Lab Is Trained to Detect Cancer...90 Per Cent Success Rate - Feb. 13, 2011
A nine year-old Labrador retriever named Marine can sniff out colorectal cancer in patients with 90 perc ent accuracy.
The dog is trained to smell breath and other biological samples.
The experiment was conducted over a period from November 2008 to June 2009. About 300 patients were sampled.
The experiment was conducted at the St. Sugar Cancer Sniffing Dog Training Center in Minamiboso, Chiba Prefecture, Japan.
The results of the study were published this week in the British Medical Journal Gut.
Marine correctly picked out the breath-sample container from a group of five containers 33 out of 36 times. In another test that used liquid from feces she was able to identify the correct container 37 out of 38 times.
The dog was not fooled by samples taken from smokers or from patients with other types of bowel problems including polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers, diverticulitis or appendicitis.
Marine did especially well with patients in early stages of disease. Overall, she preformed as well as a colonoscopy.
Marine was trained to recognize the odor of ingested food on the breath of patients.
In other tests the dog was successful in sniffing out cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, uterine, ovarian, bladder, gastric, pancreatic and esophageal cancers from breath samples, along with hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma.
The Japanese study is only the latest in an on-going attempt to use dogs to detect cancer