The startup, called BioScentDx, said dogs trained to detect cancer could detect the odor of the blood of someone with cancer 96.7 percent of the time.
Researchers from all over the world are working to use artificial intelligence and other high-tech products to detect cancer. On the other hand, a startup in Florida, USA, turned to a low-tech solution and gave the job of cancer detection to dogs. The company says the animals are quite successful in this business.
On Monday, Florida-based startup BioScentDx presented the canine cancer detection study at the life sciences and biomedical research conference Experimental Biology. For the study, the researchers trained four beagle dogs to isolate blood from healthy people and people with lung cancer through a method called ‘clicker training’. One of the dogs, Snuggles, showed no interest in the study, but the other three dogs were 96.7 percent successful in detecting cancerous specimens and 97.5 percent in detecting healthy specimens.
“The results can be used in two different ways”
According to researcher Heather Junqueira, the team could harness the power of canines to detect cancer in two different ways. The method for dogs to smell cancer can be used directly by dogs sniffing the blood sample of patients with suspected cancer. The other method is to detect which biological components dogs smell and these components can be searched for in cancer screening.
In the study carried out by the Florida-based initiative BioScentDx, it was seen that dogs trained to detect the difference in smell between the blood of a healthy person and someone with cancer were 96.7 percent successful in detecting the blood of someone with cancer and 97.5 percent in detecting the blood of a healthy person. This research may pave the way for training dogs that can diagnose cancer in the future, or for using the components these dogs detect in cancer diagnosis.