Alberta Cancer Foundation

Diagnostic Dogs

Studies at Germany’s Schiller-höhe Clinic have gone to the dogs. But maybe it’s not a bad thing. Scientists at the Schiller-höhe, which specializes in lung disease, have been working with a dog trainer and a few animals to detect the presence of lung cancer in patents’ breath samples. In one study of 200 samples, the trained dogs detected cancer with 72-per-cent accuracy, even differentiating between long-time lung cancer patients’ samples and those of the newly-diagnosed. Mechanical sniffers are less accurate and results can be affected by what the patient has eaten or drunk, which didn’t seem to bother the dogs.

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