Dogs are known as man’s best friends, but new research suggests that their sense of smell could be the best friend of doctors. During the tests, experts from the American pharmaceutical company BioScent Dx taught three hounds to detect lung cancer in patients’ blood samples. According to the results, dogs correctly identified samples belonging to patients with lung cancer in 96.7% of cases.It is known that dogs have odor receptors that are 10,000 times more accurate than humans. So, nowadays dogs are used by some patients with epilepsy – animals warn them about approaching seizures. The fact that dogs can identify the presence of cancer by smell has already been known to scientists, and a new study provides further evidence of this amazing phenomenon. According to experts, the work done is very interesting, because it paves the way for further study of the smell of dogs and the development of new tools for the detection of cancer.
Representatives of the company BioScent Dx believe that the detection of odors by dogs can be used to develop non-invasive screening for cancer. The researchers used a clicker training to teach four hounds to distinguish the blood of healthy people from the blood samples of patients with lung cancer. It is noted that one dog did not have enough motivation to participate in the experiment, however, the other three dogs correctly identified blood samples of sick patients in 96.7% of cases.
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Now experts are trying to figure out whether this method can be used to detect breast cancer. Further tests will also be conducted to determine which chemical components in the blood cause odor that dogs can detect. It is known that dogs can trap volatile organic compounds that are released in the early stages of many types of cancer. At the same time, animal methods of detecting even insignificant odor concentrations equal to about one part per trillion is equivalent to one teaspoon of sugar in two huge pools.