home
RSS
Growing body of research says dogs really can smell cancer
August 17th, 2011
07:00 PM ET

Growing body of research says dogs really can smell cancer

A new study adds to the body of research suggesting that "man’s best friend" may actually be able to smell cancer.

Researchers in Germany found that dogs were able to pick up on the scent of organic compounds linked to the presence of lung cancer in the human body, and that their keen sense of smell may be useful for the early detection of the disease.

Four family dogs – two  German shepherds, one Australian shepherd and one Labrador retriever – smelled test tubes containing breath samples of 220 patients, both those with lung cancer and those without it. The dogs were trained to lie down in front of the test tubes where they smelled lung cancer and touch the vial with their noses. According to the study, the dogs successfully identified lung cancer in 71 out of 100 patients with the disease.

And that’s not all. Researchers also tested patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. “COPD is quite common in patients with lung cancer and we were not sure if the dogs could tell the difference between both diseases,” explains Enole Boedeker, an author on the study who practices general thoracic surgery in Stuttgart, Germany. “The dogs could recognize the cancer sample as easily as between the breath samples of the healthy study participants,” Boedeker says. The study is published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Living with COPD?  Take a breathing health test

This isn’t the first study to use dogs’ heightened sense of smell to identify disease in humans. Over the years researchers have theorized that cancer may actually have a detectable scent - cancer cells may produce chemical compounds that circulate throughout the body and can be breathed out of the lungs in a gaseous form. The use of canine scent to detect these compounds has shown promise in sniffing out breast cancer, bowel cancer, colon cancer, COPD and lung cancer, and even type 1 diabetes.

“This is probably the most sophisticated study I've seen on this topic,” says Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. Lichtenfeld has been following research on sniffer dogs and blogged about the topic for ACS. “More and more studies are reinforcing the possibility that this is very real,” he says.

But don’t expect to see Fido in the office the next time you visit the doctor; the future clinical implications remain unknown.

“We've seen this happen enough to suggest there are compounds in the breath of patients with cancer that could provide an early warning about he presence of cancer in the body, but we still do not know exactly what those compounds are,” Lichtenfeld says. “We can’t pick out what the dogs smell.”

Researchers say sniffer dogs are a promising “detection device,” but more studies are needed to help identify the specific detectable markers in order to create screening methods.

“Unfortunately,” the study authors conclude, “dogs cannot communicate the biochemistry of the scent of cancer.”


soundoff (378 Responses)
  1. Tritreviewifind

    tadalafil online with out prescription what is tadalafil tadalafil online with out prescription generic tadalafil from uk https://tadacipetadalafil.com/

    May 23, 2021 at 20:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Tembepteriope

    cheap cialis pills for sale https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ – tadalafil without a doctor prescription cialis tadalafil tadalafil daily online https://tadalafilol.com/

    May 23, 2021 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. cyclosporine

    buy cyclomune online cyclomune eye drops 1%

    May 24, 2021 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Tritreviewifind

    tadalafil cost in canada https://tadalafilol.com/ – generic tadalafil from uk tadalafil cost walmart tadalafil brands https://apcalisetadalafil.com/

    May 25, 2021 at 03:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. combigan

    buy generic combigan buy combigan online

    May 25, 2021 at 08:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. offers vehicle buying and towing service

    The crew of experienced professionals will take that junk out of your
    garage. There is a valid point of protecting such a car that is neither working
    nor serviceable. If the bills and upkeep of the
    automotive are emptying your checking account, then it is the precise time to ditch that automotive
    or automobile. If yes, then it's essential eliminate that automotive.

    If your discarded car is obstructing you from buying a
    brand new car because unavailability of house, then feel free to rent cash for junk
    car service. When you don't choose a cash for
    automobile service, the possibility of not getting
    an sincere price to your automotive rises. Do you use your
    car for hiding clues when enjoying "scavenger hunt" because it's too outdated
    that no one notices and makes you win the sport?
    Some of them will ask for a test drive and you have to bear
    with it. You will not be able to say – No as a result of you're selling.

