Cancer diagnosis through sniffing

August 12, 2013 17:36
Cancer diagnosis through sniffing

Before you drop your jaws in disbelief, know that it's true!

A teams of scientists at the University of Pennsylvania are trying to train a kennel of three dogs to snuffle off ovarian cancer. The dogs are being trained to detect cancerous tissue in patients through sniffing.

Researchers working on this bizarre 'diagnostic dogs' are hoping that dogs' keen sense of smell will l help them track ovarian cancer easily, before it spreads.


A combination of old-fashioned olfactory skills, chemical analysis and modern technology, the 'diagnostic dogs' can help early detection of the cancer and cut down the mortality rate to half.

Using the blood and tissue samples  given by cancer patients, the University of Pennsylvania's Working Dog Center are training three canines to "sniff out the signature compound that indicates the presence of ovarian cancer."


If the dogs successfully manage to pick out the chemical marker, scientists at the nearby Monell Chemical Senses Center will create an electronic sensor to identify the same odorant.

"Because if the dogs can do it, then the question is, Can our analytical instrumentation do it? We think we can," Monell organic chemist George Preti said.

"Nearly 20,000 Americans are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. When it's caught early, women have a five-year survival rate of 90 percent. But because of its generic symptoms — weight gain, bloating or constipation - the disease is more often caught late," wrote a New York daily.

(AW: Suchorita Dutta)

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