Dogs to detect lung cancer …

Surprising conclusion of a study conducted in Germany and published in the European Respiratory Journal, sniffer dogs could be used to detect early lung cancers. Not so surprising, actually … In Chinese medicine already, dogs were used to identify diabetics at the sweet smell of their urine and Hippocrates himself had noticed the interest of bees to the crotch of noble diabetes, including the gown could be stained with urine sweet …

The method used by researchers at the Hospital Schillerhoehe Gerlingen in Germany, was based on the identification of volatile organic compounds linked to cancer. So they used sniffer dogs. Their goal: to see if the canines were able to reliably detect lung cancer.

A marker of lung cancer

They worked with 220 volunteers, including patients with cancer of the lung, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and of course healthy patients for control purposes. Results, dogs trained specifically for this purpose, correctly identified (see the photo showing against one of the dogs in the study) 71 samples from patients with lung cancer (out of 100 possible). They also correctly detected 372 samples belonging to healthy volunteers (out of 400 possible).

According to Thorsten Walles, lead author of the study, “there are differences in the breath of a patient with lung cancer and a healthy person. The smell of the dogs could pick up the difference. Our results confirm the presence of a stable marker of lung cancer. It is a great step forward in the diagnosis, but we still need to precisely identify the compounds found in the breath of patients. “An encouraging discovery that drives him to regret the tone of the joke, that dogs can communicate what they feel …”







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