    And when you aren't selecting this way to promote your price, then you've got to fulfill several
    potential buyers.

    May 25, 2021 at 18:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. avana

    buy avana online avanafil pill

    May 25, 2021 at 23:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Tembepteriope

    https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ canada generic tadalafil tadalafil generic where to buy tadalafil drug tadalafil

    May 26, 2021 at 04:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Tritreviewifind

    canada generic tadalafil generic cialis tadalafil tadalafil liquid side effects for tadalafil https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ – where to get tadalafil

    May 26, 2021 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. tausAffessy

    https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ generic tadalafil from uk https://tadalafilol.com/ – tadalafil dosage tadalafil daily online

    May 27, 2021 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Kinsley Liu

    I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself? Plz reply back as I'm looking to create my own blog and would like to know wheere u got this from. thanks

    https://slides.com/logapak

    May 28, 2021 at 02:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Adonis Washington

    Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way to much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

    https://pbase.com/logapak/profile

    May 28, 2021 at 02:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Maeve Mejia

    I love it when people come together and share opinions, great blog, keep it up.

    http://phillipsservices.net/UserProfile/tabid/43/userId/88368/Default.aspx

    June 1, 2021 at 02:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Amelia Paul

    Hi, just required you to know I he added your site to my Google bookmarks due to your layout. But seriously, I believe your internet site has 1 in the freshest theme I??ve came across. It extremely helps make reading your blog significantly easier.

    https://bibliocrunch.com/profile/logapak/

    June 1, 2021 at 02:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. https://www.songmanhits.com

    Best view i have ever seen !

    https://images.google.com/url?q=https://www.songmanhits.com

    June 5, 2021 at 16:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Brogan Horn

    Hi , I do believe this is an excellent blog. I stumbled upon it on Yahoo , i will come back once again. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and help other people.

    https://forum.findukhosting.com/index.php?action=profile;area=summary;u=34035

    June 7, 2021 at 07:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Allan Mccall

    I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself? Plz reply back as I'm looking to create my own blog and would like to know wheere u got this from. thanks

    https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/135963477-dobrinasveti

    June 7, 2021 at 07:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Nicolas Daniel

    Great wordpress blog here.. It's hard to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! take care

    https://www.inkitt.com/procesni

    June 7, 2021 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Sierra Beard

    After all, what a great site and informative posts, I will upload inbound link – bookmark this web site? Regards, Reader.

    https://my.desktopnexus.com/procesni/#ProfileComments

    June 7, 2021 at 08:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Nicolas Daniel

    This blog is definitely rather handy since I'm at the moment creating an internet floral website – although I am only starting out therefore it's really fairly small, nothing like this site. Can link to a few of the posts here as they are quite. Thanks much. Zoey Olsen

    https://nowewyrazy.uw.edu.pl/profil/bv4ch

    June 7, 2021 at 09:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Keenan Ibarra

    Great line up. We will be linking to this great article on our site. Keep up the good writing.

    https://www.threadless.com/@bv4ch/activity

    June 7, 2021 at 09:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Kara Tyler

    Good info. Lucky me I reach on your website by accident, I bookmarked it.

    https://www.evernote.com/shard/s358/sh/d5d30539-dcee-e060-5e7b-813833400573/702e73f39d42434ab940dabe00569cb5

    June 23, 2021 at 09:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Jaidyn Kidd

    Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

    https://www.techsite.io/p/2308200

    June 23, 2021 at 09:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. pharmaceptica

    does chloroquine work https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 03:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. THC Gummies

    I cannot thank you enough for the blog article.Much thanks again. Great.

    https://www.peninsuladailynews.com/marketplace/top-3-best-delta-8-thc-gummies-weed-edibles-for-sale/

    June 30, 2021 at 12:33 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5

Leave a Reply to sdf


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.