Dogs can sniff out lung cancer, pilot study shows

December 5, 2012

Dogs are surprisingly adept at sniffing out lung cancer, results from a pilot project in Austria published on Wednesday suggested, potentially offering hope for earlier, life-saving diagnosis.

"Dogs have no problem identifying tumour patients," said Peter Errhalt, head of the pulmonology department at Krems hospital in northern Austria, one of the authors of the study.

The test saw dogs achieve a 70-percent success rate identifying cancer from 120 breath samples, a result so "encouraging" that a two-year study 10 times larger will now take place, Errhalt said.

The results echo anecdotal evidence of odd canine behaviour when around cancer sufferers and are backed up by the results of similar small studies, including one by German scientists in 2011.

The ultimate aim is not however to have canines stationed in hospitals, but for scentists to identify what scents the dogs are detecting, explained Michael Mueller from the Otto Wagner Hospital in Vienna, who collaborated on the .

This in turn could help scientists reproduce in the long term a kind of ""—minus the wagging tail—that could help diagnose in the early stages, thereby dramatically improving , Mueller said.

Explore further: Sniffer dogs can be used to detect lung cancer

Related Stories

Sniffer dogs can be used to detect lung cancer

August 18, 2011
Sniffer dogs could be used for the early detection of lung cancer, according to new research published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Man's best friend: A joint tumor marker in man and dog

April 18, 2011
The dog may be man's best friend but even so it comes as a surprise that the two species share a common tumor marker. This finding comes from a joint study between scientists of the Vetmeduni Vienna and the MedUni Wien. The ...

Trial seeks to sniff out lung cancer

June 19, 2012
Cancer smells different. Past research has shown that dogs can detect lung cancer in a person’s breath with great accuracy. But dogs are  tricky to use as a diagnostic tool; what does it mean when a dog barks once ...

Israeli engineers build artificial device capable of detecting cancer in breath

April 21, 2011
(PhysOrg.com) -- Professor Hossam Haick of the Israel Institute of Technology, at Technion, and his team have built an artificial nose which is capable of detecting molecules in human breath that signal the presence of head ...

Recommended for you

Stem cell therapy attacks cancer by targeting unique tissue stiffness

July 26, 2017
A stem cell-based method created by University of California, Irvine scientists can selectively target and kill cancerous tissue while preventing some of the toxic side effects of chemotherapy by treating the disease in a ...

Understanding cell segregation mechanisms that help prevent cancer spread

July 26, 2017
Scientists have uncovered how cells are kept in the right place as the body develops, which may shed light on what causes invasive cancer cells to migrate.

Study uncovers potential 'silver bullet' for preventing and treating colon cancer

July 26, 2017
In preclinical experiments, researchers at VCU Massey Cancer Center have uncovered a new way in which colon cancer develops, as well as a potential "silver bullet" for preventing and treating it. The findings may extend to ...

Compound shows promise in treating melanoma

July 26, 2017
While past attempts to treat melanoma failed to meet expectations, an international team of researchers are hopeful that a compound they tested on both mice and on human cells in a petri dish takes a positive step toward ...

Study may explain failure of retinoic acid trials against breast cancer

July 25, 2017
Estrogen-positive breast cancers are often treated with anti-estrogen therapies. But about half of these cancers contain a subpopulation of cells marked by the protein cytokeratin 5 (CK5), which resists treatment—and breast ...

Breaking the genetic resistance of lung cancer and melanoma

July 25, 2017
Researchers from Monash University and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC, New York) have discovered why some cancers – particularly lung cancer and melanoma – are able to quickly develop deadly resistance ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.