DOGS can sniff out early signs of cancer in humans with almost 97 per cent accuracy, a study has shown.
Scientists trained four beagles to identify blood samples from volunteers who have been diagnosed with lung cancer.
Heather Junqueira, study leader at research and development firm BioScent Dx in Florida said dogs could soon be part of cancer-screening programmes that are as accurate but less invasive than methods now used. "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".
According to a new study announced by the pharmaceutical firm BioScentDx dogs are able to sniff out 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.
Scientist and study leader Heather Junqueira trained three beagle pups to detect lung cancer in blood samples.
The study added that dogs have smell receptors 10,000 times more accurate than those of humans, making them extremely sensitive to smells we can't distinguish.
One beagle - aptly named Snuggles - couldn't be coaxed to participate.
'Although there is now no cure for cancer, early detection offers the best hope of survival, ' she said. The other three, however, performed very well, the researchers reported. The company previously conducted a study involving canines and breath samples from breast cancer patients.
They presented their findings at the American Society and Molecular Biology's 2019 Experimental Biology meeting held from April 6 to 9 in Orlando, Florida. As such, our furry buds have been at the center of a number of studies utilizing their noses to detect or prevent a variety of life-threatening diseases and conditions, from predicting an impending epileptic seizure to successfully sniffing out Parkinson's disease.
They also plan to separate various cancer samples into their chemical components and present these to the dogs to isolate the substances causing the odor that the dogs detect.