Researchers have trained dogs to sniff out the main chemical compound that indicates the presence of ovarian cancer with 100 percent accuracy. Through this amazing new technique, women that are in their first stage of ovarian cancer can get to know about the disease before it’s too late to operate over.
“A trained chocolate-colored Labrador, Ohlin Frank, has already been able to detect ovarian cancer tissues with 100 percent accuracy which is amazing”, researchers said.
Frank along with its fellow trainee, McBaine Chamberlain, who is a spunky springer spaniel, form a
part of an interdisciplinary research project at the University of Pennsylvania to help scientists discover a chemical footprint that might lead to earlier diagnostic tests to save human lives. This diagnosis, if successfully woven out, can save thousand human lives and prevent ovarian cancer.
Currently the number of women suffering from ovarian cancer is less than the ones carrying the cancer without knowing about it. And with this breakthrough of detecting ovarian cancer, millions of lives can be saved.
Apart from cancer-sniffing dogs there are currently 15 carefully bred detection dogs learning to sniff out explosives, drugs and missing people.
Penn Vet founder and executive director Cynthia M Otto sincerely hopes the dogs can be trained to narrow down a specific odour within two years, so scientists can design an inexpensive and less-invasive blood test to catch ovarian cancer while it’s still treatable.
Otto further said, “All dogs are really good at sniffing, but part of what gives them a huge advantage over us is the surface area of the olfactory receptors”.
The report said that Otto’s work builds on a 2010 Swedish study, which used pet giant schnauzers to detect ovarian cancer. Tissue tests showed sensitivity of 100 per cent and specificity of 95 per cent; blood tests showed sensitivity of 100 per cent and specificity of 98 per cent.