 96.7 percent of the time, and the healthy samples 97.5 percent of the time. The study added that the fourth beagle, named Snuggles, was “unmotivated to perform.”
The study was not published in a peer-reviewed journal, but the research was presented at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting on Monday.
The study said that these findings can lead to new methods of lung cancer screenings that are “inexpensive and accurate without being invasive.”
Researchers hope to continue their work and create screening methods that can test for other life-threatening diseases as well. In November, the company launched a new breast cancer study in which dogs attempt to smell cancer in breath samples instead of blood.
“Although there is currently no cure for cancer, early detection offers the best hope of survival,” lead researcher Heather Junqueira said. “A highly sensitive test for detecting cancer could potentially save thousands of lives and change the way the disease is treated.”