Dogs can sniff out prostate cancer in urine samples

February 8th, 2011 - 4:08 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 8 (IANS) Dogs can sniff out chemicals released in urine by prostate tumours, thus opening up a new method for their early detection.

These chemicals have distinct odours that dogs can pick up, says a new study, led by Jean-Nicolas Cornu of Tenon Hospital and colleagues in Paris.

Cornu’s team trained a Belgian Malinois, a shepherd breed used for detecting bombs and drugs, to identify urine from patients with confirmed prostate cancer and urine from healthy men, the journal European Urology reports.

After about an year of training, the dog was put to the test. The dog completed all the runs and correctly designated the cancer samples in 30 of 33 cases, according to a Tenon Hospital statement.

Of the three cases wrongly classified as cancer, one patient was re-biopsied and a prostate cancer was diagnosed. The sensitivity and specificity were both 91 percent.

This study shows that dogs can be trained to detect prostate cancer by smelling urine with a significant success rate.

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