Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A new meaning for “Passing the Sniff Test”: Cancer Detection

Ms. Angela Zimm in a Bloomberg article reports that University of Pennsylvania researchers have found that Tsunami (pictured above) is more than 90 percent successful in identifying the scent of ovarian cancer in tissue samples, opening a new window on a disease with no effective test for early detection that kills 14,000 Americans a year.  When found early, there’s a five-year survival rate of over 90 percent.

Impressed? But wait, there’s more!

The largest study ever done on cancer-sniffing dogs found they can detect prostate cancer by smelling urine samples with 98 percent accuracy. “Our study demonstrates the use of dogs might represent in the future a real clinical opportunity if used together with common diagnostic tools,” said Gian Luigi Taverna, the author of the prostate cancer research reported yesterday at the American Urological Association in Boston.


PS - Given the way my dog, Louis, used to greet strangers, the prostate finding doesn’t surprise me at all

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