US scientists have proven that dogs can accurately sniff out lung cancer in blood samples in breakthrough research which could help the disease be diagnosed early, media reports said Tuesday.
Your canine friend can use its highly evolved sense of smell to pick out blood samples from people with cancer with nearly 97 percent accuracy, a finding that can lead to new low-priced and non-invasive screening approaches for the disease, finds a study.
The researchers plan to use canine scent detection to develop a non-invasive way of screening for cancer.
According to a new study announced by the pharmaceutical firm BioScentDx dogs are able to sniff out lung cancer. As part of the research, four beagles were trained using a clicker to tell the difference between blood from healthy individuals and blood serum samples from people who had malignant lung cancer.
The finding raises hopes that dogs could soon be used to detect cancer in people at a much earlier stage than other methods of screening, increasing the chance of tackling the disease effectively.
She said: "Although there is now no cure for cancer, early detection offers the best hope of survival".
Heather Junqueira, the leading researcher of the study, said that a sensitive test to detect cancer could save thousands of lives and that such a method could change the method of treatment for the disease.
Whereas humans only possess six million smell receptors in their noses, dogs have 300 million, which means they're about 10,000 times better at detecting odors than humans.
The researcher presented the findings to the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) in Florida on Monday. They correctly identified the normal samples 97.5 per cent of the time. The company previously conducted a study involving canines and breath samples from breast cancer patients.
The discovery emerged just ten days after a separate study found dogs can accurately detect a telltale scent linked to epileptic seizures, suggesting they could be trained to reliably warn owners when a seizure is imminent.
Further investigation will also be done to identify which chemical components in the substances are causing the smell that dogs can detect.
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